Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release Manties in a Twist—Book 3 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win your choice of two backlist ebooks and a $10 Amazon gift card!
Pony Play and Communication
I used to ride horses. It’s tough to say that in the context of this tour without sounding dirty. But horses were my favorite animal from the time I was old enough to understand the concept of having a favorite animal, and I rode competitively as a kid and read every Thoroughbred book right up until about the time of Melanie and Pirate.
When I first found out about pony play years ago, it may have killed a little part of my childhood. But I’ve definitely gotten it back, and pet play has become one of my favorite kinks ever.
Pony play, just to be clear, has nothing to do with bestiality or fetishization of actual horses. It’s a type of pet play between consenting adults where one partner acts as a pony, and the other acts as a handler, trainer, groom, and/or rider. There are different types of human ponies, ranging from pets to working horses, and pony shows exist to give ponies a chance to show off their talents.
For some people, pet play is about sex, or about humiliation. For others, it’s about slipping into another skin and taking a break from the rigors of being human. But like most kinks, it’s mainly about communication and connection.
In Manties, Kamen—like all the Subs Club guys except Gould—is used to speaking up if he wants something. When he decides to try pony play, he’s a little baffled by it at first—the gear, the equestrian vocabulary, the fact that he’s literally hitched to a cart—but he’s especially thrown by the necessity of nonverbal communication. And Ryan, who also has a lot of new info to process, has a little trouble at first figuring out how to give a nonverbal Kamen the right combination of direction and reassurance.
What Kamen finds is that he can reach a different headspace through placing his trust in Ryan and relying on methods other than speech—both to understand what Ryan wants of him, and to communicate his own needs and moods. For someone as chatty as Kamen, this feels like a pretty big accomplishment.
Even though pony play is quite different from riding bio-horses, I liked having a horse background to draw on. The human-animal connection can be such an incredible thing, but you do frequently have to rearrange your own beliefs and expectations in order to communicate with a being whose thought process is different from your own. Many human ponies, when they’re in ponyspace, think and behave very differently than they do when they’re in human headspace.
Like all kink, pony play is about closeness. It lets partners engage on new levels and allows players to take on different personas. Kamen and Ryan initially try pony play in order to show up Subs Club archrival Cinnamon, but it becomes something that pushes each of them outside their individual comfort zones and into a closer relationship with each other. And that, for me, is what kink is all about.
Manties in a Twist
(The Subs Club, #3)
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 4th April 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary BDSM M/M Romance
Look, I’ll never stop missing Hal, but this Subs Club my friends started to review suck-ass doms isn’t gonna bring him back or give him justice. For me, it’s just another chance to hang out with my friends, even if they think I’m too dumb to understand the important work we’re supposedly doing.
But maybe I’m not as dumb as they think—at least I know when I’ve got a good thing going. Which is why I just moved in with my dom. Ryan’s awesome possum. He’s really short, never makes me feel stupid, and is up for anything. One word: costumes. Two more words: women’s underwear. We’re all about the lace, no leather.
Except when we do pony play. We first tried it as a joke, but turns out I’m ballin’ at it. Now PetPlayFest is coming up, and I wanna take down the Subs Club’s archrival, Cinnamon the ponygirl, in the horse show.
My friends think I’m spending too much time with Ryan and ignoring my obligations to the group. But since when is friendship an obligation? Ryan’s my first serious relationship, and I want to take it . . . seriously. At some point I need to think about my future, not my past.
About the Subs Club series
After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.
From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.
Meet J.A. Rock
J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take The Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
To celebrate, J.A. is giving away your choice of two ebooks from her backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 9, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!