Trysting Techniques: Secret Passageways

Metaphorical passageways. It’s the theme of the day.

There is this really unfortunate habit that every generation seems to pick up. Along with going through that whole “kids these days are ruining everything” nonsense phase as adults, humans of every era seem to believe that they invented sex.

Of course, I get it. We don’t want to think about our grandparents as young and horny, and we’re so desperate to believe that we are the young, invigorated, sexy, clever generation who has really, finally figured out what it means to get down and dirty.

We all know you banged. It’s fine. We wanted you to.

I’m here to tell you all that ain’t so. The sex has always been good. Since caveman times. It’s just that during periods of puritanical value systems (and questionable methods of birth control), things had to be a little more discreet. So let’s talk about sneaking around and getting naked!

Medieval Europe was all at once a place of relentless brutality and fairy tale romance. Courtly love (and the entire concept of chivalry) was an answer to taming warriors into something that could function in society between battles. This was a lesson we didn’t learn again until after the Vietnam War, so take note, because boy was the “code of chivalry” approach ever effective!

While historians speak mostly of platonic courtship, sonnets and flowers and so on, I prefer to be a little more realistic. And my realism says: platonic my eye. You don’t build up that much sexual tension every day in gardens and courtyards and sumptuous palace rooms without the dam eventually bursting.

Image result for kitty howard
Girlfriend, at least you went out in style.

Now, one couldn’t really go around and boink random courtiers in full view of the palace, of course. Ye Olde Tinder was still in development, literacy was about as sparse as writing materials, and occasionally you’d have to deal with a psychotically possessive spouse getting in the way of your fun (looking at you, Kitty Howard).

That’s where the foundations of Europe come into play. The medieval castles that dot the European countryside by the thousand are not all unique structures, erected from nothing but dirt on the ground.

No, quite to the contrary, many of these castles were erected over the existing infrastructure of old Roman ruins.

Madame du Barry, presumably watching yet another wall in her room pop open and reveal a half naked king.

The Romans really knew what they were doing architecturally and while the full splendor of their erections (heh) might not have survived the centuries, the bones absolutely did.

So of course, kings and nobles alike wanted to make good use of that, and not necessarily in a public way. These ruins provided a unique opportunity to build facades around them, allowing no one but the architect and the owner to know the secrets hidden within the walls of a new castle.

Secret passageways have a lot of great uses: espionage, panic rooms, and of course clandestine routes to funky town.

Most famously were the secret passageways of Versailles, which Kings Louis (several iterations) used to meet their many, many mistresses. This was not an idea that sprang into the genius mind of the Sun King on its own – rather, it was a tried and true tradition of royal life for many centuries ahead of time.

You have to admit, it has ambient appeal.

In my new book The Bathhouse Scandal, Princess Portia makes healthy use of an ancient passageway that links her bedroom to the secret structure beneath the palace grounds.

She mentions tales of ghosts that roam the halls of the palace where she grew up, and the moaning wails within the walls that convinced her of their existence as a child. Perhaps what she was hearing wasn’t so much spiritual as it was sensual.

And she’s about to get in on that action. Keep your eyes peeled for The Bathhouse Scandal, coming to Kindle this Friday!


Now Available: The Blacksmith’s Bargain – An erotic story about an innocent princess, a burly blacksmith, and a unicorn

Blacksmith's Bargain


There’s a unicorn in the forest and Princess Adaline will do anything to catch it, even if it means sneaking out of the palace grounds under cover of twilight.

When her midnight caper is interrupted by the burly village blacksmith, she makes him an irresistible offer – a single night to play with her lush, untouched body – in exchange for his silence and his help

The Princess goes Commando – The History of Underpants

Loincloths and bloomers and kilts, oh my.

Underwear1913I have a timeline saved on my computer of underwear technology. No, you can’t see it.  I just want you to know it’s there.

Ever think about the research that goes into writing a historically accurate sex scene? Probably not, because you are a fun person with a life and hobbies. Besides, your good friend Amelie does that stuff for you.

In OathboundI got around the question of underthings by having our fair princess stripped of everything but her chemise during her fainting spell. Her historically accurate underthings were a question for another day. But in reality, she probably was never wearing any to begin with. Medieval women liked to feel the wind in their bits. Kept them alert in the absence of Pornhub.

Oathbound and my upcoming title, The Blacksmith’s Bargain, take place in an unidentified medieval time period and a mysterious unknown kingdom.  Those ambiguous details gave me quite a lot of flexibility in the panty drawer because the evolution of underwear – particularly women’s underwear – has had a long and varied past.

Men (of course) have generally covered their junk. Starting around the 13th century, all the guys sat around a campfire and decided they should protect the family jewels with a primitive (but not much different than ours) version of boxer shorts called braies.  Women had no time for campfire genital discussions what with the butter churning and the 19 consecutive pregnancies a piece, so they were still free balling (as it were) for the next few centuries.

03It wasn’t until almost 500 years later that knickers were introduced into the picture. Corsets, bustles, bum rolls, and stockings all predated the simple idea of a pair of shorts to keep us womenfolk from making impulsive decisions with our nether regions. And it’d be another 400 years before bras came into play.

Boring, you say? Uninteresting? Well, it sure is important when a knight or a blacksmith is playing striptease with your fair damsel. I do take some liberties, of course. They were called “drawers” for the longest time, but that’s not a very sexy word, so my progressive medieval peoples have a leg up on terms like “knickers” and “panties.”  I’m sure Chaucer would forgive me.

I have no idea what freaky shit is going on here, I just want to keep you guys on your toes

As it is, I appreciate the easy-access approach to historical lingerie. I’ve returned to the ancient world this week while I start crafting the sequel to Another Man’s Queen. 

Loincloths and shendyts were de rigeur in the courts of ancient Thebes, but to be frank, Isis and Anubis spend more time out of their clothes than in them, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.