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LaPorte Caves

09 May 2016 20:29 #47681 by ballen
Replied by ballen on topic LaPorte Caves
[quote=Does that makes okay for her to abuse Howard?
No.
This is the point for -- and, I guess, others -- while it's okay for Julia to showcase her superiority, I don't think that using that superiority to abuse Howard the same way she was abused is okay, retribution isn't part of what I consider female empowerment.[/quote]

I thought I wouldn't have to state it explicitly, but I guess I need to. I am suggesting that Julia is in fact not abusing Howard, nor is she seeking retribution. If you are using her indiscretion as an example of abuse, I am countering by saying she could not help it because the power of sexual needs is as unbelievably powerful and awesome as the rest of her body. Howard could not resist the power of Amanda's body and Julia cannot resist the power of her own body. To deny it would put Howard in harm's way as Ruth warned. If you are arguing that tying him to a tree is abuse, I am countering by saying it was to keep him out of harms way. He is stubborn and could possibly get himself into trouble walking alone and unclaimed in this new world or find himself trapped in the caves as he did in Chapter 2 when they tried to escape the first time.

This is not abuse. It is bitter medicine for his own good.

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09 May 2016 22:53 - 09 May 2016 23:05 #47690 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves
I'm going with the idea that unknowingly to Julia and the locals is that the Nourishment, addictive as it is, is also character changing. Only Howard can see the changes. From Julia's perspective, everything is great now! Excellent work Circes!
Last edit: 09 May 2016 23:05 by Monty.

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10 May 2016 00:46 #47695 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves
This turned out a bit long, hope I got all the quote tags right.

circes_cup wrote: The story is intended to convey that protections do exist. In the first chapter, the cop makes an indirect reference to protections against abduction and abuse. And in Ch 9, Ruth also discusses the abuse in a way that presumes abuse is bad. I did not want to make this a pure might-is-right world where men live in continuous mortal fear of their women. And to the extent this ins't coming through in the story, that's certainly a point I should have made more clearly.

My fault as well. When a story comes out in installments like this I don't always remember remember all of those little details. I've re-read some of those earlier chapters and think I've seen hints of where the story is going (or maybe just where I'd take it).

It's great to see several new forum participants commenting on this story, and I really hope you keep doing so on this story and others! To the extent your post was negative, it was only negative towards a specific thing that Julia was doing -- something that I wouldn't have enjoyed either! So, no, I didn't find your post negative at all.

Thank you for the warm welcome; don't always get that on the internet.

ballen wrote: ... I would make this point however. Howard was the first to transgress in his act with Amanda. Julia made him promise not to do anything with her, yet he succumbed. And not only that, but he admitted to her how wonderful the experience was. Frankly, neither one of them could have helped themselves. Women in this world are as unable to resist their sexual needs as the men are to resist women's pheromones.

I don't think it's fair to blame Howard for something he didn't consent to and was powerless to prevent. Suppose a woman (in our world, not the one of the story) was at a bar and someone slipped ecstasy into her drink, spirited her away, and had sex with her. What would we say if her husband got mad at her, or had sex with another woman and justified it by saying she had transgressed first?

One last quick point on tying Howard to a tree. Again could have been handled better, but definitely for his own good. It's like telling your 10 year old daughter not to go out at night for her own safety, except the 10 year old daughter would know better. Howard would roll out refusing to admit he is less able to defend himself in this world, than a 10 year old girl would be in his old world.

Well, there's no telling what sort of danger Howard could get into on his own. I mean, if he's not careful he could wind up with some woman who wraps a crowbar around him and ties him to a drainpipe.

Woodclaw wrote: Yet, on this bit, I have to make a bit of a statement: SWM is a site about female empowerment, something often mistaken for male degradation, but this is not the case. Often stories here feature both elements because it's relatively easy for one to pour into the other, but the focus should not waver. Given that, each and every one of us has different limits in this regard and I think that the point is this: Julia was abused before and was in an uneven relationship?
Yes.

