Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Blog Award

Just a little notice that this blog was chosen "Blog of the Month" for December 2005 by Fallen Angel Reviews. My thanks to all who cast their votes for "Erotica with Soul," I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Suitable for All Ages (About Narnia)

Interesting subject line for a blog about erotica, hey? Well, at Christmas--a time for families and children, innocence and goodness--it seemed appropriate to have an especially wholesome topic.

Last weekend I saw “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” It’s an old favorite of mine from my college days, a Christian tale, and therefore most apropos for Christmas time. I thought it was a lovely and inspiring film: the Christian motifs are very moving of course, but it affected me in all sorts of ways. (And be warned, there are some spoilers below!)

But if I am discussing the erotic, and as always I am, what could I have to say about a PG movie like this? Well, as in all the most effective children’s movies, there are underlying themes that are subtly tied to greater human experience, including those things that will one day bloom into sexuality.

Take for example the lure of the White Witch. On the surface she tempts young Edmund with candy and flattery, but as she envelopes him in her fur-clad embrace, she represents other pleasures as well. An older reader/viewer will feel that sexual twinge about the Witch. Her temptation has erotic appeal.

But does the side of good have nothing to offer as a positive option? There may not be a blatant “good sex” option in Narnia, but certainly there are plenty of subtle ones. I would never dare to suggest the savior figure of Aslan as a sex object, but at the same time, he possesses many qualities essential to those heroes who inspire our desire. He is pure, he is loving, he is powerful and endlessly brave. My favorite line of dialogue in both book and movie concerning Aslan is this: “He’s not a tame lion.” To be truly captivating, a hero must be not tame.

Likewise admirable is the beauty and valor manifested in the four Pevensie children under Aslan’s influence; all grow up to be very attractive, compelling young adults. People of any age are drawn to what the four become in the story: children want to grow up to be them, and adults feel attraction for them, even including the sexual kind. And this is fine and right, for what evil can there be in being attracted to good?

My personal favorite character in the film is Mr. Tumnus, charmingly portrayed by James McAvoy. He manages to make the faun simultaneously lovable to small children and an object of infatuation for adult women. This is the perfect illustration of my point: sexuality doesn’t burst abruptly forth in us the day we reach puberty. It forms and develops from childhood on. A little girl is charmed by a gentle, funny, curious forest creature because he seems a little scary, but pleasant. His strangeness is intriguing and when it proves safe (well, after that little attempted kidnapping anyway), he is just that more endearing.

When the little girl becomes a woman, these feelings are the same; however, Tumnus’s charms now have a bit of an erotic undertone. Safe strangeness and pleasant scariness are very conducive to sex appeal. But in such a case, that sexual desire is all tangled up in the very innocent love of a child, which somehow makes it a particularly sweet, pure sort of erotic feeling. Nevertheless, I think it not inappropriate to assign erotic appeal to Tumnus; after all, C.S. Lewis knew well that in mythology, fauns are creatures who play hypnotic music on pipes and exhibit great sexual prowess.

Tumnus does, in effect, seduce little Lucy when he lulls her to sleep with his pipe playing. He parallels the White Witch, but fortunately is aligned enough with good that he repents in time. Nevertheless, we never quite forget that he has this power, and he certainly never ceases to have irresistible charm. He has easily wooed and won us by the time he finds himself captured by the Witch.

And we share in Lucy’s determination to save Tumnus simply because he has charmed us. That sexual appeal only strengthens our yearning to see him set free. And thus, once again, the erotic urge serves in the cause of good, as it does more often than we give it credit for.

Well, I’m not suggesting C.S. Lewis said to himself, “As I write these children’s books I must not fail to throw in some erotic elements.” But what he did do was write into his characters and plots a full appreciation for the human experience and a full understanding of human nature. This, to me, is why his works tell their stories so fully and richly. They are suitable for all ages: the adult within the child as well as the child within the adult.

This film is a wonderful Christmas gift to kids from 1 to 92. I hope you get a chance to enjoy it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It Hurts So Good

The other day while websurfing, I came upon this portrait of Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook. The artist, someone named Katie, offered no other caption than “Let your imagination run wild!”

Well, the small hands could be Peter’s, attacking during a vicious battle after having afflicted Hook with some terrible wound. However, they might just as easily be Wendy’s, and Hook might not actually be in pain. Let your imagination run wild....

It’s been a long time since I saw the ambiguity of pain/pleasure on a human face captured quite so successfully. This portrait demonstrates perfectly that the look of agony and the look of ecstasy are identical. And personally, I find this picture one of the most erotic things I’ve seen in a long time. Why it is so powerful is a question I’ve been asking myself for days, so here are my ruminations on the topic:

I think the thrill of sex often lies in its magical ability to bring opposites together. Males and females experience the opposing traits of gender: that is, women are exposed to aggression and men encounter submission. Beings who live much of the time by reason and practicality are flung into the flip side of life--passion and recklessness. And in the realm of sex, the extremes of pain and pleasure inexplicably intersect, in a manner that is totally engrossing.

You don’t have to be into S&M for this to be true. Even people who are repulsed by bondage find a blend of pleasure and pain in the sex act. We use very interesting adjectives to describe sexual pleasure: agonizing, excruciating, torturous. The physiology of the sexual response is remarkably similar to the pain response: tenseness, trembling, thrashing. Erotic moaning can be indistinguishable from groans of pain. Even psychologically there are similarities...arousal can seem unbearable, make you frantic, desperate, overwhelmed. Sometimes if you were asked if you felt good or bad, you might not be quick to answer. Although ultimately the feeling will prove to be pleasure, it is just so intense and severe, it’s hard to sort out.

And that’s the point. Sexual experience is extreme. What sensation could be better than one so intense that it falls beyond the scale of pain and pleasure and can’t even be clearly categorized?

It’s the intensity of the feeling that is important. In a culture that so often requires us to hide or contain our feelings, only extreme sensation will cause a visible, physical reaction like the expression worn by Hook. Anyone wearing such a face has clearly lost control, the way we all do when in acute pain. But what if it isn’t pain? What if that look is born instead of bliss? One can only imagine the extent of pleasure that would evoke such a look.

And in seeing Hook’s expression, it’s hard not to think about what he might be feeling. Since the look is so ambiguous--because it could just as easily be pain as pleasure--therefore we find ourselves studying it, contemplating it, pondering what it would be like to feel what Hook does, or to make him feel it. For a moment it doesn’t much matter whether the feeling is good or bad; the beauty of it is that it is so intense.

Sometimes the erotic urge is just for intensity. That is why we say, “let me die in your arms,” or less delicately, “fuck me till I’m unconscious.” It’s why we like vampires who drink their victims dry. It’s why we dream of sex that is sweet torture and puts us in agony. We like sex (at least in the fantasy world) to be in the context of extreme emotion, no matter whether it is lust, terror, rage, jealousy, desperation, or even hatred. Be it agony or ecstasy, the intensity refreshes and invigorates us.

Very literally, it hurts so good.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sexual Fantasy Healing

All my life I’ve been accused of having a powerful imagination, but I hope the subject of this entry is not something completely unique to me. Perhaps you have experienced it too.

Over the years I’ve found myself occasionally turning to my imagination to cope with discomfort, pain, stress and anxiety. More specifically, I’ll evoke the person of some “imaginary friend”...but not just any friend: someone with erotic appeal. For as Marvin Gaye once claimed in song, sex can have a healing affect. In fact, even imaginary sex can. Hence the title of this entry: Sexual Fantasy Healing.

I’m not talking about using the imagination to cure cancer or even a cold, but rather to ease both mind and body, to relieve discomfort, to lift emotional burdens, and such. Think of the imagined person as a sort of shaman, a mysterious medicine man who uses his powers to heal. In this case his powers are not so much magical as they are psychological, but the archetype still fits. By surrendering to this shaman figure and his sexual power, I’m lifted out of my circumstances and distracted from my cares.

And where do I come up with this shaman guy, and what does he do? Obviously an example is worth a thousand words here.

Sometimes when I go to bed at night I may be fretting about a problem in my life. I know I can’t do anything about it, I know I need to not let it spoil my rest, but sometimes it’s not easy to let go. So I’ll seek out some help in the figure of a person I find particularly compelling or attractive.

By way of illustration, I’ll offer Peter Sarsgaard. I greatly admire the acting talents of this man, but that aside, he has certain qualities that qualify him for playing this part in my imagination. Although his characters often have a quiet, gentle demeanor, they also present a subtle kind of erotic power. Peter is soft spoken but there is something alluring in his voice. And while he is not the in-your-face kind of gorgeous, he has beautiful bedroom eyes that seem to beckon you, and sensuous lips that suggest erotic pleasure even when that is the furthest thing from the matter at hand.

My imaginary Peter has the wonderful gift of being able to seize all my attention immediately. He is such a sexual presence to me, I respond instantly in the way the female typically does when aroused: I submit and surrender. Therefore I become very suggestible, and however he advises me, be it to forget my problems or to relax or to ignore my discomfort, I obey him. Tension flees, stress-inducing distractions disappear. And his unique demeanor is the perfect combination of arousing and soothing: I feel attracted to him but not in a tense or frustrating way.

It’s easy to forget your cares when those eyes are looking into yours, those lips are beckoning to be kissed, and that voice is urging to you to surrender. Suddenly all the world retreats and nothing is left but Peter, and nothing matters but how he’s making you feel. Sexual fantasy healing, there it is.

