5 Ways Millionaires & Billionaires Aren’t Like Us

This piece first appeared on LadySmut.com

bizmeetingAccording to the latest Fifty Shades Darker movie, Christian Grey makes $24,000 every 15 minutes. Possible? Yes. Over the years I’ve met a few billionaires and lots of mega millionaires in my day job. Not sure what they make in fifteen minutes, but I can tell you these super-magnets for wealth exist.

Christian Grey is young, hot, and tormented.  He’s not like you and me with his anti-relationship contracts, and crazed need for control.

Okay, this is really just an excuse to post more pics of Jamie Dornan.

Okay, this is really just an excuse to post more pics of Jamie Dornan.

While your average mega-rich guy may not be like that, neither is he like us ordinary folk. Here are five things I’ve observed about the super rich.

  1. NEVER ENOUGH.  You worry about money.  I worry about money.  The uber-wealthy worry about money too, but not like you and me. As long as I’m paying the bills, taking a nice trip or two a year and someone comes to clean my house once a week– I’m golden. That’s enough. Millionaires and Billionaires worry about losing their super-wealthy status, and they worry about it all the time. They’ll always have money, but it’s having “enough” that’s troublesome.  Their version of “enough” is in the seven figures–for a while. Then they need more…and more…
  2. CHEAP IS CHEAP. The super-rich have odd ideas about what’s expensive. Watch them recoil in horror that a Frappacino at Starbucks costs six dollars.  However they’ll approve that 60 grand for the new pool in the third house with the swipe of a pen. (Or a phone call. They have people who handle that stuff for them.)
  3. RICH MEN DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE. It’s usually someone calling for money. Their voice mail is perpetually full. Their people will get back to you.  Maybe.
  4. RICH MEN DON’T RUSH. They walk. Other people can run–and should run, because rich men despise tardiness in others. So don’t be late for meetings with them.
  5. RICH MEN SAY NO. If a situation doesn’t suit them (like they don’t like the restaurant you pick or that company they thought they might buy), they walk away–even if they leave you hanging. Is that rude? Well, yeah.  Sometimes. Do people around them point that out? Well, no.
Thinking important business thoughts. This is what the super-rich do.

Thinking important business thoughts. This is what the super-rich do.

Ultimately, there are two kinds of super-wealthy men: those that buy their way into everything and those that buy their way out.  Is this nature or nurture? Are they rich because they have these traits, or does being rich change them? One thing’s for sure–you and I will probably never know. ; >

Meet An Owned, Collared and Well-Educated Feminist

This interview was first posted on LadySmut.com.

A few years ago I met the very lovely, very real BDSM lifestyler, AJ Renard, at the BDSM Writers Con in New York. An owned and collared submissive, AJ is an artist, model, executive and many other things — and she loves dispelling misconceptions about kink, as well as making sure people stay safe as they enter and explore the lifestyle. Her shoe and lingerie collection is to die for. And, look! A special jewelry giveaway from AJ below.

February is known as “love month.” It’s also when a certain movie came out.What a perfect time to sit down with AJ and set the record straight on BDSM and all things kinky — especially if you’re ready to go there.

The lovely AJ Renard, who also models!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: AJ! It’s so great you’re here. Can you tell our readers about your BDSM/Kink lifestyle experience?
AJ RENARD: I have been in the lifestyle since my late teens, although I have always been strongly aware of my inclinations. It’s difficult to pinpoint one aspect of the lifestyle that draws me. I am a 24/7 submissive (the bottom in a Power Exchange relationship, where the submissive partner has willingly and consensually handed over some or all decision-making power in their life to their Dominant), which fulfills a deep need in me to serve and please another, and allows me the freedom to trust someone enough to put my life in their hands. I am also fundamentally a bottom (someone who receives the action during a BDSM scene vs. a Top who does the action to someone) in play and sexual encounters; it is intrinsically a part of me, and something I have never not had in my life.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: So you’re “all in.” I imagine that surprises people when they meet you.
AJ RENARD: I think one of the things that surprises most people is simply to learn that I am a submissive. There is a broad misconception that being a submissive makes you weak, or a doormat, when, in reality, most Dominants value submissives who have a mind of their own and use it. Being submissive does not mean that I can’t have a great career as an executive, or that I can’t voice my opinion, or that I can’t allow my sassy and rambunctious personality to shine through. It simply means that I live by a set of rules to please my Dominant, and I trust him to make decisions for my benefit and growth, as well as for the health of our relationship.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Is there anything in the BDSM world that the vanilla world gets wrong, consistently?
AJ RENARD: That the lifestyle is sexually-focused. There are absolutely people, myself included, who express their sexuality through kink, but there are also many people who find satisfaction, sanctuary, healing, love, safety, and security in the lifestyle without it being sexual for them.

