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Archive for August 12th, 2011

Guest Blogger: Marcia James (Contest)
Friday, August 12th, 2011

Researching Sin in Sin City

When I had the idea for my “Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist” R-rated, comic romantic mystery series, I knew the perfect setting for the books was Las Vegas. The town is known for its sexual excesses, although the 25+ legal Nevada brothels are actually located in twelve rural counties—not in Sin City itself. Still there are plenty of carnal delights in Vegas to keep my sex therapist amateur sleuth busy with both her patients and her new hobby: helping her police detective lover solve sexual crimes. In addition to plotting the perfect murder, I enjoyed creating two fictional casino hotels as part of the setting: one pirate-themed and the other an Arabian Nights fantasy.

As most people know, sex is big business in Vegas.

There are “gentleman’s clubs” like Cheetahs, as well as low-class strip clubs, topless female revues and Chippendales male strippers. Even Cirque du Soleil has a titillating live show.

While prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, those looking for sex can easily find paid companionship. There are plenty of free newspapers (sometimes called “bachelor guides”) and fliers touting paid “models” and “escorts”. Of course, if you hire one of them and get ripped off—left high and dry, so to speak—who are you going to complain to? So it’s “buyer beware” for those looking for sex in Sin City. Sometimes it’s even murder, which inspired my “Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist” series.

Researching these books has led me to some very interesting websites. In addition to solving sex-related murders, Ally has her therapy patients with their own issues. Several are interested in trying things beyond their “vanilla” lifestyles, such as BDSM and role-playing, while others just want to bring the spark back to their intimate relationships. My heroine isn’t shocked by anything sexual between consenting adults, so as the author, I also keep an open mind while researching kink.

We first meet Dr. Ally Skye in Sex & the Single Therapist, when one of her patients is killed and a good friend is the main suspect. Before Ally and her Vegas insider friends can solve the crime, her investigations take her through a maze of lies, rampant adultery, steroid abuse, child pornography, and another murder. Of course, she also falls for police detective Zack Crawford, so the benefits definitely outweigh the risks of her sleuthing.

I’m currently researching the second book in the series, which features a serial killer who targets phone sex customers.

My research led me to an organization for sex workers (or “adult industry workers”) in Vegas called SCAPA, which is associated with the national Sex Workers Outreach Project. The SCAPA site has resources and information for escorts, prostitutes, dancers, erotic masseuses, phone sex operators, and more.

The third book will open with the murders of a ménage of swinger club devotees.

Two of the most infamous swinger clubs in Vegas are the Red Roster and the Green Door. Each has a long list of rules, such as BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) and No Means No. The Green Door appears to offer more BDSM props, along with the standard group rooms, hot tubs, and couples only areas. The victims in my third book are murdered in my fictional swinger club’s pool.

The fourth in the series will explore the world of the human pony fetish. And I have ideas for working plushies and furries into future books. I admit I find the research fascinating.

What erotic fantasies or kinks do you enjoy reading about? I’ll give away an e-book of my comic romantic suspense, At Her Command, to a randomly chosen commenter on this blog post.

Here’s the book blurb for Sex & the Single Therapist:

A crime of passion…

To clear an innocent friend, sex therapist Dr. Ally Skye investigates a patient’s murder. Soon she’s trading heated words and hot kisses with a sexy cop. Can this free-spirited amateur sleuth and her posse of Vegas insiders solve the crime before the killer targets her?

A sexy complication…

Cynical homicide detective Zack Crawford has the murder to solve. The last thing he needs is a red-hot sex therapist who haunts his dreams. Ally is trouble and, given her job and his luck, she’d probably grade his performance in bed.

A dynamic duo…

Zack and Ally form an uneasy and sexually charged alliance. Murderers, extortionists and psychos are no match for these reluctant partners. Crime-solving was never this sexy or this fun!

For an excerpt from Sex & the Single Therapist, click on this link: Sex and the Single Therapist

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Thank you, Delilah, for inviting me to guest-blog!
— Marcia 😉