I’ve used this approach to everything from insomnia to stomach cramps to enduring unpleasant medical procedures. Not always Peter, of course--the list of fantasy figures who have helped me out is dozens long. And although to some this may seem downright weird, I was relieved some years back when I did extensive study of Carl Jung’s theories of psychoanalysis that Dr. Jung actually explained the phenomenon.

If anyone out there has experienced anything similar, please do post if you’re willing. And those who have not, I hope you’ll give it a try sometime.

And actually, it’s kind of fun to do even when you’re feeling just fine. :-)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Sexy Fashion Show...for Women!

Last night was the broadcast of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I’m afraid I was elsewhere in TV Land during this show, but the idea of it did inspire me nonetheless. I thought, well, we have Vicky’s Secret catering to the fashion show preferences of the male gender...what about a fashion show geared for women?

So I played a little game with myself and invented a fantasy lineup of celebrity males (living and departed alike) sporting the outfits that they’ve made famous. Maybe men are easily satisfied with a bunch of women in underwear, but we women have much broader and more interesting tastes, do we not? This is my personal list of men in their sexiest garb, a smorgasbord of male fashion hotness:

  • Diego Luna in tight pants suitable for Latin dancing (“Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”).
  • John O’Hurley in tails (“Dancing with the Stars”).
  • John Williams in a summer tux, conducting the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.
  • Rick Springfield in leather pants with a guitar.
  • Mike Portnoy in sweat, drumming for Dream Theater.
  • John Krasinski in jeans and a sweater (since we normally see him in shirt and tie) (“The Office”).
  • Josh Holloway in jeans. Period. (“Lost”)
  • Christian Bale in a batcowl (“Batman Begins”).
  • Hugh Jackman in wolverine claws (“X-Men”).
  • Mel Gibson in a kilt (“Braveheart”).
  • Malcolm McDowell in a toga (“Caligula”).
  • Frank Langella in a cape (“Dracula”).
  • Johnny Depp in pirate gear and eyeliner (“Pirates of the Caribbean”).
  • Colin Firth in Regency riding clothes (“Pride and Prejudice”).
  • Orlando Bloom in pointed ears with an arrow ready to let fly (“Lord of the Rings”).
  • Viggo Mortensen all scruffy and dirty, brandishing a sword (“Lord of the Rings”).
  • Alan Rickman in Hogwarts professorial wear (or those excellent glasses he wears in “Love Actually,” for that matter).
  • Daniel Radcliffe (after puberty of course) in his Griffyndor school coat and scarf (with those excellent round glasses).
  • Robert Preston in a straw boater and seersucker suit (“The Music Man”).
  • Yul Brynner in Siamese royal garb (“The King and I”).
  • Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson in cowboy hats and chaps (“Shanghai Noon”).
  • Michael Rennie dressed for intergalactic travel (“The Day the Earth Stood Still”).
  • Richard O’Brien dressed to spoof Michael Rennie (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”).
  • Sting in a sci-fi codpiece (“Dune”).
  • Patrick Stewart in his Star Fleet dress uniform (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”).
  • Napoleon Dynamite in moon boots, as long as he’s dancing (“Napoleon Dynamite”).
  • Joaquin Phoenix in firefighting gear (“Ladder 49”).
  • Ty Pennington in a tool belt.
  • Noah Wylie in a lab coat (“ER”).
  • Any member of the Geek Squad, complete with pocket protector (okay, this may only work for me...see also I Heart Techies).
  • Mark Allen (6-time Ironman winner) in a singlet, running shorts and Nikes.
  • Nathan Fillion in a long brown coat (“Serenity”/“Firefly”).
  • Keanu Reeves in a long black coat (“The Matrix”).
  • Hayden Christensen in black Jedi robes (“Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”).
  • Bobby Flay in chef’s whites.
  • Jeff Goldblum with blue skin (“Earth Girls are Easy”).
  • Gerard Butler with a mask (“The Phantom of the Opera”).
  • Trey Parker in a baseketball uniform (“Baseketball”).
  • Vince Vaughn in cheerleading attire (“Old School”).
  • Ewan McGregor naked and oiled under the lights (“Velvet Goldmine”).
  • Okay, Ewan McGregor in anything.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Guy-Next-Cubicle: On NBC’s “The Office”

I’ve watched enough of “The Office” to determine that the chemistry going on between office mates Jim and Pam is really something special. I have a feeling this show has hit upon a uniquely powerful formula, romance-wise, and I’ll do my best in this entry to put my finger on what it is.

My two daughters and myself are all nuts about Jim Halpert, Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company’s inside sales rep, played by John Krasinski. His character fascinates me because (not to be insulting or anything) John Krasinski is no matinee idol. He does not have a Hollywood face. On the other hand, though, if you worked in an office with him, after being around him awhile you would conclude he was very cute. In fact, it is probably largely due to Jim’s non-glamorous looks that the female viewer finds it so easy to identify with receptionist Pam and get sucked into the show’s plot and the relationship between the two characters.

The situation is perfect for all kinds of excitement, angst, and sexual tension. Jim is single and clearly crushing on Pam. Pam is engaged to a jerk and in denial about her feelings for Jim. So the two are “just friends,” but the kind of friends who engage in all but the most overt expressions of affection. Their favorite activity is conspiring to cause grief to the more annoying members of the staff. Therefore the two are cohorts in crime, sharers of secrets, allies in the war on office frustration.

This affords plenty of opportunities for activities that, in a slightly different context, would be fraught with romance and eroticism. You have meaningful glances, furtive giggling, the passing of notes and emails, whispering in each other’s ears, etc. Every little victory they achieve is another private bonding experience.

Meanwhile, however, they cannot actually “be together.” There can only be secret longing in Jim’s case and self-deception in Pam’s. Nevertheless, beneath all the ambiguous office hijinx and conflicted emotions, these two are undeniably very drawn to each other. So whether intentionally or not, they must express that desire within the bounds of the office and their activities there.

And here’s where the viewer connects: Most of us have been in this position, attracted to a person who certainly behaves as if it’s mutual, yet is prevented by circumstances from expressing it. There’s a cute guy in the next cubicle. He’s funny, nice, physically attractive, and best of all, seems equally interested in you. But he’s married, or you are, or both, and therefore the furthest it will go is mild flirtation. It’s frustrating in a way, but on the other hand, it’s kind of a nice little game. It will never become as serious and complex and troubling as a real relationship.

Meanwhile however, on a fantasy level, you always wish it could. And that’s why Jim seems so attractive, and you pull so hard for him and Pam to actually become a couple somehow. The story is about you, about the little experiences of unfulfilled sexual yearning that happen all the time. When Jim leaves a bag of chips on the counter for Pam, you remember the time that cute guy at work bought you a surprise coffee, and you think, “Yeah, he probably did do that because he kinda likes me.” And you wonder what might have become of it, if circumstances had been different. It’s almost like watching Jim and Pam will give you a chance to find out.

Jim is so attractive because he’s all those real life, regular, cute guys we’ve known, rolled into one. When he’s funny, or attentive, or shyly affectionate, it just seems like he’s right there in the room being that way to you. It’s not a sit com, it’s suddenly very nearly real life, and that’s potent stuff.

John Krasinski was recently chosen one of the world’s sexiest men by People magazine. Apparently when someone else on set told him this, he thought he was being punk’d. I’ll bet people who haven’t seen “The Office,” who merely looked at a photo of John, might be likewise perplexed. Nevertheless he deserves this status, and I admire him all the more because he has achieved sexiness by the same ordinary means as men we encounter in real life.

And that’s what makes it that much more thrilling. If there were a real Dunder-Mifflin in Scranton, PA, there’d be a lot of women applying to share an office with Jim Halpert.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Drawn to the Underaged: On Daniel Radcliffe

On July 23, 2007, Daniel Radcliffe will be legal.

But who’s counting?

Well, my daughter and I, for two. She is 22, so her age differs from Daniel’s about as much as my does from my husband’s, and she feels strange enough about being attracted to the Harry Potter star. So you can imagine how I feel...although it’s a little better than back when he was only 11--at least the lad has passed puberty now.

Seriously though, I’m writing this entry to comfort other women all over the world who might Google “Daniel Radcliffe pedophilia” and find these words. I honestly don’t think most of us need to feel we are pedophiles at all; in fact, being affected by the charms of this young man is probably more a symptom of incurable innocence than incurable corruption.

Hidden down deep within our aging bodies are the little girls we once were, little girls who, naturally, were interested in little boys. Not in any sexual way (and of course I haven’t actually thought about Daniel Radcliffe that way), but in a magical way we simply didn’t understand at the time. Among the heterosexual there is a magnetism between the genders that transcends the mating urge and therefore kicks in before it is present.

Think back on that first childhood crush. Mine was on a boy named Jeff whom I fell for in the fourth grade. I was so ingenuous back then that I never gave any thought to the fact that boys were anatomically different than girls. The-birds-and-the-bees conversation was still a year or two off. Nevertheless, being around Jeff made me happier than just about anything. He had huge blue eyes and long lashes, and a vivid imagination just like mine. Looking at him made me feel giddy, and if I made him laugh or smile it would be the high point of my day.

Looking at Daniel Radcliffe reminds me of those bygone feelings. I’m certain that had the nine-year-old me traveled forward in time to 2001 and seen “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone,” she would have fallen violently for Harry. He is the essence of everything I found wonderful about “boyness”: the sense of adventure, the budding bravery, the loyalty to friends, the yearning to be heroic. His looks are all boy, and yet promise a future handsomeness just around the corner. Of course, the British accent doesn’t hurt either--what American female of any age can resist a little Briton?

