Hello friends. First the good news: Out of the Past (Part 3) won 1st place in the Literortica Reader's Choice Awards for August 2012. I guess Laurel & Manu are just a little behind on tallying so it was just awarded now two years later. 

It's great to find that out. Admittedly, I kind of wish I had discovered this earlier. See, OOTP and the loose sequel Love On the Run were my ode to 1980's pulp novels. My guilty pleasure. Sandy beaches, a deadly mystery, casual sex, and buried secrets making the plot take so many twists and turns that it would make make a soap opera writer get dizzy. Though they got high ratings, they didn't seem to get much love.

So when it came time to write the 3rd planned (I had 4 total planned) or write something for fun, I went fun and A Dangerous Legacy was born. Oh, I just wrote the penultimate chapter, 22, and this beast is already 180,000 words long. I've had great fun writing it, but oh boy, writing the final chapter will be bittersweet.

I will no longer write novel-length erotic fiction for free. Short stories, yes, but no more novels. I have to concentrate on my writing career, and with one book under contract with Red Sage and another I am preparing to sell, plus the next Marly Jackson I am editing for self publication plus the urban fantasy I plan to write to get an agent...I think you can see where free writing will have to take a back seat.

Now, l onto something completely unrelated except it concerns books. (Warning: contains feminist rant). Back up with me, and follow along on a little story:

I am into BDSM. I'm out and proud. I am a Dominant. I am what is known as "Old Guard" which means I follow the fucking rules. We really hate "New Guard" people (typically kids in their early 20's with no training who do what they want. These are the ones who set people on fire or accidentally kill them).

Now New Guard people (let's call them NGs from now on) aren't always willfully ignorant, I completely understand, how do you get trained? How do you get started? Well, in case you're one of the 5% into BDSM, the answer is: find someone like me. One rule of Old Guard (OG from now on) style is you must always be either an apprentice or a mentor. And believe it or not we advertise that fact on, oh, about ten billion websites for the community.

Knowing all this is why I had a blind towards Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm not even italicizing it, I think it's that shitty. It's Twilight fan fiction that somehow made it big. It's bad writing, shitty character development, and IT IS ABOUT RAPE AND STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, NOT BDSM. Seriously, my biggest fear has been people experimenting in BDSM using the book and now movie (*hysterical screaming* they made a movie of an erotic novel? Yeah, that worked sooooo well for Exit to Eden.).

Oh, but I missed something far darker, far worse. I missed the misogyny only a woman can place upon other women.

So I saw the trailer on a friend's Google Plus page (yeah, weird, I know! Neither of us are Google employees). Once more I asked myself the BDSM question: "Why the fuck would this Grey guy want her? He's a billionaire women already fall al over themselves to please. He gets to be Dominant all day every day. In real life guys like that are subs looking for Dominant women."

This time I watched, and realized...the girl (I don't know her name and don't care, she's a Mary Sue) is "interesting" to Grey because she's a virgin. In the real world this would be because virgins are easier to mold and abuse, if you're a psycho. But in the book it's a very ollllllllllllld kind of misogyny:

The idea that as a virgin female you possess something a non-virgin does not.

What the fuck is it? Sure can't be a hymen. Look, a hymen is a band of tissue, a ring, not a membrane. They rarely rupture at first penetration, some stay all a woman's life (until childbirth), some burst with the first tampon used, and now surgeons can put a new one in for you.

Is it honor? In a convoluted sense of past centuries....mayyybe. I think it's okay to write a virgin character when writing of the 15th century simply because that was normal. But in 2014? 2010, whenever she wrote this shit... no.

Ladies, this is how we keep each other down. It's subtle in books and super-liminal on the Internet, and always there. We call another woman a slut if she's having sex in a way we disagree. And we play right into the "Madonna-Whore" complex men invented. 

It is most prevalent in romance novels. How many have you read where the man gets insanely jealous over her past, and she has to deal with it? Then she gets jealous over his past- oh, she never gets jealous, she gets insecure. And he reassures her by saying often it is her passive sexuality that entranced him, and experienced women are shallow creatures he cannot care for.

WTF? Where did this idea come from that if you have sex you lose value? Now, before you say "but people don't feel that way in real life!" Ask yourself this: What do you call a man who's fucked 20 people? How about a woman? What about 50 partners? 100?

The problem is that authors ignore a truth most people do understand: there is a huge difference between a person who has had 20 lovers for the right reasons, and one who has had 20 for the wrong reasons.

The right reasons: you love them, you truly enjoy sex and respected your partners, you weren't using anyone, and you weren't using sex as a substitute for dealing with another emotion.

The wrong reasons: because you're pressured too, because you think it will grant you some social status, using someone, knowingly allowing yourself to be used, to get revenge on someone, to steal someone away from a partner, or to punish yourself.

We need to teach this to our children. Sex is not the problem. Just as food is not really the problem when it comes to weight. Sex or food is fine if you choose good sex or food for the right reasons. Choose bad sex or food for the wrong reasons and you'll be miserable.

For some reason it is automatically assumed that when men engage in casual sex it is for the right reasons, and when women do it is for the wrong reasons. We need to stop this! It's simply not true! Casual sex for the right reasons is AWESOME. Who does not like a social orgasm? And one that comes guilt free, with no heavy expectations, cripes, that rules. And why in fiction do we assume a woman who knows that is worth less than a virgin?

Think on this, my friends: why is sex the only thing (in America at least) legal to give away, but illegal to pay for or sell? And why is it that sex is the only activity in which inexperience is prized over experience for one gender?

If you know the answer, let me know.