Judge Walker’s ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 was issued this past Wednesday, and I find myself relieved but underwhelmed. What I thought would be a major victory for my son and others like him turns out to be just one of the seemingly innumerable hurdles that must be overcome. I am more frightened and weary than celebratory.
This is in strong contrast to my experience a mere sixteen months ago, when Iowa moved into the ranks of states supporting marriage equality. I was an enthralled participant in local rallies and blogged about it in these pages: http://adrianakraft.com/2009/04/04/proud-to-be-an-iowan/.
The people and organizations that oppose marriage equality seem powerful and hate-driven. The rhetoric is so repulsive to me I can hardly stand to read it. Two days after the ruling, a Republican who lost the primary race for the Iowa gubernatorial nomination announced he would organize to unseat the three Iowa Supreme Court judges who are up for retention in this year’s election. “If the judges can do this to marriage, every one of your freedoms is up for grabs,” he said during a news conference Friday.
So I find myself of like mind with Diane Silver, one of the bloggers over at The Bilerico Project. As she so eloquently puts it, Judge Walker and the lawyers who argued the case for repeal of Prop 8 “can only move the ball down the field. They can’t actually save us. The only people who can save us is us and our straight allies.” There is work to be done.
…so someone at work left it on the table in the lunch room, and when I saw the cover I just had to pick it up and read it: A wedding cake with three figurines gracing its top – one bride, and two grooms! It was the June/July issue of Psychotherapy Networker, and the lead article bore the title “The New Monogamy.” I’ve posted the cover – you can catch the article HERE.
Dr. Tammy Nelson, the article’s author, is a licensed psychotherapist and sexologist whose book, Getting the Sex you Want, is highly recommended. In this article she’s exploring the changing definitions of monogamy and infidelity.
Why would that matter to me as an author of erotic romance? Hubby and I are writing characters caught up in the excitement of the world counselors are just coming to recognize as possibly healthy and valid. Dr. Nelson has talked with a number of couples who confirm they get together with other couples for sex dates. The sample she describes is fairly young – couples whose children are now school age, and who want to “rekindle a youthful sense of adventure, sexual excitement, and desirability” while remaining committed to each other in their primary relationship.
Most of the swinging characters we’re writing are somewhat older – at mid life, their nests are emptying – but their purpose is much the same. We, too, have talked with a number of swinging couples, as part of the research for our Swinging Games series. The individuals we’ve spoken with range in age from mid twenties to just over seventy, though most are over forty. They’ve turned to swinging for a variety of reasons. Often, the female partner (like the lead character we invented for our series) has begun to realize she has bisexual interests, and swinging is a safe way to explore those that both partners can enjoy. Others, including many who remain het in orientation, love the thrill of the chase (and being chased).
The persons we’ve talked with report the same phenomena – they are surprised and gratified by how their mutual sexual adventures enliven and recharge all aspects of their relationship. Feeling desirable, knowing your partner is highly desired, watching your partner give and receive exciting sexual experiences, learning more nuances about giving and receiving pleasure, trying out new ideas and techniques, voyeurism (especially at clubs and parties) and the thrill of more than one pair of hands giving pleasure in threesomes or foursomes are just some of the benefits couples tell us about.
Of course we’re not saying couples should or shouldn’t try out swinging to spice up their relationship – but if you find these fantasies enticing, we do recommend reading together some of the available erotic romance novels centered on swinging. Enjoying an erotic romance together is a safe way to experiment and reap at least a few of the benefits reported by couples we’ve spoken with. Here are some links to get you started:
Swing, an anthology edited by Jolie Du Pre
Swing Pointe by Kissa Starling
The Big 4-Oh by Beth Wylde
Swinging Games by Adriana Kraft
An added bonus – the body jewelry vendor listed below just found me on Twitter and gave me her links. She carries some great Swinging jewelry – all of it non-piercing, not just for nipples:
Nipple Rings from NippleCharms.com
Non Piercing Body Jewelry. All the pleasure & no pain.
Use Code Adriana for 10% Discount!
You can find all my books at Amazon.com
Our latest lesbian erotic romance story is being released today at Torquere Press in the Toy Box anthology Tattooed Ladies! This is a new publishing house for us but one we’ve long admired, and we’re thrilled to be part of its author roster. Everything about producing the book has been extremely professional and timely. I was especially impressed with the editing, having worked as an editor for some e-pubs in the early days. Each editorial suggestion improved the story and tightened the writing. The goal is always to keep the writing from getting in the way of the flow, and this editor was marvelous.
The story is close to our hearts on several fronts. It’s about tattoos – something I never would have ventured into if an earlier character hadn’t led me there – and hot f/f romance, something both of us love to read and write. Plus we love body paints, so that’s what we wrote. Here’s the blurb:
A Bucket List Tattoo
Just past fifty and freshly divorced, cardiac nurse Natalie Gardner decides it’s time to create her personal bucket list. On the top of her list? A tattoo – but she’s nervous about the pain. Maybe Cindy McGraw, the hot young physical therapist she often lunches with, can help her out. Next on her list? It may be too much to hope for, but she’s definitely angling for more than tattoo advice from Cindy. Would a taste be too much to ask?
Check out the Torquere Yahoo Group for a brief diary entry from Cindy McGraw – she’s even giving away her recipe for homemade edible body paints, just like the ones she uses in the story. Here’s a brief excerpt to give you a tantalizing taste:
Lying on the massage table, Natalie tried not to scrunch away from the tickle of Cindy’s brush, her soft fingers, or her warm breath. Equally, she resisted wrapping her arms around the petite woman and hugging her tight. The last fifteen minutes or so had to the most torturous of Natalie’s life. Cindy had said she was nearly finished, but that must’ve been five minutes ago.
“There.” Cindy straightened and grinned. “It’s adorable, if I do say so myself. Let me get you a hand mirror and you can see for yourself.”
“Wow! You did that? It’s beautiful.” Natalie thrust out her chest. “It’s too bad no one will see it on my breast, but it’s wonderful. I hope what Mel does will turn out so good. Maybe I’ll have to have a second one on my shoulder so I can at least show it to people. But…” Her eyes watered. “That is so lovely. Do we have to take it off? How long will it last?”
“Not long. Remember, these paints are edible. The colors will run and fade when you shower, but the point was to let you see what a tattoo would look like.
“I know. I just don’t like the idea of destroying your handiwork.”
“I see a smudge I didn’t take care of.” Cindy wet her finger and slid it along the stem of the flower, which extended down the slope of the breast.
Natalie sighed, placing a hand on Cindy’s shoulder. “You have such a soft, light touch.”
“I can’t get it right without getting it wetter. Hope you don’t mind.”
“Oh.” Natalie peered down to see Cindy’s tongue sliding along the flower stem. She steadied her breathing. This was it. She knew it. They both knew it. It was her call. “I don’t mind at all,” she moaned, lacing her fingers in Cindy’s hair. “You have such a wonderful, playful tongue.”
“Super,” Cindy murmured. “I’ve wanted to play with this nipple for the longest time.” She tugged on it with her teeth. “Tell me if I’m too rough.”
“I will, trust me.” Natalie bent over to kiss the top of her lover’s head. “That feels so good.” Reflexively, Natalie pressed against Cindy, encouraging her to suck more of the breast, and she readily complied. “Don’t stop. Your mouth is so warm.”
“Umm,” Cindy moaned at last, lifting her head to smile at Natalie. She leaned into her and slanted her mouth across Natalie’s. Their breasts crushed between them.