My attraction to Harry takes me back to the most basic feelings of adoration for the opposite sex: the essential awe that simply holds that maleness, at any age, is wonderful.

And if my daughter and I rub our hands together in glee to see Daniel maturing toward manhood, to hear his voice deepen, and to see his baby fat turn to lean muscle, that’s no perversion either. It’s just the joy a female naturally experiences seeing a boy come into adulthood. We wonder to see his shoulders broaden, for ours never will, and to see his hips stay narrow, while ours have not. We delight as his height passes ours and his strength becomes superior. And we smile in tender amusement as he struggles with his own complex attitudes about females.

It’s like hearing an old fashioned love song that reminds you of simpler days. Wasn’t it nice when you found yourself wishing you could just once hold hands with that cute boy who sat in front of you in class? You had no idea why you even wanted to, and that just made it all the more magical.

So take heart, Daniel aficionados over the age of 16. You are not “dirty old women” at all, just women who still have young hearts. And hopefully always will.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Dream Kiss

Okay, I’ll admit my libido hasn’t exactly been raging recently. You know how it is. Just yesterday I was lamenting this to myself and I think my subconscious heard me, for last night I had one of those really vivid, erotic dreams that just wake up your entire psyche.

The dream involved a guy I know, who, like me, is happily married. I like this guy and I think he’s cute, even kinda sexy in a wholesome way, but I’ve never had any particular designs on him.

Now onto the dream, if I were to turn it into a work of prose:

We’d been working on our project together quite successfully for awhile. Then suddenly without warning, he stepped closer to me. I found I didn’t mind it. The distance closed, and he leaned to me, and his proximity became not only unusual but obviously significant.

Was he going to touch me?

All at once I realized how much I hoped he would. His face was pleasant, and in his eyes was a look that seemed to be acute affection. My body quickened with like feelings in response, but I wondered how far I should let my emotions go. Then I felt his warmth on my skin and he seemed to have crossed a borderline of nearness that activated all my awareness.

What happened next was amazing. He tipped his head until his nose touched my right temple. Then he traced it over my cheek and down along my jaw line, around and up, and then over my left cheek. Then he turned his face and held stock still, leaving his mouth perhaps an inch from mine.

This gesture changed everything. My universe collapsed to our two close faces, my existence to the memory of that touch lingering softly on my skin, and the all-encompassing temptation of his lips. Two voices chanted in my head. One repeated, “you mustn’t, you mustn’t, you mustn’t.” The other, more confident, urged, “but you will, you will, you will.” Both voices were equally arousing.

The obvious wrongness of a kiss held both of us immobilized, but I could feel his yearning as desperately as my own in the lingering sensation on my cheeks. The offering of his mouth, the anticipation of its softness and warmth, was quickly overwhelming me. I tried to breathe and the breath caught, shuddering. And he heard this, knew its meaning at once, and smiled with joy at the knowledge of my desire for him.

We both knew then that it was only a matter of moments. Furious craving to feel his flesh darted just beneath the skin of my cheeks. I perceived his body as a happy, warm, fragrant presence that must be seized, surrendered to, devoured. My desire overpowered my consciousness: my brain went blind with it, my heart rushed, I couldn’t breathe, I trembled.

I kissed him. He met me with wild hunger, his mouth as eager as it was soft. My trembling increased, then seemed to break like a wave. His kiss carried me like the surf, and I drowned in it, lost myself in it. It was surcease of yearning, so sweet, so lovely. And in that moment I felt like I must love him.

Thanks, subconscious.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Orlando Bloom: Hot is Not Enough

First of all, this entry is not meant to distress the many fans of Orlando Bloom, nor to in any way disparage his talents. Personally, I think he’s one of the most physically attractive actors to come along in the last five years. I can’t imagine anyone better suited to play the role of Legolas the elfin archer in “Lord of the Rings.” However, I can’t help but feel that some of his films have served to illustrate the principle that for women--if I may be so bold as to speak for them--looking hot is not really enough. Even as hot as Orlando Bloom.

First case in point is “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Recognizing the need to utilize an up-and-coming heartthrob for the role of romantic lead Will Turner, the filmmakers cast Orlando. And going in, it worked for me: one of the reasons I wanted to see the movie was to enjoy that beautiful face on the screen. However, it turned out it was Johnny Depp’s performance as the drunken ne’er-do-well Jack Sparrow that stole the show. Not only that, but Johnny suddenly became the hot-guy-du-jour. I’ll bet more than a few men found this puzzling. Me, I found Jack Sparrow so sexy I not only put him up on my computer wallpaper for awhile, but I dressed as a pirate that Halloween. Yeah, I’m weird that way.

Sometimes the things women find sexy even they can’t explain. I loved Jack’s eyeliner and quirky manner of dress. And of course he was damn funny. I suppose part of it was that he was clever and resourceful with a little ironic bungling thrown in for fun. And of course he was dashing and dangerous in a really bizarre sort of way. Anyway there was a whole lot more there to get excited about than you found in the blandly heroic Will, no matter how hot he looked when swashbuckling.

Things went even more awry in “Troy.” Again, Orlando looked great in his ancient Trojan togs, but the appeal stopped there when his character Paris turned out to be so self-centered and whiny. Movie fans know all about this sad turn in Orlando’s career so I won’t dwell on it any further.

My most recent foray into attempting to enjoy Orlando Bloom was this past weekend when we rented “Kingdom of Heaven.” Orlando’s physical appearance in this film was superb: the dark hair and short beard is a very flattering look for him. I don’t want to put any spoilers in here, so suffice it to say that unfortunately his character was ultimately undone by an unfortunate plot development. He makes a choice that to me made him seem selfish, unmoved by his own responsibility for tragedy, and eager to take glory when he actually incurred disaster. I was no longer attracted to him; in fact, I thought him quite off-putting.

Orlando’s performance cannot be blamed--he had to say the lines written for him. But this was the third time I watched a man with staggeringly good looks give a performance that pretty much drained him of sex appeal. That’s probably a bit extreme, but die-hard fans of the man have to be a little disappointed too.

What a waste of a pretty face, huh? Now if this guy could ever get to play a role that was strong, interesting, funny, dangerous, or truly heroic, it would be really something. It would be like, well, Legolas, only a bigger part. Maybe he has had such a role in some film I missed seeing, and I hope so. But I’m actually at the point when he doesn’t even look that hot to me anymore, and that’s unfortunate. Because whereas guys will pay to see Jessica Alba play any role, women don’t work quite that way. To get to us, the protagonist can’t simply be beautiful, he has to be able to shoot arrows with deadly accuracy while scaling a giant elephant.

Now that’s hot.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Seven Tips for a Little Erotic Boost

Everyone could use a little sexual boost now and again, and sometimes it takes a bit of effort. So I compiled this list of a few ideas for simple ways to get a little erotic thrill (other than the obvious manual way, LOL) that I hope will inspire you.
  1. Review your photo collection. C'mon, just about anyone with a computer has a few photos saved up on his/her hard drive. Have yourself a little electronic beauty contest and pick out who is your favorite on this particular day. The winning photo gets to be posted as your wallpaper (assuming it's PG rated or you have no young children about, of course).
  2. Pick the sexiest song on your iPod or CD rack. If you have some time to kill and want a really fun erotic project, make a compilation CD of hot music. But for something quicker, pick out one excellent song, turn out the lights, and listen to it with headphones. Sting's "Every Breath You Take" still works for me.
  3. Have an imaginary date. Ask yourself these questions: Who would I most want to go out with tonight, living or dead or imaginary? What would be the most sensual possible setting? How would he or she convince me to make love? And what about it would be the really, really wonderful part? By way of illustration, here's my answers for tonight: Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. A beautifully furnished room with a balcony overlooking a tropical sunset. He'd give me a few of those brooding looks of longing. Getting to stare at that face after he fell asleep.
  4. Try to locate your most unexpected erogenous zone. This one requires some serious privacy so you may need to take a long bubble bath. :-) You know where the obvious spots are, but have you ever determined for certain what places work best for you that aren't on the map? Me, I have an amazingly sensitive spine. But the bottoms of my feet are also a contender. Adjunct suggestion: bring your discovery up to your partner some time, as in, "Dear, I discovered recently I have an amazingly sensitive spine. In a good way." A wink may be required to get the message across.
  5. Write an erotic story, poem, or letter about someone you know. Undoubtedly you've got a crush on some friend, co-worker, store clerk, whatever. Put it down on paper, in all its raunchy glory. Then the next time you see the person, think about what you wrote and smile slyly to yourself. It's all in good fun. Important note: erase said document or put a password on it...if it falls into the wrong hands, the erotic effect will definitely decrease, and that will be only one of your problems.
  6. Meditate upon the subject of your own desires. By this I mean, make a little mental list of the things that really move you sexually. What are your own personal unique turn-ons? I, for example, just love the "come here" beckoning fingers gesture. Like the one Vince Vaughn does in the dance sequence near the end of "Old School." All I have to do is picture an attractive man doing that and I just melt. I also like beards, dress shirts with the cuffs rolled up a bit, and deep sonorous voices.
  7. Create a mental highlight reel. When's the last time you reviewed your own erotic memories? Your brain is full of fun sexy anecdotes, so flip through the scrapbook. What was the first time you felt a flicker of desire for someone of the opposite sex? How did you feel about your first celebrity crush? What was that song that always reminded you of that really hot guy in college? What thing was done to you by a lover that made you the most wild? When did you feel the most sexy and attractive to someone else? What secret and clandestine moment have you never shared with anyone but the other person who shared it with you?

