Elementary, My Dear Sir

Again, just a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder that this blog post is for those who are 18 years and older. If you’re 17 years or younger, leave this post immediately and go do your homework! 🙂

Spank! is an anthology of spanking stories edited by D. L. King and published by Logical-Lust. Ms. King also edited The Sweetest Kiss, an anthology of vampire erotica published by Cleis Press. My short story “The Temptation of Mlle. Marielle Doucette”, (written under my short story pen name, Anna Black) an erotic vampire story set during the French Revolution, is also in that anthology.

My story for Spank!, “Elementary, My Dear Sir”, (also written under the name Anna Black) is also set in the past. The Victorian Era to be exact. See a pattern?

I do love writing about times and places other than my own. I like writing historicals, fantasy, SF and paranormals. Most of the stories I write in these genres are erotic and I have also written stories which could be labeled simply erotica.

What’s the difference? Probably not much some would say. But that is a topic I shall have to address another time.

Suffice to say, I like writing erotica and/or erotic (fill in the genre). I like creating characters, I like fashioning the universe in which they play out their stories, and I like writing about those characters having sex. I suspect that some of you are assuming that it’s the more prurient aspects of writing erotica and/or erotic stories that I find appealing.

I won’t deny it. There is that aspect of it. Oh, yes, there’s most definitely that.

But there’s more to writing erotica and erotic stories.

No, seriously. There is. 🙂

When people have sex, a lot more is going on that just Tab A sliding into Slot B. Sex encompasses the entire being. Body, mind and soul. Sex makes you vulnerable, whether you want to be vulnerable or not. When you write about your characters having sex, you as an author expose their innermost and secret selves. The essence of who and what they truly are.

And there’s a power dynamic that goes on when characters are having sex, whether we as a society or as individuals want to accept that. In stories about spanking or BDSM, the exchange and manifestation of said power is even more pronounced. And, therefore, more intriguing and also more controversial.

But why don’t I provide you with Cassandra Parks’ Introduction to the Spank! anthology. She does a far better job of talking about it than I.

It’s a spanking – it’s supposed to hurt!

For those of us who like to spank and be spanked, this phrase will inevitably be uttered, sometimes seriously, sometimes in jest. But it does happen to be my philosophy about a good spanking: It may turn me on; it may be romantic; it may make me crazy with desire before, during or after the event — but a good spanking is supposed to hurt.

And a good spanking story, one that holds my prurient interest (why else would I pick up a book of erotic stories?) is supposed to make me believe that the spanking hurts, or, even better, to make me ride the pain or the power right along with the characters.

The protagonists should be believable. The tops should have good reasons for dishing out the spankings (even if they’re “just” sexual reasons); the bottoms should deserve the spankings, and at the end of it all they should care about each other. Oh, and an extremely hot, strong, authoritative top helps.

The stories in Spank!, edited by D.L. King, have managed to cover all those bases well, each in its own unique way, with the characters, settings and plots ranging from the sexual to the serious to the surreal.

I simply loved “Elementary, My Dear Sir,” in which a widow, recently acquitted of murdering her husband, is attracted to the inspector who had brought the charges against her. He doesn’t believe she’s innocent and attempts to get her to confess. What elevates this story is the narrative, the details of its Victorian surroundings, and the awakening of the dormant romantic feelings between the inspector and the strong-willed female protagonist. But what really slammed it home for me was the powerful way he spanked her, followed by his taking charge.

“The inspector’s hand descended upon her ass with the coppery strike of a hammer against an anvil. Pain exploded through Rowena’s body. She closed her eyes, tears stinging the lids. The fire along her rear burned then dissipated until it was a dull throb. She waited for the next blow. ‘Inspector?’ His hand descended again. … ‘Do not speak until I give you permission.’”

Because I tend to get off on mild humiliation scenes, I also liked the modern yet anachronistic “Slippering.” In this “politically incorrect” tale, a wife is punished by her husband in front of his male friend. “You’re not going to hurt her, are you?” the friend asks, to which the husband replies: “‘I’m giving her a short, sharp lesson in the error of her ways … Of course I’m going to hurt her.’”

And of course the friend must rush home and see if his wife is willing to try something similar.