Uneven, probably, but I don't get why you're saying she was abused. As I said, I may have forgotten some details of earlier chapters. Did Howard enjoy being the more capable and successful one in their relationship? Maybe. I do remember references to Howard getting Julia a job and buying her a car; did he do that to make her content with living in his shadow and keep her from forging out on her own? Possibly. I don't think the story makes it clear. Transportation and a job can lead to greater independence, not less. Howard may have given her those things as the tools to make more of her life. I don't get the sense that he told her to turn down other jobs, or told her where she could go in the car. This is not a woman who was in the kitchen, barefoot, and pregnant.

Does that makes okay for her to abuse Howard?
No.
This is the point for -- and, I guess, others -- while it's okay for Julia to showcase her superiority, I don't think that using that superiority to abuse Howard the same way she was abused is okay, retribution isn't part of what I consider female empowerment. Am I saying that she should lose her powers?
Absolutely not, but I don't condone what she did with them either. Howard is a dick, no doubt about that, but that doesn't provide entitlement to repay him the same way.

Howard may be a dick. If he is, we could have an interesting discussion on whether it's wise, or whether someone even has a right, to try to change someone she loves. There's also the unreliable-narrator issue; the story is told from Julia's POV so we only have her perspective on the nature of their earlier relationship. But even ignoring those two things, I think there's still a conflict in her current behavior. She is now clearly superior to Howard, but the more she revels in that, and the more she enjoys it, the more she reveals the repressed resentment she was carrying from when Howard overshadowed her. And there's no problem with that, it makes her a flawed, but evolving character. But the more she rubs Howard face in that, and the more she shows off and belittles him, the more resentment he's going to feel toward her.

So, even granted that Howard is a dick, and granted that she's right to try to change him, I think her method would only bring about the opposite result. With her otherworldly intelligence, I'm surprised she doesn't realize that.

ballen wrote: I thought I wouldn't have to state it explicitly, but I guess I need to. I am suggesting that Julia is in fact not abusing Howard, nor is she seeking retribution. If you are using her indiscretion as an example of abuse, I am countering by saying she could not help it because the power of sexual needs is as unbelievably powerful and awesome as the rest of her body. Howard could not resist the power of Amanda's body and Julia cannot resist the power of her own body. To deny it would put Howard in harm's way as Ruth warned. If you are arguing that tying him to a tree is abuse, I am countering by saying it was to keep him out of harms way. He is stubborn and could possibly get himself into trouble walking alone and unclaimed in this new world or find himself trapped in the caves as he did in Chapter 2 when they tried to escape the first time.

This is not abuse. It is bitter medicine for his own good.

See my earlier comment about whether the danger Howard would face on his own is worse than the situation he's currently in. And if Julia's body has needs beyond what Howard can fulfill, fine, but she could do that without bragging about the other men's prowess and belittling him. If she wants to keep him from getting lost in the caves she could bring him through and back to our world, and then go back to live with Ruth. It would be no more than a jog in the park for her. There are ways for Julia to protect Howard and still spare his feelings, but she is not looking for those ways.

Monty wrote: I'm going with the idea that unknowingly to Julia and the locals is that the Nourishment, addictive as it is, is also character changing. Only Howard can see the changes. From Julia's perspective, everything is great now! Excellent work Circes!

That's odd, I don't think it's the Nourishment that's addictive at all.

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10 May 2016 01:19 #47696 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic LaPorte Caves
Finally some spirited discussion!!

I have to disagree with you ballen on a few points, but not completely. I think you're right, Howard reacted a little immaturely when Julia began to showcase her abilities, but I think it still comes down to the same fact I've been trying to make; he reacts that way because he puts in an effort with absolutely nothing to show for it, with zero progress, and all of a sudden Julia can do anything and everything, including things that take time to master just to get the technique. Sure, a confident man is happy that his significant other is improving, and Howard even hints at this when he tries to remind himself that this is only temporary (I'm referring to the swimming scene for most of this analogy). But even the most confident man starts to feel intimidated at some point. Usually this conflict in a relationship acts as a catalyst for someone to be motivated to be better, but in Howard's case it's pointless for him to even try. Put yourself in his shoes; no one in this world, including the men, would ever respect him for what he knows or could do. That's extremely terrifying, and he lashed out. He clearly regretted it immediately, but even his regret is pointless and ultimately he is laughed at for even thinking something like that would do anything to Julia.