One of the things that bugs me the most (besides all the other things I’ve been ranting about!) is the impression many people have that BDSM is in direct conflict with feminism. There is a perception that BDSM is all about men controlling and hurting women, or women being docile and submissive (in a pejorative sense of the word). While there are many PE dynamics with a man in the D/ role and a woman in the /s role, those roles, and their activities, are consented to by both parties.

I consider myself a feminist, and I strongly encourage women to choose the path in life that makes them happy and fulfilled. For some, that might be owning a company or it might mean being a stay at home mom. It might mean being a Dominant, and taking on that D/ role yourself. It might mean handing over your power to another. Regardless, to me, being a feminist means finding what makes you feel good and having the freedom to pursue it, and not judging or condemning other women for how or where they find their own happiness. The BDSM lifestyle is where many people find their freedom, and it allows people to explore desires and parts of themselves that they may have been told they should be ashamed of.  I think that is very positive, empowering, and feminist.

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ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: My next question could fill a book, but I’m asking anyway! What do you wish people knew about BDSM, in general? There seems to be so much misinformation…
AJ RENARD: Ohhhh my gosh… There’s so much…! One of the biggest things I wish people truly understood is that everything in the lifestyle is based on consent. Consent is discussed, informed, enthusiastic, and can be withdrawn at any time by either partner.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Anytime?
AJ RENARD: Yes. One of the questions I see asked a lot by newcomers (especially by young, inexperienced submissives) is “can my Dominant do X?” My first question back is almost always “did you discuss it and consent to it?” Because that’s what it boils down to. Both parties must consent to what is happening within a relationship or scene.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: A certain book (clears throat before saying it includes the words “Fifty” and “Shades”) opened the door to many to the world of BDSM. Yet, many real-world BDSM community members were upset about how BDSM was characterized. What would you tell someone whose only exposure was that movie or series?
AJ RENARD: If someone discovers their kinky side through a work of fiction, I think that’s great! The important thing to remember is that it’s fantasy. Real life is always different, and especially in BDSM (or any other “culture” steeped in protocols and traditions), if you don’t live the lifestyle day to day, it’s difficult to portray it accurately.

A lot of what rubbed the BDSM community the wrong way with that particular book goes back to one of the misconceptions I spoke about earlier – the idea that consent is paramount in this lifestyle. The main character was uninformed about the lifestyle in general, the dynamic she was entering into, and even the types of play they would engage in. How can you consent to something you don’t know will happen? She didn’t consent to the amount of control he took over her life, and when there isn’t consent, what is left is a violation.

I think that erotic fiction and the BDSM genre has made some conversations about sexuality and kinks slightly more acceptable (I say slightly because many of the people I know in the lifestyle would still lose their jobs, friends, and even their family if they were outed- there is still a tremendous amount of fear and bias surrounding the BDSM community), but it has also created a desire for many people to learn about and participate in kink, even when they’re not sure where to start.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: So how should someone start?
AJ RENARD: If someone finds their interest piqued by something they read in a BDSM novel and they want to explore more, I would encourage them to start by reading nonfiction. There are some great books and websites out there that will help you get a better idea of what the lifestyle is about, and what you might be interested in.

Editorial Note: SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman and Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns by Phillip Miller and Molly Devon are two staples of BDSM education.

For many people, fantasizing and reading is as far as they want to go, and that’s perfectly fine! For those who want to experiment, I always always always encourage them to find in-person education. Most medium cities have a local scene, and you usually don’t have to look very far away to find an event, class, party, or munch.

Munches are low-pressure social gatherings, usually in a private space at a restaurant or other non-kink venue. There is no play, or kinky activity. From the outside it looks like any other social gathering, and it’s an opportunity for kinksters to meet, socialize, and be amongst like-minded people. Many munches have an appointed person who greets and introduces newcomers to people, so you don’t feel so alone or out of place! You don’t have to be intimidated even if you’re not sure what you’ll talk about, a lot of the time most of the conversations have nothing to do with kink!

