Categories
Erotica sex

Cuckold Defined

I have been seeing a TON of posts on Twitter from everybody under the sun saying what a cuckold “is” and “isn’t”. I’m here to tell you that most of …

Cuckold Defined

I’ve never used the reblog function here… I hope I’m doing it right.

I appreciated this lengthy post on the term cuck and cuckolding. I frequently cringe when I use the terms, all due to the negative connotations people have added to the terms.

Please be sure to check out some of my works about hotwifing and cuckolding:

Categories
Erotica Uncategorized Writing

Please Review a Free Copy of Strictly Business

If you’re interested, please head over to BookSprout to pick up a free copy of Strictly Business: Tormenting Tom. The copy is free! All I ask is that if you enjoyed it, please leave a review at your favorite retailer (or multiple). Amazon is preferable, but you can choose another if you would like.

I’m still learning the ropes for a lot of the self-publishing game. One of my challenges has been figuring out how to get reviews on the books I’ve written and published. I tried BookSprout with On His Orders: Faithfully Unfaithful and at least got a few reviews.

The first 20 reviewers should be able to get a copy for free. Again, that link is: https://booksprout.co/arc/59249/strictly-business-tormenting-tom

A preview for Strictly Business is here: https://aliciastillsauthor.design.blog/2021/01/07/preview-for-strictly-business-tormenting-tom/

Categories
Erotica sex Swinging Uncategorized

Does Having a Threesome With Your Partner Obligate You to Have Another?

Specifically, if you have a threesome with two women and a man (FMF), are you now obligated to have a threesome with two men and a woman (MFM)?

To me, the answer is an obvious “no,” but I’ve seen quite a few people and sites say otherwise. In order to be “equal,” you have to do both kinds of threesomes “for” your partner. I can’t find it anymore, but I remember hearing Channing Tatum talk about it years ago, saying something along the lines of, “well, yeah, a threesome with two women is great, but remember, you have to give her a threesome with two guys afterwards, so be ready for that.”

I think that view is absolutely bonkers. No wonder so many people have failed threesome attempts. If this is how you understand the dynamics of group sex to be, you really aren’t cut out for it, in my opinion. There are just so many problems with viewing sex through that kind of prism that it can be difficult to even begin addressing how wrong it is. I’ll take a crack at it, though.

First, threesomes and any other kind of swinging as a couple has to be something that both partners want to do. If one partner really doesn’t want to add a third person – even if I think they should be open to trying it out to see how fun it can be – they shouldn’t. And their partner should respect that. It doesn’t mean they can’t explore it again in the future, but you can’t get involved if one person isn’t interested.

Second, and related, is that you aren’t having a threesome “for” your partner. Your having a threesome with your partner as part of a mutual desire to have one. If a couple has an FMF threesome, it should be because both the man and the woman wanted to add another woman to the mix. Neither one should be able to say sometime in the future that their partner owes them an MFM because they did FMF “for” the other. No, you did FMF because you both wanted to. Neither of them gets to say that they had a threesome for the other because they both wanted it. Even if one of them had a greater interest in FMF than the other. And, of course, the inverse is true – just interchange FMF for MFM.

Third, if the above isn’t the case and one person was only having a threesome in order to use that as leverage over the other, that’s really shitty. I mean, really, really shitty. That’s sexual coercion and isn’t fair to your partner. If my husband had only been having MFMs with me in order to make me feel obligated to give him an FMF, I would have felt entirely violated, even if I did want to have an FMF with him.

Fourth, viewing sexual relationships and bringing extra partners into bed with you as being so tit-for-tat is an extremely and overly simplistic way to view equality. If you have FMF you have to have MFM, or vice versa, is a child-like way to think about equality in the complex relationships that adults have. It just doesn’t compare to “Well, Jane had a turn with Toy A, so now John gets a turn with Toy A” like we tell our toddlers when they argue.