The scene with the rock is a perfect example of miscommunication. For all of her internal strife originally with the nourishment, outwardly she didn't express those feelings to Howard whatsoever, so when he gets dumped in the water and she starts to laugh, why would he think it was anything other than her showing off?

But to keep things to most recent chapter (# 11), I agree she completely missed the point by asking Howard to hit her, but I think it just reinforces my point; she has no EMPATHY. In every chapter, she misreads Howard's reactions. Even when she's nourished, she still can't read him. That's not to say everyone is a people person or that nourishing would enhance that skill as well, but you would think with her enhanced perception and knowing howard that she would draw certain inferences to what he must be feeling right now. Instead she's so caught up in herself that she doesn't really care how this is affecting him, and only wants to make him better by giving him a time out. Which I'll bring up as my last point. I'm not a fan of the word abuse because I think it comes off as a little strong in this context, but her treating him like a 10 year old girl as you put it, is certainly tantamount to mental abuse. You're right, ten year olds don't know better, but he's not ten. He's a grown man who is free to think and feel about this world as he wants, and her fears of him getting himself hurt are only brought on by the possibility of her losing control over him. Going by the rules of the world, he's a claimed, so she shouldn't have to worry about any other woman messing with him, and it's not like he could make an attempt at the caves when she destroyed his gear and won't tell him where to go. It's become about her now.

And as for losing her strength, I agree with woodclaw. There is more to female empowerment than supernatural abilities. I like this story because it goes beyond just that. Those kind of stories are a dime a dozen around the web, and what Circe's has built here goes beyond just that and explores the relationship behind it, in a way that is very real to how 95% of men would feel. I know I was raised to play the hero, and my interactions and feelings in one of my past serious relationships mirrors Howard and Julia almost exactly, so I approach the story with a little baggage I suppose.

Hats off to circes!!

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10 May 2016 04:29 #47700 by grungykitten
Replied by grungykitten on topic LaPorte Caves
The thing I like most about Julia's transformation is that it was triggered by her own self-perception. All of the joys she had experienced, as great as they were, did not change her resolve to leave and preserve her relationship with Howard. Not even sex with Benjamin could persuade her to stay. But when she finally understood how sexy she is, that's when she decided to stay. That's a really powerful character statement.

Still, I can't help but feel that her attitude shift was a little too sudden and complete. Just a few hours prior, she had to resist the urge to help the men gather firewood, and then only with their intense pleas. Now, she's dominating her boyfriend. I understand why, I just feel it was too sudden.

Plus, this seems like the kind of world where even if Howard had attempted to strike out for the caves on his own, he wouldn't have made it very far without the women knowing about it. Part of me would have liked to see a chapter of Howard spending a night on his own, trying to navigate this society where no-one knows his background, dealing with his utter inferiority and having to humiliate himself to make even the slightest bit of progress.

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10 May 2016 20:56 - 10 May 2016 20:57 #47723 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
I really appreciate the spirited debate, as Torque said!

I'm not going to respond to everything that was said. This is partly because I don't want to reveal the future plot.

But also, although this is my story, I'm certainly in no position to say which member of this couple is more right than the other. Julia is generally a sweet person, as evidenced by her multiple attempts to ease Howard's discomfort in this world. And yet, in this most recent scene, she has clearly grown inconsiderate towards him as well, to the point where she had detained him against his will. For his part, Howard had been generous back on Earth, but the self-serving nature of that generosity is now coming clear. And when Howard is displaced from his position of power, he loses his self-control as well. Both of these people are good, and flawed, at the same time. And as many of us know, romantic relationships rarely have the benefit of a scorekeeper.
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Woodclaw wrote: While I'm horribly behind with this story, I have to compliment Circes for creating something so thought provoking to spark this discussion.....
.....Julia was abused before and was in an uneven relationship?
Yes.
Does that makes okay for her to abuse Howard?
No.....
.....This is the point for -- and, I guess, others -- while it's okay for Julia to showcase her superiority, I don't think that using that superiority to abuse Howard the same way she was abused is okay, retribution isn't part of what I consider female empowerment.


OK, I'm really confused by this.

Julia was not abused. It's simply not part of the story. And whatever Julia did to Howard, it's certainly not a given that once could characterize those actions, either, as abuse.