Another great way to meet people and dip your toe into the scene is through classes. Many clubs and groups (especially TNG groups- “The Next Generation” groups, for people under 35) will offer skills classes like BDSM 101, intro to impact play, etc. and those are another way to educate yourself and meet new people. Fetlife.com and FindAMunch.com can help you find a local munch, and classes in your area.

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“To play safely, you must be informed, about yourself, your partner, and the play in which you are engaging.” ~AJ Renard

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Since BDSM has come out of the closet, so to speak, education seems very important right now.
AJ RENARD: I always believe in the power of education! Traditions, skills, safety practices, and knowledge are all highly regarded in the BDSM community, and most of these are not learned overnight, and not instilled in someone without effort.

BDSM education, in my opinion, is incredibly important for two main reasons: Safety and Respect.

The first, and most obvious, is safety. As a bottom, you are often putting your physical and emotional safety in someone else’s hands, as a Top, you are often responsible for them. That is not something to be taken lightly, and even deceptively simple types of play (how hard can it be to tie someone’s hands with some clothesline you have lying around, right?) can often carry risk that you don’t know about. To play safely, you must be informed, about yourself, your partner, and the play in which you are engaging.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: So true, so true. I’ve seen some “live experimentation” on a person before and it made me cringe.
AJ RENARD: Many skills also require practice and are techniques that must be learned. If you can’t aim that flogger and hit the spot you intend to, every time, with the intensity and force you want, you need more practice before aiming it at a human being. Additionally, you need to learn how to vet your potential partners, keep yourself safe, asses their skill level, negotiate and set limits for scenes, etc. If you’re completely new to kink, those are things that you will need to learn- in classes, from experienced kinksters, from a mentor, etc.

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AJ in rope suspension.

The second biggest reason I think education is important is respect. I often compare it to moving to a foreign country. There is a new culture, language, customs, way of relating, and to respect and honor it you must understand it. I see many newcomers complain (mostly in online groups) that they don’t feel as immediately welcomed as they thought they should have been. What many people fail to realize is that to people who are deeply into the lifestyle, new people can present a potential threat.

To people in the community, newcomers can often mean someone who wants to pass by all the education, safety knowledge, and wisdom experienced players have to offer, and get right to the “exciting (i.e. dangerous) stuff.” It can mean that someone may not take the time to learn the traditions and culture of the community, and may deeply offend someone because they haven’t made the effort to understand the lifestyle, even if they don’t practice it in the same way. There is also the very real danger that someone who doesn’t understand the need for privacy and discretion, who is caught up in the excitement of getting involved in kink, may inadvertently “out” someone- as I mentioned earlier, while some aspects of kink are becoming more socially acceptable, there are serious, real world consequences if some people were to be outed.

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“With BDSM being more widely discussed, many more people are trying kink, and many people are doing it dangerously. Unfortunately, those people are the ones who often end up in the news, representing the BDSM community when something goes horribly wrong in their play.” ~AJ Renard

When you enter this community, you will come across people who live their lives in ways you might have never imagined. The kink community is an accepting place where they have found a home, and educating yourself about different lifestyles, types of play and relationships will help you navigate the waters and remain respectful.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Is there anything that erotic fiction authors “get wrong” a lot…or a little?
AJ RENARD: One of my biggest peeves with a lot of BDSM fiction is that most scenes seem to be foreplay for sex. For a huge swath of kinksters, the majority of their scenes do not involve intercourse, and many scenes are not even sexual in nature. It may be a rope scene that is much more about the ties and positions and suspension. It might be fireplay for the sensation and relaxation, it might be a bootblacking scene for the appreciation of the leather and the act of service, and there are PE dynamics that are service-based, with no sexual interaction. Now, I understand the space between a rock and a hard place in which authors find themselves. Yes, they want to accurately portray the lifestyle, but their readers also want to pick up something sexy to read!

The other issue I usually have is the sped up timeline. BDSM takes time. Skills take time to learn, it takes time to build trust, it takes time to vet someone and negotiate. Again, I understand that these are vastly less exciting to read about than someone jumping in and discovering themselves through hot, kinky sex with someone who they instinctively know is safe and skilled and knowledgeable.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Do you believe BDSM is “coming into its own” in the world now? Like we’ve reached a critical mass and there’s greater understanding and acceptance than in decades past? (Is this a stupid question? LOL)
AJ RENARD: Kink, as far as the more generic perception of kink (maybe some leather cuffs, a blindfold, running an ice cube over the body, spanking, maybe some butt stuff), is getting slightly more acceptable. In the same way that Kinsey’s studies found evidence that homosexual acts and behavior were too prevalent in the general population to be considered truly “abnormal,” people are starting to realize that the desire for some level of kink in the bedroom is far more common than we used to think.