The key to all this, of course, is the key to all things erotic: imagination. You'll be amazed how a few strokes to that particular organ can work even better than--well, you know.

Have fun!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Joys of the Three-Way

Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, I guess this essay is technically more about the Love Triangle. Either way, it was inspired by a wallpaper created by my daughter featuring the triangle from ABC’s hit show “Lost”: Kate, Sawyer and Jack. Either way, you have a lovely woman we all wish we were, pursued by two really attractive guys.

Everyone knows how guys love the idea of being with two women at once, and my husband explained to me long ago that the reason for this is very simple: there’s twice as many women present, and the more the better. I theorize that for a woman, the appeal of being with two guys is much more subtle and interesting. I’ll take a shot at explaining it—sounds like fun!

You can pick up some cues from the expressions of the characters on my daughter’s Lost wallpaper. There’s a whole array of emotions going on, and all of them are elemental to certain aspects of effective sexual fantasy. First of all, the men are going head to head for the affections of the woman. The competition heightens their masculinity because it provokes aggression. This is as primordial as two bulls butting heads to the death for the prize of the female. Lots of sexy glaring—very nice.

But humans are not bulls, and the matter is complicated all the more by the mix of emotions in the woman. First of all, when she surrenders to the one, she is in effect betraying the other, giving the act a clandestine feeling that is always titillating. The mere fact that even while she is with the one, she may be thinking of the other, enhances that delicious feeling of guilt. Secondly, knowing that the one she is not with is hurt by her neglect, she feels compassion for him. He is vulnerable, and every woman knows how sexy that is.

Meanwhile, the great thing about the triangle is that it exploits the delights of the forbidden so wonderfully. Because there are two relationships going on, both of them are technically illicit. If you think one piece of forbidden fruit is alluring, imagine the thrill of having two.

And of course, the best possible triangle is like this one, in that it involves a “good” man and a “bad” one. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. When a woman has the option of being with a good man and nevertheless goes for the bad one, the bad one must have something really sexy going for him, or so it feels. And when she goes for the good one, and the bad one suffers, it proves he really does care for her and therefore isn’t so bad after all. There’s nothing so exhilarating as getting to a guy who pretends to be unmovable.

All this reminds me of a fantasy I had in bed for many nights running almost 25 years ago. In it I was the consort of a mad but sexy Roman emperor, and meanwhile fell in love with a good, noble centurion in his army. The centurion was an honorable man who would never think of betraying his emperor...until I came along and was more than he could resist. He treated me well and therefore was quite wonderful to be with. On the other hand the emperor was a twisted, depraved fellow (in a really sexy way) whose one redeeming quality was that it was my love alone that kept him sane. I was too addicted to his kinky charms and to his need to leave him for the centurion.

This triangle was so good, it was no wonder I kept the plot going in my head for nights on end. I guess maybe I need to write it down, hey? Anyway, it just goes to show you, like my daughter’s wallpaper, that nothing makes for an effective aphrodisiac like a nice, emotionally complicated love triangle.

Personally, I think Kate should pick Sawyer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rick Springfield’s Amazing Sexual Time Machine

I first fell for Rick Springfield when I saw commercials during “General Hospital” for his song “Jessie’s Girl.” Yes, that was way back in 1984. At the time I, a born and bred city girl, was living out in the middle of Iowa farm country, and I took tremendous comfort in the unapologetically raw sex appeal of Rick.

I read this morning that Rick will shortly be reprising his role on “General Hospital” as Dr. Noah Drake, after a 20 year hiatus. Isn’t that just swell? The promo shots of him for the occasion of the announcement are stunning. I wonder if the man sold his soul to the devil at some point or what.

Now I think Rick is a fine songwriter, guitarist and singer, but where he excels is in putting his sexuality out there for the audience to feast upon. That has always been his forte. Back when I was trapped on the farm (sorry, I’m just a city girl), feeling lonely and powerless and cut off from life, I grabbed onto Rick like a lifeline of libido. Desiring him brought fire and joy back into my days. If that’s not a testimony to the invigorating power of sex, I don’t know what is.

A couple of years ago I took my daughters, who were 1 and 4 back in 1984, to see Rick perform live. It was the day after his 50th birthday, and he looked like a god. He didn’t act for one moment like he was anything less than a vital, irresistible, completely cocky love god. I was 47 at the time so you can imagine that once again, the man gave me comfort. You can be over 40 and still damn sexy. Our two generations agreed whole-heartedly on that point.

So I think Mr. Springfield really deserves his amazing longevity. I was never a big fan of “GH,” it just came on after my soap, ”All My Children.” I really left the TV on basically in case Dr. Drake made an appearance, or especially to see if they would run the “Jessie’s Girl” commercial. But I may just DVR the show in December for old times’ sake. Rick in a lab coat always was hotter than hell, and it seems every few years I find a reason to revive my lusting for him. I guess it’s just a good way to celebrate being alive.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Why Joss Whedon is Sexy

I’m currently obsessing on the film “Serenity,” based upon Joss Whedon’s short-lived but awesome sci-fi TV series “Firefly.” But you may be a fan of Buffy and/or Angel, Joss’s more long-running creations. Joss seems to have a knack for creating characters that inspire cult-like followings, and in the case of “Firefly,” those fans were so passionate they may be the main reason “Serenity” ever got made.

I loved Buffy, skipped Angel, but was finally turned into a Whedonphile for good and all by the fabulous character development in “Firefly.” I was crazy about half the characters after one episode, and the other half after two. This is almost impossible to achieve in television. I believe only seven episodes of the show aired and yet in that time Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew became so vivid to me that the cancellation made me genuinely grieve.

But enough about TV shows, what’s this I’m saying about Joss being sexy? Well, he’s another example, like composer John Williams, of a man whose mind is so marvelously creative, ingenious, and inventive that he could be short an eye and have an extra arm and still be hot to me. Listen to him do the director’s commentary on a DVD and you will marvel that he is so brilliant and yet so adept at making that brilliance effective to the average person. And he’s damn hilarious too (the #1 sexiest trait in men).

The sometimes gentle, sometimes cold, always quirky Captain Mal came from Joss’s brain. As did the childlike, witty, preternaturally skillful pilot Wash (my favorite character). As did chilling villains like The Operative. And amazing women like Zoe, Kaylee and River, not to mention Buffy herself before them. With swift strokes, never wasting a word, Joss creates characters so three-dimensional, so complex, so engaging, that they become vital in record time.

I’m not sure what could be sexier than that. On a small scale, a guy like this is like God. He invents worlds the soul longs to inhabit, and creates people the heart burns to know. Sure, I’ll give credit too to the wonderful acting of his cast members, and the skill of set designers, special effects people, composers, camerapersons, etc. for superb execution. But behind it all is the dazzlingly creative mind of one man.

Perhaps I admire him most because he excels at the very thing I myself strive to achieve: making characters. It is an art form I understand, a craft I myself have experience with. Because I so well appreciate the process, I go breathless thinking about Joss’s achievements. It’s intense, it’s inspiring, it has overcome me completely once or twice. Sounds pretty sexual to me.

[And if you haven’t read between the lines yet, I’m suggesting you see “Serenity.” It puts an awful lot of science fiction and action movies to shame.]

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Your Personal Sex God: On Sex and Self-Worth

Serious topic today—and one that could merit a whole book really.

I’m sure just about everyone knows what it’s like to have someone in your life that does two things:

1) When he or she shows you attention or affection, you feel higher than a kite;
2) But most of the time he or she just makes you feel hopelessly bad about yourself.

Rock singer Matthew Sweet wrote about this in his hit song “Sick of Myself” back in the 90’s:

You don’t know how you move me, deconstruct me and consume meI’m all used up, I’m out of luck, I am starstruckBy something in your eyes that is keeping my hope aliveBut I’m sick of myself when I look at you…

Personal happiness is very largely rooted in self-worth. If you truly believe you are a good person, with unique gifts and talents, who deserves the respect and love of others, you will probably be pretty content in life. On the other hand, if you aren’t convinced of any of those things, you will go to any lengths, even self-destructive ones, in your efforts to find validation.

There is no one so sexy (or captivating, or important) as the person who holds the power to validate you.

I’m not talking about guys you recognize as attractive, who are handsome or well-built or charming. I mean the special one who can make or break your entire day with a word or a smile. You may know him personally, or he may be a celebrity crush or someone you worship from afar. But the point is, for some reason you may or may not understand, he holds the key to your self-worth.

If he were ever to tell you he loves you, it would be the most heavenly thing ever to happen to you. If he rejected you, you would lose much of your will to live. And if a magic sex fairy granted you one wish to spend the night with anyone on earth, this is the guy you would choose because intimacy with him would transcend all other pleasures.

To you, this particular guy is your personal sex god. His favor is, for you, the way you measure your own desirability. You are driven to please him, and the fact that it is so very difficult to do so only makes it harder for you to escape the test. Meanwhile, if it became any easier you wouldn’t like it—you know that feeling well. It’s the “oh, but if he’s attracted to me, then he can’t be that great after all.” Sound like a painful conundrum? It is! It’s like being addicted to something that doesn’t even feel that good most of the time—just once in a blue moon.