Woodclaw, when you say "I'm horribly behind on this story", are you suggesting that haven't read it? I need to determine where the disconnect is on this important point -- whether the story is suggesting something that was not intended.
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Monty wrote: I'm going with the idea that unknowingly to Julia and the locals is that the Nourishment, addictive as it is, is also character changing.


That would be an interesting plot, but it's not the one I intended to write. I envisioned Nourishment as addictive but not character-changing, except to the degree that new power can change anyone. However, I like the concept of a character-changing drug. Maybe that's the next story!
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Pepper wrote: She is now clearly superior to Howard, but the more she revels in that, and the more she enjoys it, the more she reveals the repressed resentment she was carrying from when Howard overshadowed her.


This idea of repressed resentment -- this is a great angle that I hadn't (consciously) explored. But I think it's consistent with the story and may work some of that in. Thanks!
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Torque wrote: Sure, a confident man is happy that his significant other is improving, and Howard even hints at this when he tries to remind himself that this is only temporary (I'm referring to the swimming scene for most of this analogy). But even the most confident man starts to feel intimidated at some point. Usually this conflict in a relationship acts as a catalyst for someone to be motivated to be better, but in Howard's case it's pointless for him to even try. Put yourself in his shoes; no one in this world, including the men, would ever respect him for what he knows or could do. That's extremely terrifying...


Thanks, Torque. Howard can be faulted for lashing out, but how much better would any of us have done? I tried to make Howard's action both wrong and understandable, and I'm really gratified that this element of the story came through.
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grungykitten wrote: Still, I can't help but feel that her attitude shift was a little too sudden and complete.


Thanks. I'd be curious to hear whether others agree. If others came away with the same feeling, then clearly that's and area of my writing that needs to be improved.
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ballen wrote: Immediately after, she tried to extend an olive branch by engaging in something that could bring them together; swimming. The passage reads that she looked for a way to bring his confidence back up. Unfortunately the gesture failed. Why? Because of his pride. There was no, "You performed amazingly honey - phenomenal". In fact he understated her performance by saying, "Your pace was good." .... Tell her she is amazing. A confident man would do that.


As I've said before, I appreciate how closely you read these stories. Including detail in a story takes effort, but the effort is so worth it when I see that the detail has been noticed by the reader.
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ballen wrote: I want Julia to experience being independent and confident and let's see if Howard really can love Julia if he is not able one in the relationship.


That's where this is going, whether Howard likes it or not!

Thanks again for all the great comments everyone! Now back to writing.
Last edit: 10 May 2016 20:57 by circes_cup.

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10 May 2016 23:30 #47728 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves

circes_cup wrote:

Woodclaw wrote: While I'm horribly behind with this story, I have to compliment Circes for creating something so thought provoking to spark this discussion.....
.....Julia was abused before and was in an uneven relationship?
Yes.
Does that makes okay for her to abuse Howard?
No.....
.....This is the point for -- and, I guess, others -- while it's okay for Julia to showcase her superiority, I don't think that using that superiority to abuse Howard the same way she was abused is okay, retribution isn't part of what I consider female empowerment.


OK, I'm really confused by this.

Julia was not abused. It's simply not part of the story. And whatever Julia did to Howard, it's certainly not a given that once could characterize those actions, either, as abuse.

Woodclaw, when you say "I'm horribly behind on this story", are you suggesting that haven't read it? I need to determine where the disconnect is on this important point -- whether the story is suggesting something that was not intended.


To be honest I've read just the first three chapters, before my spare time was sucked away :pinch:

Still, my considerations were meant to be only a response to Ballen's first post, who seemed to imply that Howard was emotionally abusing Julia, by not being supportive of her now that she was superior to him, but apparently I misread him.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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11 May 2016 02:01 #47730 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

circes_cup wrote:

grungykitten wrote: Still, I can't help but feel that her attitude shift was a little too sudden and complete.


Thanks. I'd be curious to hear whether others agree. If others came away with the same feeling, then clearly that's and area of my writing that needs to be improved.