However, many kinks, things like ageplay, more extreme Sadism and masochism, consensual slavery, CNC (consensual non-consent, like rape and kidnapping play), and even D/s relationships like the one I have, amongst many, many others, are still looked at with suspicion and derision. People can lose their jobs, custody of their children, and rape cases because of their lifestyle, plus facing discrimination and potential loss of friends, family, and community. Someone might understand giving your spouse a spanking, but it’s still a far leap for many of those people to understand that I truly like being hurt and terrified, to the point that I am sobbing and begging, or that a rape victim can find catharsis and comfort in CNC scenes where they might be able to feel as if they’re rewriting their attack under their own power and control.

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“It takes a lot of understanding and education for many people to understand those, or that someone can need to be in a little headspace to feel protection and love, or that sometimes it feels really, really good to just be objectified and used as a footstool.” ~AJ Renard

BDSM was only recently removed from the DSM (in the DSM V, published in 2013), and the law has not yet caught up- many activities in BDSM are considered illegal (in the United States you cannot consent to your own bodily harm). De-stigmatizing kink, and no longer classifying it as a mental illness is a start, but there is still a long and difficult road ahead before most of us might be able to live without fear of the consequences of how we express our need to serve, our sexuality, and our love.

(The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, NCSFreedom.org, has been instrumental in many of these advancements. It is a great organization to be involved with or donate to!)

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Thanks, AJ. You certainly have given us a lot to think about!

Kissing William Shatner and Drinking Wine With Sierra Cartwright

This blog post first appeared on www.LadySmut.com. Check out this group blog for some wicked fun. Now onward…

International best-selling romance novelist, SIERRA CARTWRIGHT, has authored more than 30 erotic romances about capable, submissive women who yield to powerful, alpha male Dominants. She doesn’t see that as a conundrum, saying submissives are some of the strongest people around. She was born in Manchester, England where she earned the nickname, “Bossy Britches,”  and she once ran a company. Now, thankfully, she writes seriously hot books full-time. I had the good fortune to say hello to SIERRA at the April RT Booklovers Convention, and learned her thoughts on writing and BDSM are as fascinating as her characters. SIERRA stopped by LadySmut to, well, kiss and tell . . .

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: First things, first. Did I hear correctly that you once kissed William Shatner? You know, we have to know more…

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I wish it was more spectacular than it was! Should I make up a story? Make it scandalous, rather than totally innocent?

I remember sneaking down the stairs and hiding behind the couch to watch Star Trek when I was a little girl in England. It came on past my bedtime, but I loved the show so much. I’m totally sure my parents knew I was there, but since I was quiet, I was allowed to stay. I was so in love with Captain Kirk. (ES Note: Me, too!!) As I grew older, he made me swoon. So handsome in his uniform. And that smile…

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One year, for Christmas, I got twelve books, in a big box. They were all Star Trek books, a series of them. Star Trek Five had a red cover! LOL

The first book I ever wrote was a Star Trek fanfic. Handwritten in blue ink. I think it was 123 pages long. I’m not sure now whether or not it was legible. It’s fair to say I was one of the original Trekkies. (Before they were Trekkers!) And, yes, I went to Trekkie gatherings.

I think I was sixteen when William Shatner appeared in the play Death Trap at the Elitch Gardens Theatre. I remember driving myself, and no one was as in love with him as I was, so I went alone. After the play was over, I dashed backstage with my program clutched in my hands, shaking. I wanted his autograph so bad.

He was as lovely and as gracious as I had hoped he would be. And I was bold. I told him my life would be complete if I kissed him. Did I mention he was lovely and gracious? He tipped his head to the side and let me kiss his cheek.