But, if you want to check out some of my works where the couples are happily having threesomes and foursomes, please check out the below:

Categories
Erotica General Swinging

Interracial Cuckolding and the Problem with Race

I find myself considering the topic of race as it relates to interracial cuckolding a lot. Every time I think about it, I can’t get past the issue of what role, exactly, race plays in the situations. Far too often, the sentiment behind the image at the top of this post is too relevant for my liking.

I’ll start by saying that I have absolutely no issues with interracial relationships, attraction to certain races over others, or anything like that. Everyone is entitled to be attracted to whatever feature it is that they prefer. Many people are more attracted to certain races, and (since it’s not 1960), I fully support that.

But… I do have to question the motivation behind interracial cuckolding.

Perhaps some will disagree with me about the depictions made in porn, but I don’t think there’s much of a question that the pornography industry plays heavily on racist tropes. Innocent-looking woman being taken by a “thug,” particularly groups of thuggish black men. Latina women playing the role of subservient maid. Racist language throughout. Differences in race being fetishized and highlighted throughout the scene. There’s more on that here: Interracial Cuckold Porn, as well as many other sources. And others have noted that – specifically in relation to the cuckold genre – cuckold scenes very frequently feature a black man as the bull and a white man being cucked, whereas the inverse is very rarely true.

Why is that?

All I keep coming back to is that it’s a continuation of racist depictions that naturally play into the cuckolding desires. Many men enjoy being cuckolded due to the humiliation factor involved in the practice. There’s also an aspect of role reversal that can be a turn on.

Even though there are quite a few reasons why men want to be cuckolded by their partner, humiliation is the one that most people focus on, particularly in the porn industry. They do so in a very shallow and cartoonish sort of way, but it’s a primary focus.

So, as a white couple, having a black man sleep with your wife is presumed to make the entire situation more embarrassing. The roles have really been reversed as well. Now, not only is the man subservient to his wife, but he’s also subservient to a black man as well. Twice the role reversal, twice the humiliation, I guess.

I think this is why the interracial depictions in the industry have always made me uncomfortable. Race has been inserted into the discussion as an additional factor that is supposed to be so obvious as to be presumed to be more degrading.

Not that it’s always that way, but I struggle to see it any other way in most circumstances. I know there are more innocent explanations for a lot couples that put this into practice – obviously, the humiliation factor may be enhanced for some white men who simply view men of other races as superior in some manner. And a woman may simply be more sexually attracted to men of a different race, even if her partner isn’t of that race. So I’m not going to draw any absolutes here.

But I’m still strongly suspect of the fetishization of races, particularly in the context of cuckolding.

Anyway, it’s just some food for thought. Please be sure to check out some of my works about hotwifing and cuckolding:

Categories
Erotica Writing

Strictly Business Discounted Through 2/15

Strictly Business: Tormenting Tom is on sale at a discounted price via Smashwords now through February 15, 2021. Rather than $2.99, you can pick up a copy for $1.79 using coupon code UQ25F (which is also on the checkout page).

While you’re there, feel free to check out the other featured deals currently running on the site to see if you find you’re next favorite read.

Categories
Erotica Writing

Review of Smashwords

This is part 3 of 3 of my reviews of the self-publishing platforms I’ve used so far. Parts 1 & 2 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, respectively, are already up.

Smashwords may be lesser known, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the site. It may not have the name recognition of Amazon and B&N, but it seems to hold its own fairly well.

You can find my works on Smashwords here.

PROS

1. More Retailers

Unlike Amazon and B&N, Smashwords has a service where they will distribute your e-book to other retailers. I think this option is great, and it eliminates the need to upload your book to each retailer individually and to make changes on each retailer’s site when updates are warranted. It’s a big time-saver in that sense. Plus, you achieve a wider distribution beyond just Smashwords.

