Monday, July 31, 2006

The Man of My Dreams

Doncha love it when I indulge in Personal Confessions? Well, it's been awhile.

There’s this one guy I know who crops up in my dreams with remarkable frequency. I can understand when it happens at times when I've been actually interacting with him or thinking about him, but I really don’t get it when he shows up for no particular reason. This has been going on for some time now and I find it very curious.

These dreams have a recurring theme. They pretty much always boil down to the guy revealing by his actions that he cares for me. There's never anything overtly sexual, rarely anything even so intense as a kiss, but he'll embrace me or hold hands with me or otherwise demonstrate his desire to be physically close and affectionate. This revelation always fills me with joy (and often relief).

This morning's dream was really amazing, because in it I had a dream about this guy (a dream within the dream!) and then told him about it against my better judgment. At first he rolled his eyes and seemed to think it ridiculous, but as the scene went on, we talked and he became more and more warm towards me. Finally he took me in his arms and we held each other, and talked about how good it felt to be so close. Anyway, it was the first time I dreamed about dreaming about him! I guess it's become such a weird phenomenon to me that even my subconscious has taken note.

Well, I have to infer from the frequency of these dreams that my psyche is really curious as to how much this guy actually likes me. It's a question I sometime ask myself consciously, I will admit, but even during periods when I’m not concerned about it at all, the dreams recur. I must ask myself, therefore, what is the big deal here?

On the one hand, there's the obvious theory that it really matters to me how much he cares. I may put the question out of my mind, but my subconscious won't let it go. On the other hand, my psyche may be struggling with subtle hints that he cares more than he'll admit, and the puzzle of this preoccupies my mind like any unsolved mystery, regardless of how much it matters to me.

As for which of these theories is the correct one, I have no idea! He and I have been good friends over the years, but at this point in my life it's not that big a concern to me. I think. And although I admit his behavior often suggests some concealed affection, the mystery of that doesn't seem to be one that tortures me by day. I think. But maybe I'm fooling myself on one or both counts. Who knows?

Or maybe the figure of this guy in my dreams represents something that really has nothing to do with him personally; maybe the figure is only wearing his appearance as a costume. He could merely be the masculine ideal I pursue in my fantasies and in my writing, the animus figure if you will. That's just as possible as the other two theories.

I'm just not sure. Do any of you out there dream about the same fellow over and over? Is the content of the dreams variations on a theme, like mine?

Ah, the mysteries of the subconscious mind....

My Newest Book is Out!

Just wanted to let readers of Erotica with Soul know, my new book Soulful Sex: The Paranormal Collection was just published and is available in pdf and lit ebook formats. The book contains three spicy novellas with paranormal themes; visit my website here for all the details including an excerpt. You can purchase the ebook direct from Living Beyond Reality Press for $3.39 (thats 15% off the $3.99 cover price).

Next up from my keyboard, Soulful Sex: The Science Fiction Collection, to be released late fall of 2006. Then in early 2007 LBR Press will publish The Fantasy Collection, along with the paperback version of all three anthologies.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot Guys on the Discovery Channel: Mike, Grant and Les

In my endless dedication to report on any attractive males I discover in the media, I must inform you of three classic examples I’ve found on the Discovery Channel (giving a whole new meaning to the term “discovery”). Read on and relish....

Mike Rowe: “Dirty Jobs”

As I expressed to my husband, find a guy who is ruggedly handsome, has a great sense of humor, and possesses a voice that would melt butter, and I’m his. This is Mike Rowe. Until last week I was unaware of (a) and (b), knowing Mike only as the narrator of the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch.” One of the best things about that program was listening to Mike narrate about lobster pots, Alaskan storms, and the joys of enduring one of the world’s most dangerous jobs.

Well, then we discovered Mike now hosts the show “Dirty Jobs,” which affords him the chance to look ruggedly handsome while pouring foul water off the decayed corpse of a capybara and the like. This guy is hilarious, especially in the latest commercials for Discovery’s “Shark Week,” in which he dons fake sideburns and mimics the eccentric fisherman Quint from “Jaws.”

Well, it seems in addition to narrating over a thousand hours of TV and appearing on Discovery, QVC, TBS, The History Channel, Fox, PBS, CBS and a Sunday morning real estate show on WJZ in Baltimore, Mike has also sung with the Baltimore Opera and been in dozens of theatrical productions. So he can sing too...sigh. Who can resist a man who can both sing opera and joke while cleaning congealed fat off a chitlin maker?

Grant Imahara: “MythBusters”

For starters, Grant is a real cutie; but what enhances his appeal is that he is one of those brilliant “gadget guys.” Personally, I love gadget guys. In the past I’ve been a fan of both the show “Battlebots,” in which competitors created remote control robots that fought each other like gladiators, and “Junk Yard Wars,” in which teams of gadget guys and gals tried to build working machines from scrap.