Can I tell you a secret? Because he was so kind to a smitten girl with her first celebrity crush, I’m still a little in love with him…

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What a great story. Speaking of which, let’s talk about your books. I just finished Bind (The Donovan Dynasty). Loved it. What a fabulous premise with compelling characters, not to mention hot as Hades. Which character came to you first, Lara or Connor? Did you start BIND with the premise of Lara going to Connor for help or was their “arrangement” a surprise to you as you wrote?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Thank you for saying so… Wait until you get to the elevator scene in Boss. Even I needed a cold shower! <g>

And it’s an astute observation that one character comes to me before the other. In this case, it was Connor Donovan. He was such an interesting character to me. There are three brothers in the Donovan Dynasty series, and that’s a dynamic I’ve never before explored. But of course I can’t do anything the easy way. So the oldest brother is actually the bastard child who lives hours away from the rest of the family. Connor is technically the second son, but because Cade runs the family’s agribusiness, Connor gets to be head of the family.

Originally, I’d seen him as a bit more of a hardass than he turned out to be. And since his Dad had been in a marriage he didn’t want to be in, I thought it would be fun to give Connor a marriage of convenience. In playing with that plot idea, Lara then came to me. I wanted her to be equally strong, so I made her an only child. And I made her an executive.

I loved playing with two strong characters and watching their negotiations and seeing them evolve. Iron sharpens iron, right? But these two make each other better people. It just takes a lot to get them there…

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  When choosing the various smexy acts for your books, do you try for a broad spectrum of BDSM in each book, or do you think, “okay, this is going to be primarily a spanking book.” Or “this is going to be primarily a bondage book.”

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I try to let the BDSM acts arise from the characterization, rather than the other way around. I’ve never really written a book I’d consider primarily a spanking book because I adore the full spectrum of BDSM. I’ve had newbie heroines, a heroine who is a submissive at a club, even a heroine who was a masochist. I think BDSM is unique to each couple, and their personalities will influence the naughty tools and implements. For example, the heroine who enjoyed masochism is considerably more likely to enjoy or be familiar with the cane than a heroine who has never experienced BDSM.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  You’re great at warning readers what your books include (because let’s face it, not everyone likes to be surprised). Are there any fetishes or sex acts (not talking the usual ones that most publishers refuse to print) that you just won’t write?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: That’s a tough one because the minute I say I won’t do something, I’ll get an idea for it. I guess if the idea seems to fit, I might run with it. If it’s kind of unusual or questionable, I might work it into a subplot using secondary characters. I learned that trick at a writer’s workshop once, taught by Stella Cameron.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  Do you ever discover ‘trends’ in the BDSM writing world? Like this summer it’s all about bondage or this year it’s all about Femme Dommes? Do you decide to incorporate that new trend in your work?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I wrote my first BDSM novel about eight or nine years ago. Back then, it was a very small subgenre of erotic romance. I’ve never written to trends, though I wish at times I was able to! Truth is, I write too slow for that. It would be like me trying to catch a train that had already left the station. I can picture me standing on the tracks, bent over, gasping for air, and wondering what happened.

My Fem Domme offering was published about seven years ago…proof positive I’m nowhere near the trends!

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Psst… Crave (Bonds Books 1) won the Best BDSM Book of the Year award by the BDSM Writers Con in 2015.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Do you think that women seek to read about submissive women in the same way powerful men seek dominatrixes, i.e. even average women carry so much responsibility in their lives, they are looking for a few hours where they can fantasize about being completely without power, without having to take care of others? We know that’s a common reason for being in that role in real life, but I was wondering about the desire to read about it.

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I fantasize about someone keeping my wineglass topped off while I soak in the tub with a good book. Oh, wait. I digress. 🙂

There’s something about storytelling that’s elemental. We stand around campfires and tell stories, and the more compelling, the better. I agree with you, Elizabeth, that we are so damn busy juggling a million responsibilities. And reading can be a great escape. I’m sure that giving up responsibility is a part of it for many of us.

I’m really struggling with this question because I think you’re absolutely right, and I also think there are other elements to it.

There are components such as: suspending reality, being swept away in a fantasy world, the emotional charge of being swept up in the drama of someone else’s relationship. I also enjoy identifying with the heroine and I yearn to be as brave or witty or smart as she is. Through reading, I vicariously seize new experiences and get the weak-knee feeling that comes from challenging an alpha while I’m the center of his attention. But most of all, I can ignore the goddamn relentless buzzing of the dryer and dinging of the microwave for a few minutes.

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And especially when it’s the end of a long day and I simply just want to relax. I’ll bet if we toss this question out there, we’ll get a million different answers, too. Isn’t that the awesome thing about reading? It can be all those things. A romance novel got me through endless hours in the hospital waiting room. Another gave me blessed relief as I tried to cope with my beloved stepmother’s death. Annabel Joseph’s series occupied my time while I was driving cross-country for a funeral.