Was the attitude shift sudden? I suppose it depends on what shift you mean. There have been hints at how much Julia has been enjoying herself and it's no surprise that she'd want to stay. And she's been giving Howard orders for the past two chapters. Once she figured out the way home, he hugged her, and then she told Howard that they couldn't leave until after the party on the beach. Julia is wrong if she thinks Howard won't let her take the lead; he followed her plan without complaint, scrounged some clothes for her, missed out on the party, and waited in a shed for her for two hours. If there's a sudden shift, it's how quickly she went from caring about him and planning their mutual escape to trying to crush his ego.

For that matter, I'm not sure her attitude shift is complete either; Julia is perhaps not as in charge as she thinks. Probably shouldn't say more, don't want to influence where circes is taking the story.

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11 May 2016 02:38 #47731 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic LaPorte Caves
I think the only reason Howard went along with her plan was for his own selfish reasons. At that point, it was making the best of a "bad" situation to get what he ultimately wanted.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.

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11 May 2016 03:00 #47732 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic LaPorte Caves
What a great discussion! This story needs to be made into comic, seriously.

There was mention of abuse on Julia's part toward Howard, but I don't see it. If anything, I feel like Julia has been emotionally manipulated long enough that she deserves a little comeuppance. I've not only seen superhuman abilities, but superhuman patience on her part. To add, she wasn't the one who got truly physical. It doesn't matter that Howard can't hurt Julia anymore, he still lashed out at her and the worst he got was pinned to pipe.

I do agree that her infidelity was wrong; however, even knowing she was superhuman, I wouldn't have struck her out of anger.

Just my opinion.

I really like the idea of Howard attempting to find his way by himself in their new world if only to see that he truly needs Julia.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.

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11 May 2016 05:57 - 11 May 2016 05:59 #47734 by grungykitten
Replied by grungykitten on topic LaPorte Caves

Pepper wrote:

grungykitten wrote: Still, I can't help but feel that her attitude shift was a little too sudden and complete.


If there's a sudden shift, it's how quickly she went from caring about him and planning their mutual escape to trying to crush his ego.

For that matter, I'm not sure her attitude shift is complete either; Julia is perhaps not as in charge as she thinks. Probably shouldn't say more, don't want to influence where circes is taking the story.


That's the shift I am referring to. There are plenty of hints that it's coming, but when it happens, it's almost like a light switch.
Last edit: 11 May 2016 05:59 by grungykitten.

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11 May 2016 10:19 #47736 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic LaPorte Caves
I was just thinking, where is that gun Howard kept handy just in case? Will things get that bad?

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.

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11 May 2016 10:54 #47737 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic LaPorte Caves

grungykitten wrote:

Pepper wrote:

grungykitten wrote: Still, I can't help but feel that her attitude shift was a little too sudden and complete.


If there's a sudden shift, it's how quickly she went from caring about him and planning their mutual escape to trying to crush his ego.

For that matter, I'm not sure her attitude shift is complete either; Julia is perhaps not as in charge as she thinks. Probably shouldn't say more, don't want to influence where circes is taking the story.


That's the shift I am referring to. There are plenty of hints that it's coming, but when it happens, it's almost like a light switch.


I don't think it happens too suddenly, she just finally has her epiphany that this is what she truly wants. Of course Ruth and Mindy were a pretty heavy handed influence (so to speak haha). I'm not into the multiple partners or cuckold thing whatsoever, and it does seem like a pretty big leap for her too, to go from making sure she's faithful to Howard to wanting multiple partners multiple times a day, but I can see the buildup to her shift in accepting her new body.

Btw, it may have been mentioned in the early chapters, but how long does each nourishment treatment last? Julia nourished over a day ago, does the effect just keep building up with more than one nourishing (like how Ruth hints at with the comment that Julia improved this much with only one treatment)? It would be interesting to see if the next day she wakes up in her old body.

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11 May 2016 16:14 - 11 May 2016 18:47 #47743 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic LaPorte Caves
It seems to me that Julia right now is tip-toeing that line between "total wonderment of being super" and "being super means little in terms of consequences".

I think generally prior to the last few chapters, everything was a new and wonderful discovery of what her body could do. With that, came not only a sense of building confidence in not only her abilities but also in sense of what would make her happy, perhaps for the first time in a while.

Now with a good sense of herself, she seems to be slipping more into being more haughty and arrogant as well as chiding to her "inferior mate". And it doesn't come out spontaneously and regrettably. Rather, Julia seems to relish it. Her whole dialog with Howard in Chapter 11 illustrates this clearly, at least to me.