But once in a blue moon it feels really, really good, and that’s why you can’t escape. That and the fact that to abandon your quest to please your sex god would be the ultimate failure. In your mind it’s the only way you have to find out if you’re any good…without this test, you’ll never know. So you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Personal illustration time, first from our Celebrity Crushes file: About 15 years ago I had a really intense crush on Sting. In my mind he was the ultimate combination of artistic talent, spiritual understanding, and sexiness. Obviously he was not personally involved in my life so I could not directly test my appeal to him, but I found myself so devoted to the man that I filled a lot of my day with thoughts of him, photos, music, videos, and so on. The quandary for me came that I felt ashamed of this obsession and feared that I needed to let go of it. Worst of all, I felt like Sting himself would find the intensity of my feelings off-putting if he knew me, and that was the way in which I sensed his “disapproval.” But at the same time, I felt the only way I could be worthy of his approval was to be devoted to him. So I put myself in a no-win situation by engaging in an activity that I felt both proved my worth and my unworthiness at the same time.

How’d I get out of this mess? First of all, by realizing there was nothing wrong with my attraction and it was a very common human experience. And secondly, by realizing my appreciation of certain attributes I saw in Sting really said more about me and my own values and character than it did about the man himself. I admired his physique, so I took up weight training. I was intrigued by his spirituality so I studied Carl Jung, his mentor. I internalized the value I had previously placed in Sting. I found my own self-worth internally.

Secondly, from the Personal Acquaintance file: A few years back I befriended a man who was cute, funny, charming and interesting. His greatest appeal was the fact that he seemed to have feelings for me too, and I was the one person he opened up to about his most private thoughts. He was also a moody guy, with an unpredictable temper, who by nature tended to keep aloof from others. So he drew me in by suggesting he was an almost impossibly hard nut to crack, and I alone stood a chance of success. And then he rebuffed me by fighting my every attempt at closeness.

He became the ultimate test—my personal sex god. He could make me ecstatic or devastate my ego by the smallest gestures. My daily happiness hinged upon him, and although he was a pretty regular looking guy, in my mind there was no sexier person on the whole planet. Such is the nature of this phenomenon. It was an addition of sorts, an addition to something that feels bad the vast majority of the time.

How’d I get out of this mess? One day I realized this guy was pretty f’ed up himself, riddled with flaws, and possibly the least deserving person to be the judge of my self-worth. Meanwhile, it dawned on me that I had way too many talents and too much to offer the world to be letting this man bring me down. My constant feeling that I was failing the test had become too painful to endure any longer—I made the decision that I’d rather quit and fail and risk losing the validation I so desperately wanted, than put myself through another day of that pain. I broke out of the trap.

You’ll note the common cure here: finding validation in yourself. You need to do whatever you can to teach yourself self-approval. You also need to recognize the imperfections in your sex god (even though you really don’t want to see them, of course!). You need to trade adoration in for admiration or respect.

And recognize also that all the wonderful qualities you see in your sex god are simply things that you yourself really treasure. He may or may not truly possess them, but there’s nothing wrong with your imagining he does for the sake of getting to enjoy and appreciate them. Your love of those qualities is part of what defines the particular person you are, so when you admire them, in a way you are admiring something about yourself.

This is, as I mentioned, a topic worthy of a book. Some of these subjects are touched upon in my book Living Beyond Reality: A Jungian Primer for Enhancing Your Life. And I’d be happy to post further if any readers have questions.

In the meantime, I’ll add one final thought in my guise as erotic advisor: If you can free yourself from being enslaved to your sex god, you can still enjoy the benefits of his erotic power (perhaps somewhat diminished but also less pain-provoking). Make him the star of your fantasies, all the while knowing that it is YOU, not him, pulling the strings. It works.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Perfect Body: Sean Maher

Woman are not as visual sexually as men are—we all know that. Personally, I may be one of the least visual. My turn-ons are things like sense of humor, intelligence, voice, and attitude. I’ll take Zack Braff over Brad Pitt any day of the week, and as you recall, I ignored Kelly Monaco’s hunky dance partner Alec in favor of John O’Hurley.

Nevertheless, even a person like me must occasionally take note of the male physique. I recently rewatched the final episode of the cancelled sci-fi series “Firefly” to prepare for the release of its movie sequel “Serenity.” In this particular episode, viewers are treated to Sean Maher, as stowaway Dr. Simon Tam, with his shirt off.

Sean happens to have what is in my particular opinion the perfect body. It’s just genetic. I’m not saying he doesn’t work out to make the best of it: obviously he does. But the man is blessed with flawless proportions. The taper from shoulder to waist could not be more perfect. He’s lean in the right places, and it’s the perfect amount of lean. His carriage displays every feature to its best advantage. He’s a walking dream, really, so faultless he could have been designed by DaVinci.

What makes the scene that much more effective is the complete nonchalance of the circumstance. It’s not a love scene, there are not even any women present, and sex is the furthest thing from Simon’s mind. He has been awakened in the middle of the night by a dangerous intruder bent on kidnapping his sister and possibly murdering the rest of the crew. Simon happens to sleep shirtless, so here he is.

Simon is not in any way engaged with his own physical appeal, and yet the female viewer can hardly think of anything else. To be more accurate, the female viewer’s attention is amusingly split. On the one hand, we watch Simon keep his cool in this horrific situation—we marvel that he can be calm and even witty, and this behavior only increases his appeal. And on the other hand, well, the primordial female brain is simply chanting “God he’s gorgeous, God he’s gorgeous.”

Gorgeous without even thinking about it. Isn’t that a man at his best? Effortless beauty. The tight stomach and narrow hips exude masculinity, the shoulders and arms radiate power, the geometry of the entire assembly is poetically lovely. And all the while that the fellow emanates this glorious beauty, he is quite busy doing something else entirely and doesn’t even notice.

In the director’s commentary on the “Firefly” DVD, creator Joss Whedon makes an offhand comment about how he wrote Simon shirtless in this scene as a little treat to female viewers, and he’s gotten tons of messages of gratitude on that count. Personally, I believe that in the grand scheme of the universe, Sean Maher has a solemn duty to share himself in this way as much as polite society permits. God bless him.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Help, I’m Attracted to a Cartoon!

“Remember the line from “Wayne’s World” when Garth asks Wayne if he was ever attracted to Bugs Bunny when he dressed up like a girl bunny? Not something you would want to readily admit: finding sexy a cartoon version of another species indulging in cross-dressing.

But I think we have all been attracted to cartoons now and again, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Cartoons are fantasies, and for that reason sometimes have a better shot at capturing erotic appeal even better than reality.

I remember the first time I saw Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” when at the end the Beast is transformed into his original human form. I was absolutely stunned at the splendor of the man. It was love at first sight...what a shame it was such a bit part! Gorgeous eyes, beautiful hair—really impossible good looks on the plane of reality.

Actually, a cartoon guy even doesn’t have to be really hot looking to be sexy. I’m pretty attracted to “Mr. Opportunity,” the spokes-cartoon for Honda. Ironically, I think the allure is his voice. Maybe the fact that that cute voice isn’t coming out of a flesh-and-blood human just draws attention to it. The cartoon image itself is like a charming mask at a masquerade party: just makes you want to know more about the owner of the voice behind it.

My latest cartoon flame is the male lead in Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise comic, David Qin. He is sweet, exotic, vulnerable, dangerous—in short, irresistible. Obviously it’s the storytelling itself that gives David his true charm, but he is drawn pretty sexily too: the Asian good looks, the great hair, the hauntingly tortured expressions.

I think perhaps it is the minimalist style of comic book illustration (Alex Ross’s Norman Rockwell-esque art notwithstanding) that lends itself well to erotic fantasy. David Qin is drawn to have just enough detail to suggest how he looks, and the imagination fills in the rest. This phenomenon can result in an even more alluring appearance than photorealism would. David in ink evokes thoughts of exotic eyes, silky black hair, a posterior that jeans fit well, the grace of an Asian martial artist. All of it springs from the imagination, perfect for my own particular desires.

So if you’ve ever been smitten with a cartoon, be ye not troubled. We’ve all been there. And you can’t be any worse than my elder daughter, who in her youth had a mad crush on Danger Mouse.

Any nominees for hot animated characters? If so, please post!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Celebrity Fantasies Can Be Good for You!

“Erotica with Soul” reader Erica wrote (concerning blog entry “The Big Love Scene”):

Diana, this is an interesting post. While I'm not a professional writer (like you) by any means, I have been working on a fan-fiction type story in which I meet up with (you guessed it) Hayden himself. I have only finished chapter one, but I am currently working on chapter two (the part where it something lustful happens)…Writing about the big love scene, while I'm sure not as good as actually encountering it with Hayden, is rewarding, just as you said, and yes I do feel a little bit like those Weird Science guys at this point. Not a bad feeling, but still...

I have a ton to say on this topic. Fan fiction writing as a hobby has really taken off in recent years, and a lot of it is erotic. Some people may think it somehow dysfunctional for people to fantasize and even write about such encounters with celebrities, and think it a form of stalking or something. But I’m here to say I think it can be the most natural and spiritually beneficial thing in the world.

First of all, keep in mind that there are deep-seated psychological reasons why you are drawn to a particular celebrity—and to be accurate, it’s usually not the celebrity at all, but a character or characters he has portrayed. In this case, Erica and I share an admiration for Hayden Christensen’s character Anakin/Darth Vader. He is the classic tortured-soul-who-turns-to-evil. He works both as a “bad boy” and as a “guy in need of redemption by the love of a good woman.”

If you are drawn to this archetype, it is because your soul feels some fascination with it. Contemplating the archetype fulfills a need for you, makes you more content and peaceful. Seeking union with the archetype by sexual fantasy is simply the most extreme way of doing this.