I want to feel the heady rush of power that comes from taking charge; such as in “The Trumpet of Destiny”: “I began to really enjoy myself. I had never spanked anyone before: let alone someone of my own sex. … ‘You, my girl, are going to get the spanking of your life.’ … I let her have it. She squealed, writhed, wriggled, danced on her heels and begged for mercy.”

Or I want to feel the suffering that leads to sexual release, such as in “Just a Spanking”: “Pain rips me apart. The simmering tightness in my pussy comes to a sudden boil, welling up and spilling over into the emptiness.”

When a scene in a story gets me breathing heavily, I’ll return to it over and over (my copies of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and Carrie’s Story still fall open at certain key pages), but picking up a new book, especially an anthology of short stories, is like walking into a spanking party where you haven’t met everyone yet. You may already have your favorite players and you won’t abandon them, but then you will see a stranger across the room and you simply must find out what he or she is all about.

When I bottom I know the spanking’s going to hurt. It’s supposed to hurt. I simply have to take it anyway. I simply have to dive in because at its core it’s what turns me on. You may not like every story in Spank! — such are the variegated desires of those who share this fetish — but I’m pretty sure you’ll be turned on.

Pick a story at random or start at the beginning. Dive in.

Cassandra Park
New York, 2010

Okay, I won’t lie. I’m grinning from ear to ear regarding Ms. Park’s comments about my story. Thank you! 🙂 Because that’s what I hoped to accomplish when I wrote it. I wanted to play around with the power dynamics between Inspector William Maxwell and Lady Rowena Fairchild.

Maxwell obviously possess a great deal of power. He’s an inspector, after all, for the London Metropolitan Police Force, and he tried to get Lady Fairchild hanged for the murder of her husband! He’s also a man during the Victorian era, where women still lacked the power to hold office or even vote.

But Lady Fairchild also has power, and I don’t think I’m stretching it a bit to posit the theory that if you read the story you’ll see that it’s she, not Inspector Maxwell, who’s truly in charge.

And that, I suspect, is part of the appeal of erotic stories and, most especially, stories about spanking and/or BDSM. The fact that it’s often the person who appears not to have power who actually has it.

Politically correct? No, not really, Political correctness is about being safe, about not offending people, about making sure that everyone feels comfortable, protected and secure.

I’m all for that. No one, and I mean no one, whatever their race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs, or whether they own a Mac or a PC , should feel unsafe.

But fiction is, well, it’s fiction. It’s fantasy. It can reflect real life, enhance it, critique it and even turn it inside out or on its head. But it’s not real life. If anything, fiction has to make more sense than real life which is, after all, often baffling, irrational and downright unjust.

Fiction oftentimes gives the reader an opportunity to go down deep into the unconscious, subconscious, or whatever you want to call it where the Shadow lurks and the Id prowls.

The writer of fiction can be seen as the psychopomp, which is another name for Hermes when he acted as the conductor of souls or spirits into the Underworld.

The author leads the reader into the darkest reaches of the collective and individual unconscious and then, after tarrying there a bit, brings them safely out again into the light of day, none the worse for wear (at least, we hope) but, perhaps, changed somewhat.

As for my having set my spanking story during the Victorian era, I’ll admit there was some major, messed-up stuff going on back then regarding sex. Heck, there’s a lot of major, messed-up stuff going on in the twenty-first century regarding sex. Actually, when has there not been messed-up stuff going on about sex?

However. I won’t go into any of that in this post. Down below I list some websites you can check out if you want to read more about Victorian sexuality. But I will say that the inspiration for the character of Inspector Maxwell is a television series set during the Victorian Era.

It’s called The Murdoch Mysteries. Produced in Canada, the show was broadcast on my local PBS station. I believe the first two seasons are available on DVD. I’ve only seen the first season. They’ve got three seasons in the can, and I read somewhere that the show’s been green lighted for a fourth season. Yay!

Inspector William Murdoch (Yes, I gave my inspector the same first name. Couldn’t help it! I’m a rabid fan of the show! :)) is brilliant, meticulous, logical, dubious, reserved and also a devout Roman Catholic in mostly Protestant Canada.