2. Top Royalties

Smashwords pays 80% royalty. This isn’t completely straightforward, but sales directly on Smashwords pay an 80% royalty rate, regardless of the price of your book (minimum of 99 cents). You can set an optional affiliate payment, which is automatically set at first to 11% unless you opt out or change it. But essentially, anyone that refers a reader to Smashwords using an affiliate code can get 11% of the proceeds of a sale of your book (or different amount, depending on what you set it at).

In my experience, most sales don’t come via an affiliate. I don’t like losing out on 11% when it happens, but I also appreciate that without the affiliate, I wouldn’t have made the sale, So there’s that.

Additionally, if your book is priced at under $2.99, you still get this higher royalty rate, which differs from Amazon (but no longer B&N, as of 2/1/2021). And there is no reduction based on location of purchaser.

If your book is in the premium catalog – meaning it is getting distributed to other retailers like Kobo, Apple, Scribd, etc. – the other retailer takes 30% and Smashwords takes 10%. So you still end up with a 60% royalty if it isn’t an affiliate sale. This is great on its own due to the ease of getting your book out to more places, but there’s an additional benefit if your book is under $2.99. If you publish via B&N and have a book priced at 99 cents, you would get a 40% royalty rate. If you go through Smashwords, you still get this 60% rate. (**Update** B&N now has a 70% royalty, regardless of e-book price; however, the above analysis still applies for other retailers).

3. Strong Sales

Of course it could just be my experience up to this point, but I’ve found that the sales through Smashwords have been strong. Nearly as strong as using just Amazon, actually.

4. Affiliate System

I like the affiliate system, both in that affiliates have some motivation to link to my books, but also in that I can be an affiliate and potentially add revenue by directing others to Smashwords or particular books/authors.

5. Quick publication

At least to Smashwords, itself. My books are available on Smashwords in a matter of minutes. It takes a day or two to get to other retailers, but for Smashwords itself, it’s nearly immediate.

6. Coupons

You can add coupons and they are available immediately. Smashwords also has a section for books that are currently on sale at a discounted price or books that are listed for free.

But, unlike B&N, if you are looking at a book that has a coupon, they actually tell you the book is discounted and what the coupon code is.

CONS

1. Worse Ease-of-Use

I’ve found that the formatting needed to be acceptable on Smashwords for their premium catalog status to be far more difficult than Amazon and B&N. It’s no issue if you only want to publish on Smashwords, but if you want to go to other retailers, you have to format it in a very particular way using an older version of Word. I understand that part of this is due to needing to convert to multiple formats due to differences amongst retailers, but it also feels like it could be better-automated in 2021.

2. No Ability to Use Coupons at Retailers

While I love that I can put my books on sale at Smashwords (like Hooky On His Orders: Faithfully Unfaithful, and On His Orders: Entertaining Three currently are), this doesn’t carry over to retailers. It would be nice to be able to have a consistent price/promotion across all retailers. But, since I don’t have an account with other retailers and, because even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to add a coupon published through someone else, I can’t add a comparable coupon.

3. Smashwords is Relatively Unknown

I think this one speaks for itself. Most people haven’t heard of Smashwords and don’t go to it first. Again, my sales there have been fine, but I think it’s still lacking in some name recognition for a lot of consumers.

Bottom Line

The bottom line for me is that I think Smashwords is fantastic. It has great royalties and it distributes to other retailers. It makes wider distribution easier with no need to make multiple stops when changes are needed.

My workaround to the hassle to format correctly has been to have all of my formatting preset in a document that I can then past my books into, applying the relevant formatting to each section. I think it took me about 20 minutes to format Strictly Business: Tormenting Tom this way.

Categories
Erotica Writing

Review of Barnes & Noble Press

**Update** As of 2/1/2021, Barnes & Noble has changed its royalty rates so that it is a flat 70% for e-books with no delivery fees and without maintaining a tiered system based on book price. Which is fantastic. Naturally, I attribute the change to my post below.

This is part 2 of 3 of my reviews of the self-publishing platforms I’ve used so far. The first one dealt with Amazon and can be found here: Review of Amazon.