That’s why it’s so fun and so satisfying to do. Neither Erica nor I have designs upon Hayden himself—we will not be emailing him, camping on his lawn, or boiling his pet rabbit. We recognize that it is not precisely him that is the object of desire. But at the same time, indulging the fantasies is very rewarding and satisfying to the soul.

I will confess something here that my readers may find interesting. One of the stories in Soulful Sex Volume II, entitled “Je t’adore, Etienne,” was actually cobbled together from a couple of lengthy private fantasies I wrote for myself about a certain hockey player. I of course had no designs upon the man himself (unlike Etienne in the story, he is a happily married family man), but my admiration of him was the inspiration. (Yes, I do pray he never reads this and makes the connection—it is of course highly unlikely!!) At any rate, I was concerned because of the origins of the story that the writing might not be up to par with the other stories in the collection.

Much to my surprise, several reviewers and readers have found this story to be their favorite. A reviewer for The Romance Studio wrote, “This story is told so sensually and skillfully I found myself totally entranced and would highly recommend this book for this story alone. It’s a rare gem of erotic romance…it seems far more personal than any romantic story I have read in a long while.” All I could conclude was that my personal feelings about the subject matter shown through the tale and gave it particular power. Pretty amazing.

So I encourage Erica and other readers to by all means indulge your mind and/or keyboard to create such fantasies. As long as you understand the phenomenon, it is a perfectly healthy activity.

For more information on this topic I would recommend my self-help book (written as Diane Lau) Living Beyond Reality: A Jungian Primer for Enhancing Your Life. There’s a great deal of material in it on the meaning of celebrity “obsessions” and how to integrate them into your imaginative life. Visit the Living Beyond Reality Press website page for more info.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Big Love Scene

As I write this, I have reached the spot in my latest story when the big sex scene is about to unfold. Other erotic romance writers will be familiar with this moment, and readers may find it interesting. Writing the Big Love Scene is, at least for me, a whole nother experience from writing the rest of the narration.

The rest of the narration is plot, description, and dialogue. The plot is just a matter of creative planning and getting from point A to point B. Honestly, it takes more discipline than anything else. The description requires a bit more imagination but it isn’t bad. The dialogue is a joy because it’s typically just the process of writing down what the characters have to say.

But the sex is different. You have to have your imagination cranked all the way to eleven, because sex never writes itself. The plot to sex is pretty much a variation on a half dozen possibilities. The description tends to be clichéd. And usually there isn’t much dialogue. So if you want to get words on paper, words that will actually move the reader, you have to have a sexual experience in your head that is worth telling about. A real sexual experience.

I’m a terrible actor but I can relate a bit to those who use method acting because that’s what an author must do for the Big Love Scene. I have to become the heroine. And by the time I let the hero have his way with me, I have to know him well enough and feel strongly enough for him that I can’t resist him. (Now you know why it usually takes awhile to get to my sex scenes!) This guy has to be vivid in my mind: his appearance, his unique charms, the feel and scent and sound of him. And he can’t make love to me in some commonplace way; there has to be something notable about it.

Once all this is achieved, the nudity and touching can finally get underway, and hopefully something lustful ensues. Okay, it always does, but only because the preparations were carefully made. And then it’s time to make an attempt to actually record this imaginary encounter, in language potent enough to convey it successfully to the reader.

I wouldn’t go through the bother of this work if it weren’t so fun. But of course it’s one of the most fun things ever, especially after the writing is over and I can read the passage as often as I like. Really, what’s not to like about having perfect, consequence-free sexual encounters with men I created myself? Reminds me of the guys who made the female robot in “Weird Science,” only the supplies required are much cheaper.

So I don’t mean to whine. But I need to stop stalling and write this scene. Raniwa (that’s his name—plan to buy Soulful Sex III if you’re curious) is waiting…and although he has infinite patience, Rebekkah doesn’t. I wouldn’t either if I were her.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Please Make Me Want to Do What I Don’t Want to Do

I just finished watching the 2002 mini series version of “Dr. Zhivago.” It's a tragic story on both personal and socio-political levels, a serious film indeed. But for this blog entry I am focusing on one small aspect, a trivial one, so bear with me for setting aside the more important themes of the film.

My subject today is particularly Sam Neill as the evil but sexy Victor, who corrupts young Lara years before she falls for the good and noble Doctor.

It’s not easy to pull off a role in which you must evoke two opposing reactions from the audience at once. Sam Neill must make us feel repugnance (“he’s old enough to be her father, and such a terrible man—she should rebuff him!”) and attraction (“but wouldn’t it be fun if she gave in—after all, he’s really attractive in a deliciously evil sort of way”) simultaneously.

I have been haunted by the image of Keira Knightly’s Lara in Victor’s clutches, her expression alternating between despair and bliss. I can just imagine what he is doing to her below the line of the camera’s vision. And when she begs him to leave her alone, only to capitulate under his kiss, a person has to marvel at the potency of his charms.

I just love the “Please Make Me Want to Do What I Don’t Want to Do” Phenomenon. In this case, I imagine myself as this young girl who wants to be a good, pure person, to be with a noble young man of character. But my curiosity leads me to yield to the rich, powerful, sexy older man, just to find out what he would be like. Unfortunately for me, he happens to be an experienced master of the arts of pleasure. And even more unfortunately, I realize my involvement with him will cost me heavily: after all, he is a bad man, and what I’m doing is a scandal. So I’ve put myself in the position where I don’t want to do the very thing he makes me want to do…and that makes it twice as hard to resist.

Why? Because there if pleasure is so intense that it overcomes all our better judgment, it must be very potent indeed. The very act of giving in convinces us of this fact. The more we want to stop doing it, the greater kick there is in giving in.

Nowadays everyone understands the importance of the concept “no means no.” But when you’re talking about fantasy, I have to hark back to that old clichéd line of dialog, “Your lips say no, but your eyes say yes.” We have to admire the villain who is so confident of his sexual prowess that he sees through the rejection and recognizes the secret lust. It’s hard not to hope he won’t “press the point” so we can experience that wonderful moment when hands stop pushing away and start groping and caressing.

Just some light and trivial thoughts in the midst of the Bolshevik Revolution...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Secrets at Work: A Real Life Adventure

The poem that follows was inspired by a real life adventure. I recently struck up an email correspondence with a guy who works for my employer in another department. We had never actually had occasion to interact at work. One day he sent an email company-wide, which revealed that outside of his rather mundane day job, he is in a rock band, and also does graphic and web design. I had never suspected such marvels of this guy, and thereafter he and I began emailing. Likewise, of course he had never guessed one of his co-workers wrote erotic romance.

We two are classic examples of people who look ordinary but in reality are not.

Our correspondence so far has led us down some interesting paths of mutual discovery, not the least of which is that he very kindly shared with me a sample of his own erotic writing after having read samples of my own. The little tale was lovely, and delightful, and soul-brightening. I read the piece in the morning and then went to work, where of course both of us went about our business not even having opportunity to converse.

It is a very strange thing to have swapped such creative intimacies with someone and then spent a day in which both parties must carry on with the mundanities of life, disguised as ordinary people. It made me wonder what mysteries go on every day, in the lives of people everywhere, beneath the façade.

Beneath the Façade

It’s 8:04 a.m. and I punch in,
Check out your desk, but you’re not to be seen.
I fetch my coffee, read my email, meet with my boss;
And meanwhile I know you do your own Monday.

But all the while my soul is far away,
In that world your words fashioned,
The room of your imagination where lovers meet,
And tentatively touch, then surrender to desire.

I know it’s not real because I alone see it,
Although it seems more substantial than this office.
Not real—and yet, are you and I not true magic,
Even though no one else suspects?

I swap news with my co-workers,
Talk about movies and home projects;
I settle down to write a report,
So professional in reading glasses and tasteful skirt.

No one can tell that I am haunted
By the thoughts of another dreamer,
His secret longings, his trembling heart,
His kiss, his bliss as he takes love in his arms.

Nor I suppose do those who look upon you
Guess that your thoughts might be so bright.
As your fingers work you must seem just a man,
And no one sees the light, the music, the fire...

Except me,
Several walls beyond you in this building of brick,
But all the while cohabiting with you
Beneath the façade.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

"More Emotionally Sexy Than Erotic"

My book Soulful Sex just received it’s first really big time review. It got 4 stars from Romantic Times BOOKclub, which is quite a thrill for a new romance author. But I’m not here to brag; rather I want to comment on the reviewer’s interesting observation that the stories in my book are “more emotionally sexy than erotic.”

I’m not taking issue with her at all. I’ve known all along that my books are not “typical erotica” which is why I’ve always referred to it as “erotica with soul.” So it came as no surprise that she started off her review by making a distinction. What I found interesting was the distinction she made.

I suppose the statement means that my stories stimulate the libido via the emotions, and frankly, I feel that’s the only “genuine” way an author can do it. Sure, it’s possible to arouse a reader simply by inspiring his or her imagination to conjure up sexual images. That works, at least for a lot of people. But some people don’t enjoy erotica simply because that doesn’t work for them.

However, these same people can get horny as heck from a scene that doesn’t even employ nudity. For example, to lots of us, vampires are big turn on, but they seldom feed undressed, true?

I won’t differ with my very kind reviewer concerning the statement that my stories are “emotionally sexy.” I’m thrilled she thought so. But I don’t think she really meant to say they aren’t “erotic.” Isn’t sexy, any kind of sexy, erotic by definition? I believe rather that the reviewer was trying to say, “Don’t expect the typical words and scenarios you find in erotica in this book.” And that is definitely something worth saying and completely true.