Combine those qualities with the fact that Murdoch is played by the utterly delish Yannick Bisson, and I just had to use him as the inspiration for the character of Inspector Maxwell, except my inspector is seething with a very great need to spank the delectable bottom of Lady Fairchild.

Actually, why don’t I provide you with an excerpt from “Elementary, My Dear Sir” so that you can see what I’m yapping about. 🙂

Rowena stepped away from him and walked over to her claret-colored ottoman. Once there she kept her back to Inspector Maxwell. She took off her dressing gown and let it fall to the floor.

Underneath it, she wore only her corset as it was the only piece of undergarment Mary had managed to help her on with before Inspector Maxwell had come calling.

Her bottom was bare as were her legs. She hadn’t even had time to put on her garter or stockings. Her hair spilled down her back, the ends of it just brushing the upper curve of her buttocks.

When her husband was alive, just presenting herself to him in this manner had kindled his desire.

Delilah. Salome. Lilith.

He’d whisper those names in her ear when he finally put his hands on her.

Inspector Maxwell, however, was nothing like her husband, who had embraced the pleasures of the flesh as eagerly and enthusiastically as he had embraced life. However, there was no doubt in Rowena’s mind that the inspector wanted her as much as she wanted him.

She’d known that the first day she met him. Even when his sole purpose had been to see her swing from the end of a noose, she had felt his lust for her. Lust he had been unable to acknowledge, thus leading him to channel it into his ruthless persecution of her.

But she had not been found guilty, had not swung from a rope, and his hellish appetite for her had not been sated.

And now, here she was, offering to him the very thing he reviled yet desired beyond all reason.

Rowena smiled. How utterly delicious.

The skin on her bare buttocks tingled as she waited for Inspector Maxwell’s response. But he had not moved from where she had left him when she walked over to the ottoman.

She felt his eyes on her. Like lashes from a whip across her naked skin. She stood there, trying not to shiver, trying not to let him know she was starting to feel anxious.

She heard movement. Shoes moving across the carpet. However, she could not tell if he was coming toward her or leaving.

Fearing she may have miscalculated, she waited breathlessly for the door to open and close behind him.

Instead, she felt the stirring of air that meant someone had moved up behind her. Her heart pounded.

He put his hand on her bottom.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the blogs of all the other contributors to the Spank! anthology.

Links on Victorian Sexuality.

Victorian Morality

The Victorian Web

Making Victorian Sexuality

Victorian Spanking

September 1 – D.L.King

September 2 – Cervo

September 3 – Sommer Marsden

September 4 – Anna Black

September 5 – Jean Roberta

September 6 – Tara S. Nichols

September 7 – Maggie Norton

September 8 – Kathleen Bradean

September 9 – Lee Ash

September 10 – Lisabet Sarai

September 11 – Evan Mora

September 12 – Allison Wonderland

September 13 – Sean Meriwether

September 14 – Roxy Katt

September 15 – Donna George Storey

September 16 – Bethy Wylde

September 17 – Sacchi Green

September 18 – A.D.R. Forte

September 19 – J. Z. Sharpe

September 20 – Jessica Lennox

September 21 – Cassandra Park


6 Responses to Elementary, My Dear Sir

  1. Digital Dame says:

    Congrats again on the excellent reviews! I know this kind of writing is not easy. Writing convincing, good sex scenes is as you said, more than just the technical aspects 🙂

  2. Jenna Reynolds says:

    Thanks, DD! I thought it was easy until I started writing erotica and erotic stories and it’s not. Sex scenes are usually the hardest scenes for me to write. 🙂

  3. I loved your story! I love the Victorian era, Murdoch mysteries, and a great spanking story. Yay you!

    Tara S. Nichols

  4. Jenna Reynolds says:

    Thank you, Tara! Another Murdoch Mysteries fan! Cool! 🙂 I haven’t got my copy of the book yet, but I’m looking forward to reading all the stories in it! Thanks again! 🙂

  5. My apologies, neither have I. I should have said, “I love your excerpt!” Looking forward to the whole shabang. 🙂

  6. Jenna Reynolds says:

    Thanks, Tara! Can’t wait either until we get our copy so I can read your stories and the others. 🙂

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