January 7, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: Solace Ames on Asian Sex Symbols and BDSM

Image credit: Jain Basil Aliyas

Our friend and awesome author, Solace Ames (who also writes under the Violetta Vane pen name), is here today to tell us about her new book (co-written with Heloise Belleau aka Heidi Belleau) and to talk about sex symbols, sex stereotypes and race. As you can see, we’re kick-starting the year with a bang. Also, stick around because there’s a giveaway at the end of the post.

Let’s give it up for Solace!

Asian Sex Symbols and BDSM by Solace Ames

I like to think there’s a big difference between a sex symbol and a sex stereotype. Symbols are unique, and potentially infinite, like stars in the night sky. Stereotypes are the same, flat, and dehumanizing. As an Asian-American woman, I’m sadly familiar with sexual stereotypes. My race is a porn category, after all. But while it’s important to criticize stereotypes, I think it’s equally important to celebrate the positive. And today, there are an increasing number of Asian sex symbols.

Since Heloise and I wrote a book starring a tall, built, tattooed Asian bad-boy Dom, we’re already breaking a common stereotype of Asian men. And it turned out we had a lot of symbols to inspire us. Someone who instantly came to mind was porn star Van Darkholme. He’s been in the business for many years, performing in and choreographing gay BDSM shoots. His name, suggesting a sort of European Dracula-style goth-type, is actually a nod to his Vietnamese heritage. He’s a master of the ropes, known for creating truly twisted scenarios, and very dominant. Yes, he’s Vietnamese. Yes, he has the accent. But when he walks into a room and cracks that whip, he has just the same ferocious physical presence as the most pale-skinned leather-clad Tom-of-Finland muscleman.

That’s a very specialized niche of media, of course, and when we look to the English-speaking mainstream, Asian male sex symbols are in shorter supply. Jet Li never really made it big in English movies, although he charmed the pants off an entire generation in Romeo Must Die. But in the last ten years, we’ve had some homegrown Asian-American sex symbols. There’s Daniel Dae Kim with his razor-sharp cheekbones. John Cho with his clever, sexy slacker image and wry smile. But recently, there’s no one who has captured the popular imagination like model/actor Godfrey Gao. His recent turn as the glittery, bisexual warlock Magnus in The Mortal Instruments livened up a movie that was otherwise critically panned.

There’s something about Godfrey Gao that melts us in our special parts. It’s not just us. Social media is awash with X-rated confessions of love for Gao. Is it his gentle smile? His towering height? His bold, stubbled jawline? The body language that sings of grace and sophistication? Let’s just say no one before Godfrey Gao has assembled quite this package of qualities.

I swear on a stack of porn mags that we wrote The Dom Project before Godfrey Gao’s bisexual-pantsless-warlock turn. Our tall Asian shameless bisexual bad boy is not based on Godfrey Gao’s Magnus. But feel free to imagine him in the role.

Just with more tattoos.

Connect with Solace:

Connect with Heloise:

About the book:
By day, Robin Lessing has a successful career as a university archivist. By night, she blogs about her less-than-successful search for Mr. Tall, Dark and Dominant. Living up to her handle "The Picky Submissive," she's on the verge of giving up and settling for vanilla with a side of fuzzy handcuffs when she discovers her best friend and colleague has a kinky side, too.Sexy, tattooed techie John Sun is an experienced Dom who never lacks for playmates, male or female. If he can't satisfy Robin's cravings, maybe no one can—after all, he knows her better than anyone. So he offers to help her master the art of submission for one month.Robin eagerly agrees to John's terms, even the pesky little rule forbidding any friendship-ruining sex. But rules are made to be broken, and once they begin their stimulating sessions, it's not long before she's ready to beg him for more—much more…
The Dom Project by Heloise Belleau and Solace Ames
Carina Press. December 23, 2013.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Carina | ARe


A simple grey pearl necklace (pictured above) plays a large role in the story. Enter the giveaway to win this baroque grey pearl set! The necklace length is 17" while the bracelet measures 7.5".  Both pieces close with a sterling silver lobster claw and eyelet. For a chance to win, use the Rafflecopter widget. OPEN INTERNATIONALLY


  1. Man, Solace Ames wasn't kidding about the Godfrey Gao pic! Glad to read about sexy Asian men, as they too often don't get the attention they deserve.

  2. what an awesome post! I totally agree with everything you wrote! We definitely need more asian men as sex symbols ;) thanks for sharing!

  3. I read The Dom Project last week and really enjoyed it.

    I'd say I've had a little crush on Harry Shum Jr from Glee for a while but he's so much younger than me that would be icky. But he is certainly easy on the eyes. :)

    1. He's a lot younger than me too!

      I'm so glad you liked our book. Thanks for mentioning that.

    2. That man's abs make me wanna . . . do . . . ab . . . things. idk

  4. I've heard so many great things about The Dom Project and I'm looking forward to reading it after finish my current book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. A fellow reader and I have been having long discussions about Asians in romance after Jeannie Lin's blog post and after realizing that few books that even have Asian heroes or heroines often leave them off the cover. Glad to see this out there.

    1. I was SO excited the first time I saw a Jeannie Lin book on the shelf at my local bookstore. I'd never seen an Asian person on the cover a romance novel before and I was STOKED!

  6. I just read a review for this book and thought, hmm...I want to read this book and then I see this guest post which makes me want to read it all the more. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. Hi
    Hi, what a great web blog. I usually spend hours on the net reading blogs on various subjects. And, I really would like to praise you for writing such a fabulous article

  8. I have enjoyed alot this blog post..thanks for sharing this...Love to visit this blog post always..

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