The problem is not with this reviewer, but rather with the narrow view some people have today of “erotic.” If you’ve poked around my blog at all, you know how broadly I define it.

If specific words are required to arouse you, in a more or less Pavlovian fashion, then you’d be wasting your money on my books. But if you want your emotions provoked in such a manner that you end up lusty, you might well enjoy them.

“Emotionally sexy.” I kind of like that.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Face Time

Here’s what I’m up to these days: bringing the characters I’ve invented in my erotic romance stories to life!

Well, okay--not literally. But I’m using a software program called FaceGen to create portraits of all the lead characters in my stories. That’s a list of 47 people at the moment, so it will take awhile. But it’s a labor of love if ever there was one, particularly creating the portraits for the heroes.

I suppose since my business is dealing in words, I should be content with creating intensely attractive guys verbally. However, the prospect of being able to look all these fellows in their cornflower blue, hauntingly gray, wild green, or infinitely deep brown eyes is awfully exciting.

And using this 3D software adds another haunting element: After you create a face, you can rotate it in space this way and that, make it look right at you, make it form expressions for various preset emotions, and so on. This just makes the experience of bringing a character off the page and into real life that more intense.

My first portrait was of Anders, the vampire hero of my short story “Pints” from Soulful Sex Volume I. He’s a sweet, sensitive guy, but at the same time, he is a vampire. So I created this fair Swede with a boyish face capable of being very good-humored, but caught in a moment when his vampire side shows as well. I find his beauty to be eerie and otherworldly, and intensely sexy. To see that face which until now has been only a misty picture in my mind is amazing. And the heroine Eliza’s obsession with Anders makes even more sense now!

When it comes to sex, I like to think of men as visual and women as much more cerebral. Nevertheless, looking at Anders is arousing, there’s no doubt about it. It makes me wonder, how exactly does that work? Why does turning his head so he meets my eyes give me that shiver? Why did making his nose at precisely that angle appeal to me the most? Why is there such pleasure in the simple act of gazing upon those lips, those eyes, the sum of that face?

I know the science of human behavior has theories to explain answer all these questions, but it’s more fun simply to bask in the mystery.

Anyway, this project is going to be one ton of fun. Authors play god for a living anyway, but I feel like I just got promoted a few clouds higher…

Monday, August 01, 2005

Guys…Wanna Be Sexy?

In my ongoing efforts to make the world a happier, sexier place, I thought I’d pass on a few tips to guys who want to increase their sex appeal (assuming there are a few in that category out there). Here’s a short list of some sure-fire ways to increase your desirability to the average woman, and keep in mind, you don’t need to look like Brad Pitt to pull these off:

1. Play guitar. You get ten points for this if you are actually in a band or play professionally (any instrument counts then, including orchestral bassoon). But even if you only play for your own amusement, it counts big. Note: Simply owning a guitar but not being willing and able to demonstrate your ability does not count. Second note: Playing air guitar could give you a point or two if you do it convincingly.

2. Fix cars or do home improvement. These talents do not simply appeal to women because they could save them money or trouble. They also demonstrate your capability, independence and resourcefulness, all very nice masculine qualities. Ask any woman who used to watch the old NBC show “Ed” how she felt when Ed fixed Carol’s plumbing. There’s a double entredre in there but I’ll ignore it for now.

3. Be good with kids. Whether or not a woman has any interest in having kids of her own, your ability to handle them will still get you points. It proves that if she herself ever chooses to be childlike, whether in terms of neediness or desire to play, you will be able to relate to her.

4. Cook. The preponderance of TV shows featuring chefs is hardly due to the fact that everyone in America wants to learn to cook; as always, it’s all about the sex. Women go crazy for guys who can prepare béchamel or chop scallions really fast. Look, if a guy who looks like Alton Brown can seem hot (and believe me, he does), you can too. This is just another case of seeming capable, and it’s also a very sensual skill. Serve a woman a tasty meal—gourmet or simple—and she respond by salivating (interpret that remark as you will).

5. Be funny. I have always believed and always will: the quickest way to a woman’s heart is her sense of humor. I fell in love with David Steinberg when I was 13, and all he had to his credit was boyish good looks and a great standup routine. But man, that guy was hot. Laughter is pleasure, and something in a woman’s brain makes her think that if you can tickle her funny bone, other delights must certainly follow.

6. Do something exotic. Any unusual quirk about you could be a sexual claim to fame. Stuff in this category includes: speak a foreign language, know how to make stained glass windows, raise orchids, collect fine wines, be able to recite sonnets from memory, be an expert on spelunking, etc. If you are Scottish and own a complete outfit in your clan’s tartan, and wear it to your local Scottish festival and for Halloween, you will get chicks in droves.

7. Be able to dance. If you are actually a good dancer, you’ll get ten points for this. If you are willing to learn ballroom dance, big bonus points. If you are merely a decent dancer but are willing to actually get out on the floor, that will get you more points than you think. Women just like a guy with enough confidence to get out and move, regardless of style.

8. Pick something the Fab Five would recommend. It’s a cliché to point out the irony of the sex appeal gay men have, but let me just mention that the topic is worth your consideration. No one’s asking you to become a dyed-in-the-wool metrosexual, and a lot of women, myself included, like guys who drink beer and enjoy sports. But you really will get some points if you dress decently, get a quality haircut, and decorate your space with a bit of style.

9. Understand women’s sexuality. Once you get beyond the superficial and into the realm of intimacy, it will behoove you to have a good grasp on what makes women tick, sigh and swoon. There are plenty of resources out there, so avail yourself. Your knowledge of how to please a woman in bed (or even just on the front porch) will well be worth the effort.

10. Love her. Incurable romantic that I am, I can’t limit myself to just the stuff that will “get you the interview.” If you really want the job long term, nothing is sexier than being the kind of guy who can be sincerely interested, selfless, faithful and devoted. If you merit a zero on this one, she will figure it out before too long. But a ten in this category will cover a multitude of sins. It will definitely get you out of having to take the ballroom dance lessons.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Top 30 Sexiest Movie Villains List

Is there anything more compelling than a sexy villain? Doubtful. I recently saw “Batman Begins” and determined immediately that Cillian Murphy’s performance as Scarecrow was a sexy villain for the ages. Thus inspired, I contrived to determine my top 30 hot movie villains. Mad props to the four gentlemen who made the list more than once. Some guys just have a knack for being bad (Messrs. Rickman and Isaacs, this means you!)

  • Yul Brynner as Ramses, “The Ten Commandments” (1956)
  • Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, “Psycho” (1960)
  • Malcolm McDowell as Alex, “A Clockwork Orange’ (1971)
  • Malcolm McDowell as Caligula, “Caligula” (1979)
  • Frank Langella as Dracula, “Dracula” (1979)
  • Sam Neill as Damien Thorn, “Omen III: The Final Conflict” (1981)
  • Sting as Martin Taylor, “Brimstone and Treacle” (1982)
  • Sting as Feyd-Rautha, “Dune” (1984)
  • Davie Bowie as Jareth, “Labyrinth” (1986)
  • Kiefer Sutherland as David, “The Lost Boys” (1987)
  • Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, “Die Hard” (1988)
  • John Malkovich as Valmont, “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988)
  • Colin Firth as Valmont, “Valmont” (1989)
  • Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham, “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” (1991)
  • Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lechter, “Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
  • Tom Cruise as Lestat de Lioncourt, “Interview with the Vampire” (1994)
  • Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith, “The Matrix” (1999)
  • Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade, “Quills” (2000)
  • Jason Isaacs as Colonel Tavington, “The Patriot” (2000)
  • Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus, “Gladiator” (2000)
  • Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, “American Psycho” (2000)
  • Alan Rickman as Professor Snape, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001)
  • Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)
  • Guy Pearce as Fernand Mondego, “The Count of Monte Cristo” (2002)
  • Tom Hardy as Shinzon, “Star Trek Nemesis” (2002)
  • Ralph Fiennes as Francis Dolarhyde, “Red Dragon” (2002)
  • Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook, “Peter Pan” (2003)
  • Gerard Butler as the Phantom, “The Phantom of the Opera” (2004)
  • Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, “Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith” (2005)
  • Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow, “Batman Begins” (2005)

For more fun with villains, I recommend

Anyone I left off? Feel free to post!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Summer Lovin'

Ah, there's nothing like summer for an adolescent crush, don't you think?

I just returned from a weekend of camping: lying on the glorious shore of Lake Michigan by day, drinking and dining and gazing into the fire by night. The weather was perfect: low humidity, cloudless sky, warm sun and cool breeze. At night the nearly new moon set early, leaving behind a sky so studded with stars that I was able to reacquaint myself with the Milky Way, last seen in my childhood before light pollution was invented.

In short, the perfect circumstances for being in love.

I am almost 49 but conditions like these can turn anybody 16 again. So as I lay on my beach towel listening to the waves, I indulged my latest crush with great relish. I haven't been infatuated for quite awhile. But by fortuitous timing, I have just fallen hard and fast for John O'Hurley, lately of J. Peterman fame and more recently the heartthrob of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

One can never predict where and when Cupid will strike. As I recently posted, John is not the most likely candidate for hunk status...but he has that je ne sais quoi that I (and millions of others, apparently) personally found very winning. And for reasons the heart alone knows, I am at present utterly smitten.

