Please keep in mind this is a cultural piece, and the video with the link is going to disturb you. I couldn't finish watching it. I thought I could take a lot. But I just couldn't watch. It's a piece about a different kind of activism we rarely hear about in the US. It's animal activism that many are starting to take more seriously in places like Yulin, China, where there's an annual dog and cat meat festival. I'm posting about it because I have two new releases coming out soon and one, Cage James, deals with a very delusional character who dines on exotic meats. I didn't use dog meat in my story for obvious reasons, but I found it interesting while doing research that so many exotic meats are perfectly legal in the US. And even those that are not legal can often be purchased for the right price.
As I said, this is cultural and animal activists in China are working to change it:
Dozens of journalists, filmmakers and photographers have come to the city in China's southeast Guangxi province to document an event that lies at the center of a battle between deeply-ingrained tradition and the encroachment of the modern world. Activists say dogs are part of the daily diet here, with an estimated 10,000 dogs killed for the festival alone.
Ask a local when the tradition of eating dog meat began and you'll likely be met with a dumbfounded expression -- it is akin to asking someone when people started eating beef. For many in the city, eating dog meat is a hard habit to break, despite changing attitudes about the treatment of animals in China.
You can read more here. And please be advised that video will be disturbing to most westerners. I'll post more about Cage James and the character who eats exotic meats in my story below.
Once again, here's another piece I found interesting about sex, erotica, romance, and gay power bottoming. I've mentioned this in erotic m/m romance from time to time, but never in detail. I just assume that all readers know what a power bottom is, but I've received e-mails from some who aren't quite sure.
I think this is probably one of the easiest and most comprehensive articles I've read on the topic, and also with regard to many references made that ring true. It mentions size queens, straight men who enjoy bottoming with their girlfriends, and power and control. What is a power bottom? Here's how this piece answers it:
In gay sexuality terms, a “bottom” is understood to be the male partner who is on the receptive end of anal intercourse and enjoys being penetrated. A “power bottom” could be defined as a bottom who has a strong enthusiasm and drive for engaging in long sessions of anal penetrative sex, whether as an extended single encounter with no interruption of being “topped”, or having the desire and ability to engage in multiple instances of anal sex over a long period of time within a sexual episode. A man who can accommodate penile thrusting for long periods without stopping and shows exuberance, lack of inhibition, and active participation in the sexual encounter are characterized as “power bottoms.” Many tops (the penetrator) who have endurance and enjoy long sessions of anal intercourse commonly complain about bottoms who have to terminate penetration because of discomfort, pain, or exhaustion. Conversely, power bottoms can also be discontented with a top who ejaculates too quickly during sex and halts the sexual encounter before he has been thoroughly satisfied.
In some instances I've found that power bottoms can take on multiple tops, and their own climax is not usually something they care about. The experience of taking on these top men IS the sexual satisfaction for them. Climax in the traditional sense is not the most important thing and many prefer unreciprocated sex in that respect.
You can read more here. It's a detailed account with some excellent examples. I personally like this one:
Gay men love penises of all shapes and sizes and despite the stereotypes about “bigger is better”, many men find these phalluses difficult to accommodate and less pleasurable than an average-to-smaller sized member. Others love the feeling of being “filled” and “stuffed” by an over-sized appendage.
And there you are. The next time you find yourself in a discussion about gay men, sex, romance, and bottoming you'll know most of what you really need to know.
Side note: I also think there are "power tops." Even though we don't hear the term often I once knew a gay couple where the top in the relationship was so enthusiastic about sex with his partner he would top for hours while the bottom just watched TV. That really is a true story, and I'm sure it's not unique.
Gay Bachelors People Magazine
I'm glad this is starting to happen. For a long time it wasn't even a topic of discussion. But now people are questioning why People Magazine just listed famous eligible bachelors and there isn't one gay man on the list. Ricky Martin is single. Where's his name?
A wet and sexy Joe Manganiello on the cover of this week's People Magazine assured that its annual Hollywood's Hottest Bachelor issue would enjoy huge sales.
In addition to three shirtless photos in a four-page spread of the True Blood stars, the issue also features large sexy photos of such hunks as Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, and Scott Eastwood.
All are straight.
Well, as far as we know they are all straight. One big reason there aren't more gay bachelors is because so many famous men are still in the closet.