You can find my works currently with Barnes & Noble here.

PROS

1. Large Network

Like Amazon, Barnes & Noble has a very large platform of dedicated customers. Unlike Amazon, it’s still largely dedicated to books. This gets your book in front of potentially millions of new customers that prefer to shop for books through B&N.

2. Ease of Use

Again, B&N is easy to use, although I would have to give the edge to Amazon on this one. I think it’s still pretty straightforward and not too much work for someone with a little bit of computer literacy to figure out, though. In particular, B&N makes it much easier to add your books to the appropriate categories, whereas Amazon keeps that formula much more of a puzzle, at least for getting your books added to certain subcategories.

3. Straightforward Royalties

**Update** As referenced above, the royalty system changed as of 2/1/2021. I’m keeping the below just for historical purposes. But this royalty system is even better now – 70% for all e-books, regardless of price.

The royalty system on B&N doesn’t appear to have any tricks or gimmicks about it. You get 65% for any e-book priced at $2.99 or higher and 40% for any e-book priced between 99 cents and $2.98. They don’t charge you a delivery fee and they don’t reduce your higher royalty rate for something less on the basis of location of the purchaser.

There’s so much to figure out when trying to self-publish for the first time that I think this benefit is bigger than some would initially think. It’s nice to have this aspect laid out in a simplistic, unchanging way.

4. Better Royalties

In comparison to Amazon, that is. At least that’s been my experience. Amazon likes to tout that it has a 70% royalty rate, but, as discussed in my review of Amazon, that’s actually pretty misleading. When they charge a delivery fee and reduce your royalty for sales in many countries, I’m sure I get less than the 65% that B&N provides. Plus, of course, 40% on lower priced publications is 14% higher than what Amazon provides.

5. Sales & Coupons

B&N gives authors the ability to add coupons to your books without having to enroll them in a program that demands exclusivity to B&N. In face, On His Orders: Entertaining Three is currently on sale at Barnes & Noble (coupon code BNPORDERS50).

CONS

1. Coupons Not Automatically Provided

From what I can tell, even though B&N lets authors add coupons whenever they want, it doesn’t list them as being “on sale” or “discounted,” and it doesn’t automatically apply the coupon. They don’t even appear to tell customers what the code is, meaning you would have to get the code elsewhere. So, you know. If you don’t have a big network, the coupon doesn’t do much good.

2. Sales Lag Behind Others

Perhaps this has just been my experience, but the sales on B&N don’t match what I see elsewhere. B&N has a huge network, but if it doesn’t translate into sales, the network size didn’t provide a benefit.

3. Slow Publication Times

I know B&N’s systems had a hiccup a while ago that slowed publication, but I’ve found that they take much longer than most retailers to add a publication to their available inventory. I asked customer service about it once, and I received a response. Two weeks later and right after my book was finally made available for sale.

4. No Unlimited Reading Program

While Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program has some real drawbacks, it is a nice service that I would gladly use if it didn’t require exclusivity. It would be great if B&N offered something similar. I think it’s helpful for authors – particularly new authors – to get their books in front of more people.

Bottom Line

The bottom line for me is that if I were going to get rid of using one of the three retailers I currently use, it would be B&N. Their royalties are good, their ease-of-use is pretty good, and they have a large network. But, it hasn’t translated to sales, and they negate one of their biggest perks (the ability to add coupons whenever you want) for authors without a sizeable following with their deficiencies in the coupons feature.

But if you aren’t locked into exclusivity with another retailer, it’s easy enough to get published on B&N, so there’s really nothing to lose. It just seems like this would be a better option for an author that already has an established following.

Categories
Erotica Writing

Books on Sale!

Three of my books on Smashwords are currently on sale through the end of the month. When you go to purchase, you’ll be provided with a coupon code to enter for your discount. I give the code below, but Smashwords will provide it as well. at checkout. On His Orders: Entertaining Three is discounted on Barnes & Noble as well.