Whether you like you sudden shift or not, what I think makes this story great is how it relateable it is. Not in the sense of that's how my relationship is (perish the thought!), but rather how I can see people in a relationship -- male and/or female -- acting when placed under this scenario, from both perspectives. At first, its skepticism followed by awe and then a touch of arrogance. It's almost like the stages of grief. To me, it would be almost inconceivable that anyone would NOT act this way, and that is what makes this story so great!

ElF
Last edit: 11 May 2016 18:47 by lfan.

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11 May 2016 18:32 #47754 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

jnw550 wrote: I think the only reason Howard went along with her plan was for his own selfish reasons. At that point, it was making the best of a "bad" situation to get what he ultimately wanted.

It was also what he thought Julia wanted. She went from "I've found the way home and here's my plan for how to get there" and the very next time he saw her it was "I'm staying and so are you." If the change seems sudden to the reader, it must seem like whiplash to Howard.

Which raises more questions about their relationship. I don't see a whole lot of communication here, from either party. Howard may have been patronizing and/or clueless, but did Julia ever tell him how she felt? Heck, back in chapter 3 she told him what good job he always did protecting her and that she was glad he was there to look out for her. She seems to hold things inside and just expect Howard to know what she's thinking.

jnw550 wrote: There was mention of abuse on Julia's part toward Howard, but I don't see it. If anything, I feel like Julia has been emotionally manipulated long enough that she deserves a little comeuppance.

I'm not a big fan of revenge in these sorts of stories. It's an issue of malice. Howard, whatever his crimes were in the relationship, didn't seem to be malicious toward Julia. But revenge is an act of malice; it crosses a line.

However, Julia doesn't seem to think she's seeking comeuppance. She's talking about this as if it's for his benefit, which is a bullshit excuse from an abuser. Julia, sweetheart, if you want revenge at least admit to yourself that that's what you're doing. Own it.

I've not only seen superhuman abilities, but superhuman patience on her part. To add, she wasn't the one who got truly physical. It doesn't matter that Howard can't hurt Julia anymore, he still lashed out at her and the worst he got was pinned to pipe.

Howard has been dunked in a scummy pond, laughed at, ran into Julia while swimming (an accident, but felt like hitting his head on the side of a pool), squeezed until he passed out (also an accident), cuckolded, had his sexual abilities mocked, and then pinned to a drainpipe. He was, arguably, raped (almost twice); and while Julia didn't do it, she didn't offer any sympathy for it, either.

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11 May 2016 19:28 #47756 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves

jnw550 wrote: I was just thinking, where is that gun Howard kept handy just in case? Will things get that bad?


I myself don't know what role the gun will play. From a story planning point of view, it's just helpful to have one on hand in case the plot gets pinned in a corner and has to shoot its way out. :)

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11 May 2016 19:37 #47757 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves

grungykitten wrote:

Pepper wrote:

grungykitten wrote: Still, I can't help but feel that her attitude shift was a little too sudden and complete.


If there's a sudden shift, it's how quickly she went from caring about him and planning their mutual escape to trying to crush his ego.

For that matter, I'm not sure her attitude shift is complete either; Julia is perhaps not as in charge as she thinks. Probably shouldn't say more, don't want to influence where circes is taking the story.


That's the shift I am referring to. There are plenty of hints that it's coming, but when it happens, it's almost like a light switch.


This dialogue has really helped me understand how that aspect of the story could have been improved. Certainly, Julia was becoming more and more tempted by the idea of staying in her body, and then temptation had been building up for a while. But when she actually decides to keep her and Howard in the amazon world for a few more weeks -- that transition in her thinking is not very well documented. It happens somewhere toward the end of her shower with Benjamin and/or the reconnoiter with Howard, but is not called out very explicitly. If this story ever goes through a round of edits post-completion, I may beef that up a bit.

Thanks, guys!
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11 May 2016 19:48 #47758 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves

lfan wrote: ... what I think makes this story great is how it relateable it is. Not in the sense of that's how my relationship is (perish the thought!), but rather how I can see people in a relationship -- male and/or female -- acting when placed under this scenario, from both perspectives. At first, its skepticism followed by awe and then a touch of arrogance. It's almost like the stages of grief. To me, it would be almost inconceivable that anyone would NOT act this way....