Cage James by Ryan Field Free Excerpt
As mentioned above, Cage James is an indie book I'll be releasing at the end of this month. My other new release, Small Town Romance Writer, will be out this week and I'd like to focus on that because it's 110,000 words and the final book in the bad boy billionaire series. I actually submitted that one a year ago and it's finally coming out now. I've been rethinking release dates and how far apart to separate them.
In any event, Cage James is a quirky erotic romantic suspense book that's set in San Francisco and revolves around a dysfunctional relationship between an opportunistic gay male stripper and a sheltered young millionaire who eats nothing but the most expensive exotic meat money can buy. Here's a short excerpt from one of the dining experiences in the book that makes one character cringe a little.
As Sam crossed to the other end of the table Forna entered the room pulling a cart. He set a fresh plate of raw ground beef and a cup of tea in front of Sam and said, "Here you go, Mr. Sam."
"I think you should start calling me Mr. James," Sam said. He sent Cage a smile. "I'm thinking of taking Cage's last name as my married name once Cage and I are married."
This was news to Cage. He hadn't even thought that far in advance.
Forna made a face. "I'm going to call you what I've been calling you since you were born until you get married." He sent Cage a dirty look and pulled the cart to his end of the table.
Sam took a big mouthful of raw meat and swallowed without chewing it completely. "It's all up in the air right now, Forna. There's no need to get nervous about it. We still have to work that out. Cage might take my last name, Woodard. Or we might even hyphenate both of our names. So calm yourself, my dear."
"I'm not nervous about anything," Forna said, as he set a plate of raw ground beef and a cup of coffee in front of Cage. He turned back toward the kitchen and spoke in a low mumble. "It doesn't matter to me what you call yourself. I'm only the hired help around here. You want to marry a man you just met that's fine with me. You can call yourself Miss Dee Meanor for all I care."
Cage glanced down at the raw meat and pressed his palm to his stomach.
Sam swallowed another big forkful of meat and said, "Don't pay attention to Forna. Miss Dee Meanor was a drag performer he once knew. He'll get used to you, Babydoll. He's just not used to sharing me. It's only been Forna and me for a long time. I think he gets jealous of you sometimes."
"I understand," Cage said, trying to figure out how he would deal with this raw meat in front of him. Since he'd met Sam and moved into the mansion he'd been introduced to a lot of peculiar foods that came from all over the world. He didn't mind the snake meat, or bear testicles because they'd been sautéed in garlic butter. But he'd never been fond of raw meat, especially when it was this red.
Sam noticed he wasn't eating. "Is anything wrong?"
"This is raw."
"It's the best raw elephant meat money can buy," Sam said. "It's good for you."
Sam laughed. "I'm only joking. I would never eat elephant. It's only bison. And it really is good for you…like snake meat and bison testicles. Raw bison testicles are excellent for the blood, and taste wonderful with ranch dressing." Sam took another forkful and swallowed. With a trickle of blood dripping down the side of his face he said, "I love exotic meat. I have a few huge freezers in the basement devoted to nothing but exotic meats from all over the world. And, there's a butcher block down there, too, with a high tech grinder for the best and freshest ground meat. I pay this one butcher very well to wrap and package the freshest kills as soon as they are delivered. This meat is actually kind of tame, at least compared to the other meats down there."
Cage gulped. He didn't know there were whole freezers full of that shit. The thought of eating bison testicles and ranch dressing for the rest of his life made his stomach jump.
"I think this particular bison is very tasty, especially raw. It's the only way to eat some exotic meat."
"Then have mine," Cage said. "I not that hungry right now. I insist."
As he stood up to carry his plate to the other end of the table, Sam said, "No. It's all for you, Babydoll. Now be a good boy and eat up."
Cage glanced down at the raw meat and forced a smile. The monkey glared at him from the buffet table, picked up a gold ceramic pear from a fruit bowl, and hurled it across the room. Cage looked up just in time and ducked. The ceramic pear hit the wall and shattered into a million pieces.
Instead of scolding the monkey, Sam turned in his direction and laughed. "Now you be a good boy, Sweetness. We'll have no more of that. Cage is your new gay daddy now and you be nice to him or no filet mignon for you tonight."
Cage blinked. The monkey got filet and Cage got raw bison. Something was seriously wrong with all this. At least the monkey created a distraction that Cage needed. While Sam was looking at the monkey and laughing, Cage dumped his entire portion of raw men into the napkin on his lap and shoved it into the bathrobe pocket.