And what can compare with being smitten in summer? It is the most young, fresh, inspiring kind of erotic feeling. My imaginary dance partner Mr. O'Hurley makes me giddy, graceful, entranced, lovely, out of control, tenderhearted, playful, transcendent. I shed twenty years when I think of him. Sorrow and trouble are forgotten and happy wonder takes their place. Everything feels softer, tastes sweeter, has a lilt. My rose colored sunglasses are on, there's a smile on my face for the whole human race...

...why, it's almost like being in love. (Thank you, Lerner and Loewe.)

Of course I do not personally know this man. His wife seems lovely and I hope their marriage is a delight. I don't even have a desire to actually dance with him...I'm sure I would be too overwhelmed to enjoy it! But in my mind he represents something I cannot help but love and which cannot help but make me wild with romance.

Add to that a little sun, a little sand, the smell of Coppertone and the calling of seagulls...


Monday, June 27, 2005

I Heart Techies

The other day my husband David and I saw one of those commercials for the “Geek Squad,” IT pros who work for Best Buy and travel around in black, white and orange VW beetles. “Why can’t the Geek Squad show up at our door?” I lamented.

Yes, I came out of the closet years ago as a lover of geeks. I’m not saying taped glasses and pocket protectors are a turn on, but I’m a sucker for all the other clichés. I love guys who play D&D and Half Life 2, collect Star Wars figures, wear software company T-shirts, read Dilbert and Marvel Comics, take Microsoft certification exams, and recite passages from “Lord of the Rings.” I like a guy who is shy and even slightly awkward around a woman he doesn’t know yet, but turns into a technological knight in shining armor when her PC is locked up. When a guy has a huge vocabulary about hardware and has a fabulous theater system at home, it’s hard to resist (if he has any THX-certified components, I’m a goner).

Classic geek characters I’ve found attractive: Mr. Spock, Michael Bolton from “Office Space,” any of Anthony Michael Hall’s characters, Ian Malcolm in “Jurassic Park,” Peter Parker, Clark Kent.

The funny thing is, I seem to be a bit of an oddity. Techie guys don’t guess their irresistibility to me unless hit over the head with it. And my female friends by and large don’t get their appeal. This is baffling to me. I mean, take a look at this list of attributes of the typical tech geek:

He can solve your computer problems for you (that seems to be the one everyone realizes).
He wields that mysterious air anyone possesses who has special know-how.
He makes good money and spends it on cool stuff like big TVs.
He’s imaginative—sure, he likes Seven-of-Nine’s catsuit, but the concept of the Borg intrigues him just as much.
He’s smart and therefore articulate and interesting.
He’s capable—all that troubleshooting develops some great problem-solving skills.

Face it, if we were to apply classic archetypes to the techie, he’d be a cross between a knight and a wizard. Sort of Sir Lancelot and Merlin rolled into one. Is that not a romantic hero for you? What’s not to like?

I recently had to upgrade my computer. I’m quite PC-savvy but don’t keep up on technological developments at all, so I couldn’t begin to guess what processor I should get, what video card, what size hard drive, etc. “Would you like me to spec something out for you?” asked David. In no time he had designed a system right for my needs at the most economical price on the web.

You can bet he got some that evening.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Which Romantic Type Are You?

In my view, there are four basic types of romantics. They are:

Classic Romantics
Modern Romantics
Quirky Romantics
Imaginative Romantics

Now, your sex life won’t necessarily reflect which category you are in (too many extenuating circumstances there), but your fantasy life certainly will. And so I’ve devised a fun quiz that mostly addresses your fantasies and designed to reveal which sort of romantic you are. You can take the quiz on
this page. It’s 15 multiple choice questions, and I think that you’ll find figuring out your answers to be as fun as finding out the results.

Once you’re done, not only will the quiz reveal your Romantic Type, but also give you some input concerning your ideal relationship, recommended books and movies for you, and a suggested ebook by Diana Laurence that you can download for free that should appeal to your specific type.

I hope you’ll have some fun with it, and pass along the URL to your friends as well!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Erotic Maturity: That J. Peterman Guy

The source material for this entry is a summer replacement reality show called “Dancing with the Stars,” which proves you can find erotic inspiration just about anywhere.

On this show, celebrities pair up with professional dancers and compete at ballroom dancing. Among the competitors (and so far, leading in the competition) is John O’Hurley, the actor who portrayed catalog magnate J. Peterman on “Seinfeld.” Personally, I found J. Peterman one of the most charming characters on that show: his elegant diction and quirky adventurousness were an irresistible combination.

It seems that in real life, John O’Hurley is likewise both elegant and quirky, and it’s winning him some hearts. With the possible exception of boxer Evander Holyfield (who get points for going up against people who may not be dancers, but at least are experienced entertainers), Mr. O’Hurley is competing with some beautiful people who are either young or look it. Meanwhile, John has steadfastly refused to dye his silver hair in order to get younger roles, although he is in fact an astonishing 47 years old (a couple months younger than yours truly). In this youth-obsessed society, here is a man who is actually happy to look older than he is, as if that gives him some sort of edge.

And the funny thing is, it does.

John makes no attempt to win hearts by raw sex appeal. Instead he goes for grace, good humor, self-deprecating wit, and poise. Maybe he took a cue from the dancing genre, for neither Fred Astaire nor Gene Kelly and certainly not Donald O’Connor were matinee-idol gorgeous. But by looking good on the dance floor, they seemed capable, masterful, in control, and they were very sexy. And the interesting twist is, the amateur John O’Hurley learned these moves from his professional female partner: in truth, she is the one running the show—he’s just trying to follow directions. But the fact that he does so, and humbly and charmingly too, makes him really impressive.

My daughter and I both agreed that something about John O’Hurley’s presence makes you feel safe and cozy. Part of it is that capability his manner demonstrates, but in addition to that, he uses such old-fashioned methods to win hearts: good manners, pleasant diction, a warm smile, a good joke. There are a lot of guys trying to get chicks via tight pants, intense glares, sexy moves. This one is different: He’s using his maturity, the personal grace he has achieved in life, the practice of tried and true techniques of cordiality, and the genuine good humor that is integral to who he is.

Dress such a man up in tails and teach him the cha-cha and the quick-step, and who can resist?

I’ve written about Constantine Maroulis and Hayden Christensen, so I’m not exactly immune to the charms of handsome young men. But the way a man like John O’Hurley makes me feel is an entirely higher level of appreciation. Watching him and listening to him are sheer pleasure, and you can’t help but want more.

All of his 47 years and every silver hair count in this guy’s favor.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Trey & Matt: The Appeal of Guys with Balls

Like a lot of people, I often use photos of attractive celebrities for my PC wallpaper. Right now my desktop features Trey Parker and the Kim Jong Il marionette from his puppet action picture, “Team America: World Police.” Neither one is exactly Brad Pitt, but I’ll tell you why I have the hots for Trey, while my daughter likewise is smitten with his South Park co-creator, Matt Stone.

We dig these guys basically because they have cohunes.

You’ve heard it said about Trey and Matt (the creators of “South Park” as well as “Team America”), that they offer something to offend everybody. That’s because in a culture obsessed with political correctness, these guys say whatever they want. Nevertheless, they don’t choose to offend for the sake of being offensive, just to get attention or create buzz about themselves. These two actually have beliefs, convictions, dare I say moral fiber. The characters they create and the stories they tell are funny, but there’s always an underlying message they want the world to hear.

And if the world doesn’t want to hear it, tough. Trey Parker and Matt Stone do not fearfully filter what they say so there will be no dangerous repercussions. I can hear them saying, “Repercussions? Fuck yeah!” And don’t think that this is just stupid recklessness. If you listen to them talk about what they do, you realize they are angry. There are people and ideas they truly do hate, and they aren’t afraid to say so.

It’s that courage that my daughter and I really admire. Here are a couple of guys who come right out on a DVD and say, “We hate all actors.” In their puppet movie they spoof some of Hollywood’s biggest names without their permission, even killing off their marionette alteregos in the most gruesome ways. Anyone tired of the Cult of Celebrity in this country, and the immense egos of so many actors, will find this just as cathartic as Matt and Trey do. But think about it: These guys make their living in Hollywood. The entertainment field is their social circle. They made a movie in which the top of Janeane Garafalo’s head is shot off, and there’s a real chance they will run into her in a restaurant this week.

But Parker and Stone honestly seem to feel not the least trepidation about this. They are the “dicks” which “Team America” defines as people whose true calling is to “fuck the pussies,” that is, tell the truth in whatever obnoxious manner they feel like, not cow towing to the tender sensibilities of the PC-obsessed. However, they are not “assholes,” the kind of people who shit on everything and make the world a mess. Their offensiveness is employed for the cause of good, and that’s what makes it a good thing itself.

In the venue of creativity, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are like Rambo or Clint Eastwood. Only this isn’t a movie, it’s real life. The price they pay for straight talking is the loss of favor of some very powerful people, but they value their right to speak over anything else, including success and wealth (which, happily, they have achieved anyway by sheer talent).

My daughter and I find this incredibly hot.

Trey Parker is a man with bright blue eyes and boyish good looks (in some of his films, like “Cannibal the Musical” and “Baseketball,” he is really quite adorable). Even better, he is hilariously funny and has a quite lovely singing voice. Nevertheless, I recognize he’s not quite ready for Entertainment Weekly’s “Hollywood’s Sexiest Men” List. Nor unless you let me vote. In my book he and his friend Matt have earned that status in a real way, by having balls.

So when I sigh over his picture with that Kim Jong Il puppet, I’m sure you understand.