All posts by AdiraAugust

An Alpha Sub? It Can’t Be…

There’s an amazing amount of pure nonsense slung around these days about being an “Alpha” male or female. Here’s some now:

“She [Alpha female] is unabashedly sexy as well as career oriented. Her towering four-inch stilettos march off to the office, the store, the judge’s chambers, and her lacquered-red soles send a “follow me” signal, straight to the bedroom.”

full article here

Srsly? Being an Alpha female requires marching around a courtroom in front of a judge or jury in four inch fuck-me heels? So she can make sure she isn’t taken seriously? Can have crippling arthritis in her feet in a few years?

I’ve been in more than a few courtrooms and I’m pretty sure this woman would alienate most of the female jurors and make most of the males picture her on her knees. In front of them.

It’s just as bad for men, apparently.

This article requires men to change the way they walk to “become” an Alpha:

“Alpha males walk slow but with strong steps. Unlike a beta male who just walks fast or uses a walk to get from point A to point B, an alpha male knows his walk can make him stand out.”

Oh, dear God. How little self-esteem does a man have to have to buy this? The one most likely to not think at all about his walk is the Alpha moving from point A to B. Then we come to this, a standard trope in modern romance:

“Alpha males take control. They are dominant. They tell people what to do. They are direct. They take over situations when necessary. Alpha males are seen as powerful. They are the king of the mountain.” source

Unfortunately, the Alpha in many BDSM-themed books is far more bully than Alpha, as illustrated so perfectly by 50 Shades. They have power by wealth or situation. It’s Donald Trump. It’s Bill Gates. Which one do you want to follow?

You know what a leader with no followers is called? A guy shooting off his mouth. Alphas don’t make themselves up, they are created by genetics and environment.


Alphaism in social structure is a common component of animal studies. But for humans, let’s use an older, but much better descriptor for Alpha: opinion leader.


1. General: Influential members of a community, group, or society to whom others turn for advice, opinions, and views.


Hang out at your child’s 4th grade classroom and you’ll soon identify kids who are opinion leaders (OLs).

The OL in a group, what we might call the Alpha, is the one people look at when a surprising or scary situation arises. Whether a clown or a rattlesnake enters the room, everyone looks at the OL for a clue as to how to feel or respond. This kind of Alphahood is a natural trait.

The Jury Foreman Model: Someone can learn to manipulate the social situation—12 strangers in a room—so that they are likely to be elected jury foreman. But during deliberations, the OL/Alpha—male or female sitting anywhere at the table—is the one the other jurors will listen to. This person may be unassuming or gregarious, or anything in-between.

They will have the greatest influence on  the outcome while the Delta jury foreman who attained artificial Alphahood is relegated to counting the votes and ordering lunch.


The thing about that Alpha OL is, they might be a sub in the bedroom:

… all of us, along with several other mammal species, appear to possess subcortical circuits for sexual dominance as well as submission. … source

You don’t need to find neural pathways in an autopsy to know this. Every individual, female or male, is on a status continuum. We are socially dominant relative to some people and submissive relative to others.

Sexually, some like a partner who rolls them onto their backs and takes over, because it mimics the partner being the Dominant who has chosen them. Some like to roll their partner onto their backs and take over because by submitting, the partner chooses them.  Sometimes, both partners like doing both things in the same session.

D/s is a continuum. Some are further along the dominance scale, some the submissive. Some switch between extremes, and some are just hanging out in the middle.

But both people in whatever relative position, are seeking the experience of being chosen. And being chosen by someone perceived as high status is the most desirable scenario for both. So, ideally, both are Alpha.

The basis of this is as old as our species and easily observed in others. The female wants the highest status male to make her babies. Whatever we define as high status, that’s what a female will be drawn to.

Males want the same, exact thing: the highest status female to produce his offspring. IOW, he wants a strong, healthy Alpha female who will raise up his offspring to be high-status, likely-to-survive individuals. She wants a male healthy enough to give her vigorous offspring, and strong or high status enough to protect them after they are born. Which means he can defend his position, because the next Alpha would kill her infants to bring her into estrus so he can make his own offspring.

Sex is reproduction. Nature doesn’t care about condoms or pills. Millions of years of evolution have created the system that drives us to fuck each other’s brains out in order to make more babies to grow and make more babies. And that system stays in place regardless of whatever higher brain function decision-making we bring to the table.

BDSM is rife with low-self-esteem submissives being pursued by high-status Alphas  who are more bully than Dom, and only culturally “alpha” by virtue of money or might.

In The Pixar Story, a terrific great documentary about evolution of modern animation, there’s a shot of the three men credited with making the Pixar dream a reality. PIXARstory

No one’s going to deny Steve Jobs was pretty Alpha on all counts. But John Lasseter is the real mover and shaker behind the twenty-year evolution of modern animation, assisted by science and technology wizards like Catmull. Watch the documentary and you won’t come away with a stereotypical picture of dominance. But Lasseter—artist, writer and director—is as Alpha as they come.

I have no problem with authors who write to market with standard tropes that sell well. But at some point we all live in the real world, as we’ve come to call it. Mistaking a bully with lower self esteem than your own for a fictional Alpha is not anyone’s most life-affirming choice.