Well, Grant has been on both those shows, being the designer and operator of the popular and successful battlebot “Deadblow,” as well as captain of the triumphant Industrial Light and Magic Junk Yard Wars team. What better qualifies you as a Gadget Guy than having ILM on your resume? Grant worked on animatronics and model making for The Matrix sequels, the three Star Wars prequels, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” “Jurassic Park The Lost World” and “Terminator 3.” And attention, fellow geeky women out there: Grant is the official operator of R2D2.

But to be truthful, I discovered him on Discovery, in his role as a member of the Build Team on “MythBusters.” He helps the team construct whatever crazy contraptions and structures the show needs to apply the laws of science to test pop culture myths, such as whether you can escape a bullet by diving under water. Grant likewise serves as a hilariously good natured guinea pig. I could totally relate when he was unwilling to swing all the way over the top of a swingset. Nerdy but cute, self-effacing, funny, and smarter than heck, Grant is the quintessential hot Gadget Guy. And his bio says he performs in a rock band, too. Kill me now.

Les Stroud: “Survivorman”

Les is known as “Survivorman” on the Discovery Channel show of the same name. He trumps the chutzpah of the previous two gentlemen, along with 99% of the male gender, in that his specialty is week-long solo survival expeditions during which he not only must try to stay alive, but handle all the documentary filming himself.

He does both things well. A Canadian who grew up watching “Wild Kingdom” and Jacques Cousteau, Les developed a passion for outdoor adventure. Meanwhile, his initial career was making rock videos. At age 25 he turned back to nature and began studying survival, learned to live in the wild, and served as a wilderness guide. “Survivorman,” along with the several other similar documentaries Les has done, are the perfect vehicle for a filmmaker who knows how to keep warm on an arctic ice shelf.

Guys who can deal with challenge are always captivating, and Les takes this principle to the nth degree. He is smart, ingenious, and skillful. He also possesses mind-boggling endurance, putting up with extreme temperatures, water and food deprivation, and dangerous flora and fauna, all the while managing to lug video equipment around, film breathtakingly, and narrate his plight with patience and good humor. It simply boggles the mind.

How could a guy be more sexy? Well, Les is also a musician. He composed the “Survivorman” theme, has scored his films, and recently released a music CD of his compositions.

They always work music in there somehow, these mercilessly hot men of the Discovery Channel.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Sexual Allure of the Dark Alter Ego

Here’s the back story on this blog entry: Yesterday I was Googling for pirate photos (seeking a model for a portrait), and I made a fascinating discovery concerning the actor Anthony Stewart Head. Most Americans know Tony Head as the man who played Rupert Giles on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the Sunnydale High librarian who served as Buffy’s “watcher.” I was at least savvy enough to know he has a great singing voice, from the episode of the show that was done as a musical. But I didn’t realize Tony has been very active in theater throughout his career, including many lead parts in musicals.

I was thrilled to find he had played both Captain Hook in “Peter Pan” and the Pirate King in “The Pirates of Penzance.” As the character of Giles, Anthony Stewart Head was such a restrained, steady, academic type; by contrast seeing him in these dashing roles was quite impressive. But the even more interesting discovery I made was that he had also portrayed Frank N. Furter in more than one production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

For those not familiar with this character, made most famous by Tim Curry, Frank is a mad scientist from outer space. More importantly, he is a hedonistic transvestite who will and does have sex with males, females, humans and aliens alike. Better minds than mine have tried to account for the rampant sex appeal of such an unlikely character. I tend to think it has to do with the combination of his perfect British diction and his overt sensuality. Frank’s costumes and makeup are designed not so much as convincing drag, but as conveyances of transgender sexual allure. Meanwhile his voice never loses that diction that seems to represent all things restrained and civilized. It’s as if he embodies the fall of the Victorian era.

The sudden sight of the refined, mild-mannered Giles of Buffy fame decked out in a corset, fishnet stockings, eyeliner and lipstick was an even more powerful depiction of that concept.

All of which brings you to me last night, staring at that photo of Tony Head in drag, thinking, “Oh God this photo is hot.” Naturally I had to wonder why.

Let’s see now...while I recognized the sex appeal of Tim Curry as Frank, as far as “Rocky Horror” characters I was much more obsessed with Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff. Meanwhile, I never had a crush on Giles either (I was a Spike girl). Nevertheless, when he spoke I had to savor that British accent, and when he sang in the Buffy musical, I was bowled over by his rich baritone. But at any rate, it wasn’t Frank N. Furter nor Anthony Stewart Head that set me off last night, but Tony Head as Frank N. Furter.


Upon further reflection, I could tell my subconscious was running some little secret scenario in which Giles locked the door of his office in the Sunnydale High School library, slipped out of his tweed jacket with the suede elbow patches and his glasses, and miraculously transformed himself into the Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania. Wow.

Let me clarify at this point that I am not normally turned on by men in drag, nor are most of the people who have obsessed over Tim Curry and other Franks over the years. However, I am apparently turned on by the idea of a repressed British college professor transforming into a sex maniac bent on seducing everything in his path.

This alter ego business is no new trick. Jeckle and Hyde are the most famous literary example of a good guy and his dark side battling it out. Something similar happened to Captain Kirk in an episode on the original “Star Trek.” The upcoming “Spider-man 3” movie will feature the perennially nice superhero transformed into evil (you gotta love that black and silver Spidey suit).