Please check them out and leave me a review if you enjoyed reading them! I love to hear feedback from readers.

Hooky is priced at 99 cents. Coupon code is EU56C.
On His Orders: Faithfully Unfaithful is priced at $1.25. Coupon code is TE45L.
On His Orders: Entertaining Three is priced at $1.25. Coupon code is CX35Y.
It is also on sale on Barnes & Noble at the same price. The coupon code at B&N is BNPORDERS50. B&N sale price doesn’t take effect until January 16 due to their policies.
Categories
Erotica Writing

Review of Amazon/KDP for Self-Publishing

One of the most common questions I see from others trying to become self-published authors is perhaps the most obvious one: where can I self-publish my works? There are a few options for publication and I’ll start with the biggest: KDP through Amazon. I’ll address Barnes & Noble and Smashwords in later posts.

My Amazon author page is here, by the way: http://www.amazon.com/author/aliciastills.

I’m not going to pretend like I’m a huge expert on the matter or anything, but I’m also not going to blow smoke and tell Internet strangers that I make $10,000 a month publishing erotica. Seriously, why do so many people trying to scam others into paying for their publication assistance pick $10,000 a month when they’re making up income? It’s a nice, round number, but also completely fabricated.

But anyway, the point of this post isn’t to try to sell anyone on anything or to toot my own proverbial horn. I think that getting into this can be confusing and I just want to break down my impressions and experiences to help anyone else who’s thinking of giving this a go.

PROS

1. Large Network

Amazon has a huge distribution network and they seem to reach the largest audience. For anyone who’s trying to get their book in front of the most people, Amazon provides a pretty good platform for that.

2. Ease of Use

I’ve found that using Amazon’s services to get your e-book (and paperbacks, for that matter) ready for publication has been the most user-friendly. I used Amazon/KDP first, so really, it was a bit of a shock to use a different service after that to see just how far they lagged behind Amazon in terms of ease of use.

3. Highest Number of Sales

Again, it’s been my experience that Amazon has been able to get my books in front of the most people, resulting in higher sales on this platform than I’ve seen on others.

4. Kindle Unlimited Program

Okay, so this one appears on both the pros and cons list and it seems to invoke strong feelings from many self-published authors. I can see the valid benefits and drawbacks to the program, so I think it’s only fair that it appears on both the pros and cons.

For those that don’t know, Kindle Unlimited (“KU”) is an optional program when you self-publish on Amazon’s KDP platform. KU members pay a fixed price for the ability to read as much as they want of any book enrolled in the KU program. In exchange, authors receive royalties based on the total number of unique page reads they receive on the KU program each month. It gets your book in front of more people, it increases your chances of reviews (hopefully positive), and it gets you a share of the money in the KU fund.

Additionally, when you’re enrolled in KU, you have the ability to create “countdown deals,” which is when you temporarily lower the price of your book. It can either remain at one fixed lower rate for the entire length of your promotion, which is up to one week, or it can increase in steps, depending on how you want to structure it. Alternatively, you can also choose to do a free e-book giveaway instead. Your free days do not have to be consecutive. It’s easy to set up and use.

Finally, enrolling a book in KU opens authors up to a 70% royalty rate in five additional countries, rather than the 35% they would get if not enrolled in KU.

5. Fast Publication

Amazon processes submissions pretty quickly and I usually see my books available for purchase in less than a day. They aren’t the fastest, but given their sheer size, it’s a pretty quick turnaround.

CONS

1. Your Book Can Get Lost

It’s the other side of the coin to having a large network. Sure, there are a lot of potential customers, but there are also an enormous number of books, increasing the chances that your book gets lost in the shuffle.

2. Royalty Rates Are Confusing and Don’t Make Sense

**Update** This is even a more salient drawback in light of changes implemented by Barnes & Noble on 2/1/2021. B&N now provides a flat royalty rate of 70% for all e-books, which makes Amazon’s even more ridiculous and not as good.