Thanks, ElF. As I mentioned before, my intention was to create relatable characters whose emotions are recognizable to us. I wanted to avoid using straw men. So, I'm glad the story seems to have achieved that with you.

Also, remarkable that you mention the stages of grief. I did in fact have the stages of grief on hand for reference when I had begun writing this. But over the course of the many months involved, I had forgotten about it. Now, hearing the phrase again has reminded me of its relevance, and that actually broke a mental log jam I had been suffering related to Chapter 12. So, thank you for that!
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19 May 2016 11:49 #47982 by twitch99
Replied by twitch99 on topic LaPorte Caves
I am new to this website, just found out about this site and this story from a cross post on amazonlove.org. So I am late to this conversation.

First I want to thank circes_cup for writing this amazing story!! This is one, if not thee best story I have read in this genre. The storyline, descriptions, character development, writing skill, they all come together to create a beautiful picture and story. The world you have created is original, interesting and thought provoking. Just look at the conversation and viewpoints expressed in this thread as proof.

I read through all 11 chapters in the course of a couple days a week ago and read through all the chapter comments. Then I found this thread and have read through it a number of times. I don’t want to rehash all the points already made, but I have not been able to get mulling this story over out of my head.

I think I agree with Torgue’s comments from May 7th and May 9th the most overall.

After Howard and Julia fell into this world, it has all been good, wonderful and totally addictive for her. She has done nothing to “earn” her new amazon body with nearly unlimited power and beauty, she just had to succumb to the addictive nourishment and let it do its magic.

Howard on the other hand has lost nearly everything. Sure he is trapped in a world where all the women are goddesses, with strength, beauty and sexuality that are totally compelling. What man could resist them? But his value is nearly zero, let’s face it, men in this world are kept around because they are needed for procreation and to be used as fuck toys for the women who cannot control their sexual needs and like to have multiple partners at a time or in the course of a day. They are basically servants, valued at a level barely above the family pet and considered totally inferior. We don’t even know Ruth’s husbands name, he is so insignificant. Men know their place in the world because they are raised (brainwashed) to be happy only by serving women. Men accomplish nothing on their own and even if they did, it would be considered far inferior to what a woman could do. No wonder Howard just wants to go home.

Julia on the other hand has just become more addicted to her new body and this new world as the chapters go by. She is becoming drunk on her new found power and beauty. We can really see this come to the surface in chapters 10 and 11. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, this is where we get to be by the end of chapter 11. Julia has lost all her humanity as she gained all her power, beauty, strength and intellect. She has no compassion or empathy left, if she ever had any. With her horrific treatment and taunting of Howard by the end of chapter 11, I do not see how there is any relationship left to try to salvage. If I were Howard, I would never forgive her and just want to get as far away from her as possible. How could running away be any worse? As Pepper so aptly said “I mean, if he’s not careful he could wind up with some woman who wraps a crowbar around him and ties him to a drainpipe”!!!

Both Julia and Howard are flawed, as we all are, but I see her having moved into a much more dangerous place than Howard. He may be a dick at times, but where he has traveled to is nothing compared to where Julia has gone. I never saw Julia as abused in her old world as some have indicated, but the abuse she heaped on Howard may be beyond forgivable.

One last comment, why does female empowerment always seem to include male bashing?

I can’t wait to see where circes_cup takes us next on this amazing journey!!!! Thanks again for this story and I look forward to more chapters
The following user(s) said Thank You: Pepper, circes_cup, Torque

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20 May 2016 01:18 #48014 by pansardum
Replied by pansardum on topic LaPorte Caves
I can only concur with all the praise in this thread. It's a really great series Circes_cup!

But I also really like all the discussions, especially around the crowbar scene. I really didn't like it the first time I read it, not my cup of tea. But the more I see the discussions I think I want to see that aspect explored more. Maybe how these new powers go a bit to Julia's head. I think it would be really cool if Ruth (for example) reacted negatively to how Julia treated a man, preferably Howard which then set Julia to a better path.

But however you choose to continue this series I'll certainly look forward to future chapters.
The following user(s) said Thank You: circes_cup

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