As always, my mentor Carl Jung has an explanation for what is going on with this tendency for alter egos to be so alluring. He believed there is nothing so desirable and attractive to the psyche as those parts of it that are lost by being repressed. We hide away our “evil” or socially unacceptable traits, our dark side if you will, and try to deny it exists. For the most part this is a good thing! But in fantasy we can indulge that dark side, and for the sake of mental health it’s beneficial that we do.

Seeing a person, particularly of the opposite sex, transformed into his own dark side, is powerful stuff. If that dark side has a sexual element (which it nearly always does), the transformation can be erotically alluring in the extreme. This change seems fraught with dangerous, mysterious power. It opens up endless possibilities that were previously unimaginable.

Frank N. Furter’s character is not so much about transsexuality as transformation. He is a guy who completely indulges his dark side and urges others to do the same. To have a refined, civilized champion of good, Giles, become this character without warning really blew me away.

Just thinking about it makes me a little crazy. And isn’t it fun when life throws you something like that?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sexy are the Virtuous: On “Superman Returns”

I’m not the world’s biggest Superman fan, but he is my favorite superhero and I adored the 1978 film by Richard Donner and the Salkinds. (Especially the soundtrack, but I’ve already posted about my worship of John Williams.) So I consider that enough qualification to blog about the new movie, “Superman Returns.” For what it’s worth, I loved it.

I loved it mostly because director Bryan Singer and the scriptwriters were true to the character as interpreted back in 1978 by Christopher Reeve, and newcomer Brandon Routh likewise delivered the same version of the Man of Steel. To me, the unique charm of Superman is that in spite of his near invincibility, he is soft-spoken, gentle, polite, and humble. His physical powers are actually surpassed by his virtuousness. He is flawlessly honest, selfless, and committed to doing right. That is the heart of the character in these films.

A number of comic book heroes have been presented on the screen, especially recently, and they represent a variety of male archetypes. Spider-man is the ordinary kid struggling to master his powers responsibly while sorting out the meaning of his life. Batman is an anti-hero, a sort of bad boy who fights for good, balancing on the line between justice and homicidal mania. Wolverine of the X-Men is a tortured soul whose powers are almost a disease, a tragic figure trying to survive by machismo and a sense of humor.

Each of these characters is very much a flawed human being. Superman, on the other hand, is an alien, offspring of a superior race. He can empathize with humanity, having been raised in the midst of it, but is not truly of it. He is not perfect nor is he a god, but he’s not just a guy with superpowers either. His nature truly transcends this world.

The creation of Superman’s alter ego, the “mild-mannered” reporter Clark Kent, was meant to create contrast. As one scene in “Superman Returns” demonstrates, no one can imagine Clark could be Superman no matter what the resemblance: he is just too bumbling and ordinary. However, it’s interesting to note that when Clark transforms into Superman, he does not change from a self-effacing, quiet fellow into a cocky egomaniac. He is just as sweet and humble as ever, nothing but an all-powerful, overgrown Boy Scout.

Spider-man is sexy in a boyish way, Batman and Wolverine both exude sexiness. But what of this other-worldly Boy Scout? Isn’t he just the quintessential Nice Guy, the one the adage says always finishes last?

I don’t know about you, but I find Superman’s virtuousness extremely sexy. This is a guy you can trust with your life, a guy who will never lie, cheat, betray, and will seldom even disappoint even though he has huge obligations. And he can fly. I loved the reprise of Superman and Lois’s flying scene in the new movie, so like the 1978 one, because to me it tells the whole story. Superman will never drop you, or if he does, he’ll catch you every time. His flight isn’t crazy dangerous, it’s gentle, graceful, magical and peaceful.

This is romance personified.

I recently watched an excellent documentary about Superman in which Margot Kidder discussed the scene in “Superman II” in which she, as Lois, had sex with Superman. Ms. Kidder said she wished that scene hadn’t been in the script, that she “sided with the prudes” on that one. Well, being the kind of erotica writer I am, I couldn’t disagree more. Superman is the embodiment of purity and wholesomeness, just the kind of character I want to see engaging in the sex act with his one true love. When Superman makes love to a woman, it is going to be good love, and by that I mean in the moral sense. It’s a model of what lovemaking in its most sanctified state can be. The filmmakers achieved the mood very effectively, too, showing the angelic sweetness and beauty of the naked Man of Steel and his beloved, sleeping together tenderly in the shelter of the Fortress of Solitude.

I’m attracted to a lot of different sorts of men, a lot of male characters spanning a range of personalities. But I think to me personally, the Superman archetype is the most charismatic. He inspires in me gratitude, trust, inspiration, and yes, arousal. He is, after all, a super man, in many ways the ideal of masculinity, and as a woman I naturally respond to that physically.

The goodness of Superman, especially in the context of the unpleasantness of much of the human race, is awe-inspiring. It is comforting and uplifting. And yes, I must insist, it is also very sexy.