Personally, I think they could easily have provided clearer explanations of their royalty rates. You have to price your book at $2.99 or higher in order to qualify for the 70% royalty rate. However, just because you meet all qualifications to receive the 70% royalty rate, you still might only get 35%. I found out that your royalty rate also depends on what country the buyer is located.

As far as I have been able to tell, this is something that is unique to Amazon, as none of the other publishers I’ve used find it necessary or appropriate to reduce royalty rates based on the buyer’s country. It doesn’t make sense to me why a buyer’s location should impact royalty rates, particularly when this is only applied by Amazon.

They also will take a delivery fee if you are enrolled in the 70% royalty rate.

3. Royalty Rates Are Worse Than Others

At 35%, KDP is the lowest royalty rate I’ve seen for e-books priced under $2.99. Barnes & Noble is 40% (**Update B&N is now 70%) and Smashwords can vary, but would still be at least 49% . The breakdown of that is that Smashwords’ partners take 30%, Smashwords takes 10%. There might be an affiliate fee, which is initially set for authors at 11%, but you can opt to give a higher rate or nothing at all.

And again, even if you are enrolled in the 70% royalty rate program, you still might get bumped down to 35% depending on the country of the buyer. I’ve found that somewhere around 15% of my sales are coming from people in countries with a 35% royalty rate, regardless of my election. Additionally, they also have a slightly higher delivery fee in the 70% election (which is waived for 35%). So, at the end of the day the 70% is cut down by quite a bit, especially depending on where your sales are coming from. Even though Barnes & Noble has its higher rate set at 65%, the royalty rate overall ends being better there. And that was before B&N improved its rates even more.

4. Kindle Unlimited Program

As promised, KU appears on the cons list as well. For all of its benefits, I still don’t have my books enrolled in KU. I did have all except for the last one, Strictly Business: Tormenting Tom, enrolled initially, but declined to renew. You make some additional money, but not much. Borrows from the KU program really drops off, too, so there is limited usefulness.

But what really bothers me about KU is that you are required to give KDP exclusivity rights while a book is enrolled in KU. Not only can you not use other publishers, but you can’t even make more than 10% of your book available on your own site.

More than that, you can’t put your book on sale or do a free giveaway if you are not enrolled in KU. There is no reason, aside from trying to force authors into enrolling in KU, despite Amazon taking a very large portion of the sales proceeds, anyway.

Also, yes, you are open to the 70% royalty rate in five new countries if enrolled in KU, but I don’t think I’ve even sold any copies in any of those countries. Maybe I have with this last round and I’m sure I will evenaturally, but that benefit is pretty limited.

Don’t get me wrong – they have a great platform and what they provide is great. But they definitely leverage their enormity to boost their bottom line at all turns.

Bottom Line

The bottom line for me is that Amazon is great for self-publishing. I wish that KU was a better deal for authors and that 70% royalty applied to sales in all countries, but it’s easy to use and has shown the best sales so far. It’s my first stop for publishing and will probably remain so going forward.

Categories
Erotica Uncategorized

Strictly Business: Tormenting Tom now available

Strictly Business: Tormenting Tom is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Smashwords distributors (Apple, Kobo/Walmart, others). It took longer than I hoped it would to get this out – it always seems to – but if you have a preferred e-reader, chances are, Strictly Business is there. A preview is available here.

This book pulled me a little farther away from my normal style and brought me into BDSM and female domination. The timing just seemed right to get into this genre. 2020 was a doozy of a year for my family, particularly, and writing about femdom was a nice outlet. It also aligns with my husband and I exploring domination, humiliation, and BDSM. I’m finding that femdom can be quite enjoyable for us, even if we never quite get as extreme as the characters in Strictly Business.

Regardless, I enjoyed writing it. It made me feel dirty in a new kind of way and I kept picturing that scene in Black Swan.

I hope you enjoy, and please remember to leave a review at your favorite retailer!