When I pick up a romance, I’m always guaranteed of that happy ending. I get the sense that life is worth the struggle and the effort. And I always feel good (maybe gutted at times) when I reach the end. I’m a romance fan, all the way to the end.

Great, great question. Oh, and I have different reasons for scening. But that’s another conversation entirely…

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Next time! What are you reading? What BDSM novels inspire you? Has your taste in BDSM changed over time?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I’m really an eclectic reader. I just finished the latest Harlan Coben paperback on an airplane, and I also downloaded an R.K. Lilley, an Aleatha Romig, and an Eden Bradley for the trip. On my last trip, I read an Annabel Joseph trilogy.

Another insightful question from you about my taste changing. I think the market has grown and evolved. We have new dark erotica titles to choose from. As for my tastes, I enjoy reading a broad range, from light BDSM to stuff that’s a bit more hardcore. But my writing has evolved, too, to more complex characters in more complicated relationships. The sex may have gotten hotter along the way, too.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: And, because readers want to know, what’s next for you, writing-wise? Anything you can tease us with?

SIERRA CARTWRIGHT:Thanks for asking. I’m finishing up a super-secret project that I’m announcing in the next couple of weeks. And then, due to reader demands (and a few threats), I think I’m diving into a story about a certified genius… This will be the most difficult writing I’ve ever done, mostly because I never intended for Julien Bonds to be a hero. So I made him outrageous and a bit of a mad man. Honestly, I’ve been working on character charts and plotlines for months. I’ve had several brainstorming sessions with other writers. And I’m still nervous that I might not have the skillset to pull off my vision. I’m not sure, honestly, that I’ve ever been scared as a writer, but I am now. Pass the wine. (ES Note: You are a woman after my own heart.)

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FINALLY…THE LADYSMUT FAST LANE

LADYSMUT: Favorite song?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Depends on the time of day! Yikes! Right now I’ve got the Blake Shelton song, “Came Here to Forget” on endless loop.

LADYSMUT: Billionaire or military hero? (Or other?)
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Give me a billionaire any day of the week. Didn’t I mention I want my wineglass kept full? And I want seriously good wine. (This is my fantasy, after all.)

LADYSMUT: Going back in time or jumping forward to the future?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: I love technology. I want to go way, way into the future.

LADYSMUT: Leather or lace?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: Not even a question. Give me the leather baby. It absorbs blows from the flogger better than lace does. Oh. Wait. Did I say that out loud? (Ed. Note: Oh, yes, you did! ;-))

LADYSMUT: Number one bucket list item?
SIERRA CARTWRIGHT: January in Mexico, or somewhere really, really warm. I checked out Key West just yesterday. The place I wanted to rent was $8,736. Can you send that billionaire my way, stat?

LADYSMUT: We’ll get right on that…once we’re through with him. He-he.

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LOVE LINKS to SIERRA CARTWRIGHT

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A Century of Hot Men: My How We’ve Changed

This blog post was first published on www.LadySmut.com. Check out this fabu group blog when you have a chance! Onward to the post…

Call this blog post “the post that almost wasn’t.” I started to write about alpha males through the ages. I sought to answer one question: Have our ideas about what makes a man an “alpha” changed over time? Know what I discovered? It didn’t. An alpha is an alpha is an alpha. Any man with a confident and commanding personality who enjoys control and generally stomps through life leading others can be considered an alpha. And, alphas never go out of style. I mean look . . .

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Yes, I spent a ridiculous amount of time creating this collage.

You know what did change over the decades? Our idea of male beauty. Let’s explore attractive males through the ages, shall we? Warning: The rabbit hole on this topic is deep, my friends. Hang on. And, fill that comment box below with all your thoughts on the trip down. We welcome pictures of who you consider a good-looking guy today or in the past.

Let’s start with 1910 and go from there. Here are four leading men, and the epitome of all things manly, from 1910 to at least the mid 1940s.

1910 to 1940

Notice anything? Besides the swashbuckling, coming-to-the rescue, genteel type of savior they portrayed? How about how pretty they look. All that slicked back hair, clean shaven chins and dapper duds.  In researching these decades and all its manly gorgeousness, a shocking lack of diversity emerged.  Not that men of different races and cultures weren’t to die for. But I just couldn’t find that many images of displayed male hotness that weren’t white men. Well, Harry Belafonte showed up. Wow, was he beautiful or what? But even this image was taken just into the 1950s.

by Dorothy Wilding,photograph,25 February 1954
Harry Belafonte

Researching the 1950s revealed our image of “best looking” guys made a sudden turn. Yes, we had our collegiate frat boy and our slick office guy

s idolized in the popular TV show, Mad Men.

mad men

More slick hair!