CODA: I wanted to add that the reason man-on-woman sexual assault is about power not sex is that only low-self-esteem males commit it. Having some cultural imitation of Alphahood—as in inherited wealth—allows these low-status males to be chosen. They hate the women who choose them, believing only a lower-status female would do that. Their brute, controlling behavior short-circuits rejection by an Alpha female who is going to reject him no matter how much money he has.  ( See: Donald Trump )


The Lost Day

Going great guns on the new book (finally) I was all eager to get up and write a few thousand words today.

Then I opened my email. 😕

“I had downloaded Dancing Men on Kindle Unlimited. I got to page 1016 (end of “1:47 PM Promoted”). Then blank pages. So I deleted it and redownload. Same. So I returned and then learned I had to pay for it since it was no longer on Kindle Unlimited. Well, I was 21% in, so I bought it. Downloaded it. Same. It skips 15 pages. It takes me to page 1031…”


I am not blaming anyone. Like Amazon. I know, it’s shocking since I’m not afraid of whining about the ‘Zon. But they do have a previewer and I got complacent. I’d run the first few pages to make sure the basic formatting and titles held and check the links in the back matter. So I never saw the weird holes in the middle.

Dancing expired off KU and I was writing and didn’t notice.

Yes.  I fucked this up. 😳

After I found the second messed up book (I do think this is about a recent ‘Zon retool that’s honestly improved things for us but made some kinda glitch.) I decided to give up on the fast fix and do them all. SO:

  • New editions
  • Updated copyrights
  • Tanja added to Secret title page which I missed in the rush!
  • Updated backmatter.
  • Found a few typos.
  • Cover change on Knees

And I’m sending the entire series free of charge to the lovely reader who took the time to write an email and tell me the problem. I’d use her name but haven’t asked permission.

And I found the WordPress smiley codes.

Now –


I really need a slugline for Flight …






No Smut Allowed Part 2

This is from the On His Knees sales page editorial reviews section:

“Let’s get a few things out of the way first. This isn’t a romance. There’s desire aplenty between the protagonists, but no romantic love. … It’s not stroke fiction, designed to get the average reader off as quickly and dramatically as possible while they hold the book with one hand.

It is erotica. But not in the sense of the (bad) American Heritage Dictionary definition of “literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire” or the (worse) Webster’s New World Dictionary definition of “pornographic books.” No.

On His Knees is erotica in the most basic sense: “stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals.”(Thanks for that definition, Sylvia Day!)

And this particular journey is gritty and gut-wrenching.

Dale Cameron Lowry – author, blogger, philanthropist

But here is a more complete quote from Day:

Erotica: stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals. Emotion and character growth are important facets of a true erotic story. However, erotica is NOT designed to show the development of a romantic relationship, although it’s not prohibited if the author chooses to explore romance. Happily Ever Afters are NOT an intrinsic part of erotica, though they can be included. If they are included, they weren’t the focus. The focus remained on the individual characters’ journeys, not the progression of the romance.

This article is quoted constantly and her definitions have become a standard. This doesn’t mean they are “right,” but this specific paragraph does reflect my own thinking.

“The reader reads a book into existence.” I cannot recall who said that, but it’s true afaic. Some read Knees to get off and consider it smut. They don’t want mysteries or anything else getting in the way. I don’t consider anything I have ever written to be smut. Not Little Favor or A Thing for Feet or anything else no matter how much sex is in it.

Writers explore character through greed or sacrifice or violence or martyrdom. A lot of writers have done it through sex. It’s unfortunate that readers through time have so often brought their own rather unwholesome attitudes to these works and banned them.

I love my readers. I esp love those who see my and other works of erotica as what they are: stories about people.

Heat can still be fun, though. depositphotos_13155709_originalb

The Denver Spiderman Case


I’ve been carrying around a print-out a Denver Post story about the Denver Spiderman for almost 20 years looking for the right project to base on it.

The second I decided to write Hunter Dane Investigations, I knew Hunt would investigate this mystery. It took 5 books to be ready.

Phillip Peters,73, was killed Friday, Oct 17th, 1941. The story in the Post appeared in February of 1960 as an interview with police chief James Childers who was captain of detectives at the time of the slaying.

The killer, Theodore Coneys, was 61 years old when arrested, 6′ tall and weighed 75 pounds. There were gallon cans of human excrement in the attic and the smallest detective was sent up through the 7″x15″ space but was overwhelmed by the  smell and vomited.


Coneys had lived secretly in the attic for a month before Peters came home unexpectedly and found him raiding the fridge. Coneys killed him. Mrs. Peters was in the hospital at the time. So he stayed in the house. She came home and he stayed. He reported that he’d sneak down at night and stand over her in the dark watching her sleep.

Daytime nursing help and neighbors reported strange sounds and sightings. Police would respond and find nothing. The access panels were found and would not open and a deemed too small for a person to pass through.

The nurses quit and widow moved out. The house was closed up, the water turned off. The killer continued to live there. In the attic. The neighborhood did believe the house was haunted. News reports referred to the “Ghost Killer” of Phillip Peters.

After he was finally found by detectives, he was so pale and emaciated, fearing light, the cops said only a spider could have lived the way he did and he was dubbed the Denver Spiderman.

Coneys died in prison about twenty years later, in his eighties. Below is the full story and well-worth the time to listen to.



Secret Men Research Links

As usual, these are not all the links, but are ones that have information you’ll recognize from reading the Secret Men.

Top 5 Most Poisonous and Venomous Fish!