But a tougher “look” became idolized. Still baby-faced in some ways, but more of a fighter’s energy seemed to be behind those lashes.

James Dean

Look at these teenagers trying to mimic James and Marlon. You can always tell what’s “in” regarding looks by checking out your local high school. Seriously. Try it sometime.

1950s teens

1950s teenagers

The 1960s brought us a whole new level of grit. Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and James Bond ushered us into one of the greatest decades for cinema — the 1970s — and changed what (who?) we grew hot over.

Clint Eastwood

Of course the 60s and 70s also brought us hair. Lots and lots of hair. Good-bye brylcreme.

HippieFashion4

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By the time 1975 rolled around, a certain slickness returned, and ushered in a whole new glamour for men that the previous two decades had ditched.

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The concept of “sexy ugly” emerged sometime between the 1970s and 1980s. (I think.)

-Sexy Ugly-

Maybe it’s the hair or the large mouth? I dunno. Or perhaps the confidence and talent that makes these guys so attractive?

The 1980’s “look” took us up a notch on the “slick side.” Everything suddenly got tailored from the hair to the clothes.

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in the movie, Wall Street

Don Johnson and
 Philip Michael Thomas played Sonny Crockett
 and Ricardo Tubbs in 
Miami Vice

Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas played Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs in Miami Vice

Well, except for when it didn’t. The hair bands of the 80s were well labeled. They wore more make-up than I did back then.

The rock band Poison

The rock band Poison

Hang on you’re only half way down the rabbit hole. The 1990s brought us grunge, boy band cuteness and, well, just general experimentation in hair styles and gender-bending.Rock band Nirvana

Rock band Nirvana

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Boy band Nsync

I credit Will Smith for introducing color to men's wardrobes

Will Smith, the cutie pie

The late Prince

The late rocker Prince. RIP

By the time the 2000s rolled around all bets were off on an “in” look: long hair, beards, tattoos, three piece suits, jeans and t-shirts, military uniforms, exotic and cultured, all-American, tough guy etc. all made the list as attractive. We finally began to see more diversity. (i.e. someone other than white was considered hot. I mean, personally, my clothes would fall off if Denzel Washington walked into the room.) Also, right around David Beckham’s introduction to the world, muscles became a “must” to be considered good looking. Not a bad way to raise the bar . . .

David Beckham, the quintessential metrosexual

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Denzel Washington

George Clooney whose looks Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw declared "as classic as a Chanel suit."

George Clooney whose looks Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw declared “as classic as a Chanel suit.”

But, oh wow, did we reach a new level of maleness recently. Beards and ink became the “in” thing a few years ago.

Levi Stocke

Levi Stocke

Speaking of manly goodness, we couldn’t possibly leave out Michael Stokes’ brilliant portrayals of our wounded warriors. Well, just about anyone he photographs is swoon-worthy. See what I mean about muscles? (Did you know next week is military theme week here at LadySmut? Check in daily! You never know what we will have up our sleeves . . . or down in other places.)

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I could continue with the pictures but at this point I’m sure you’re hanging on to the sides of the rabbit hole walls by your fingernails.

I can’t help but wonder, however. What will 2020 bring us in the way of male hotness? Anyone want to hazard a guess? In the meantime, cheers to all the men down the ages. You’re gorgeous, dahling. Let’s just not return to the make-up, K?

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Leonardo DiCaprio as the Great Gatsby

Until then, check out this story by Alexa Day (along with 21 other New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling authors), which is part of a brand spanking new erotic romance and BDSM box set Hero to Obey: Twenty-two Naughty Military Romance Stories. 

Hero to Obey cover image

About Alexa’s story, Passing Through: The summer’s brought two surprises to bar owner Gigi Deane: the former Army Ranger she hired is the perfect barback, and he takes orders in bed as well as he does on the job. Noah Malone’s told her that he’s just passing through, but as the seasons change, can she convince him to make their summer thing a little more permanent?

Yeah, baby. Follow me on Facebook for my daily hunk-a-luscious-ness pictures. More hot men to be had!