Monday, May 31, 2010
He sucked all the joy out of my life. I threw away my copy of the magazine and for years couldn’t bear to mention it, much less admit that I’d been the editor who’d published plagiarized work.
My reaction to him was wrong. I should have realized it reflected poorly on him, not me, and not the literary magazine. I wish I’d been able to shrug it off and see the good things that happened.
I wanted to be editor but I didn’t work on the school paper so it was a long shot. Somehow, I talked my way into the job. That was the first time I dared to go after something instead of hoping that it would magically drop into my lap. That was a big moment for me.
Even though it was a small school, I barely knew most of the students who submitted poems and stories because I hadn’t been there very long. The day the magazine came out, most of the contributors let me know how much it meant to them to be published. Until Mike ruined it for me, I was touched to be part of their happiness and that they shared it with me. That’s the part I should have focused on.
Unfortunately, there are always people like Mike who enjoy being little shits, and they don’t care how bad it makes them look as long as they can hurt someone else. Those critiques can blindside you. You aren’t expecting anything that vicious, and then WHAM! Suddenly you’re against the lockers and your face is throbbing with shame and pain.
A few years ago, I sat on a panel at a science fiction convention with a well-known editor. She said that some of her rejection letters included a comment along the lines of, “You aren’t talented enough to write. Give up.” Shocked, I said she must be joking, but she said no, she really did that. I don’t know what she felt that accomplished, but I’m sure that she would have gotten along fabulously with Mike.
I’m not saying that everyone who critiques your work is out to hurt you. Despite my experiences, I still believe that truly mean spirited people are rare. Assume best intentions when you read a critique. Learn to tell the difference between honest criticism and comments you can safely ignore. A valid critique can help you to improve your craft. An invalid one won’t. (Included in the invalid category are the critiques that stroke your ego but don’t address weaknesses in your writing. Sorry.)
The first story I submitted for publication was to The Best Women’s Erotica 04. The story was accepted, which put me over the moon until the editor sent back the edited version. The paper dripped with red ink. I thought, “But she liked it enough to accept it?” Then I decided that I had a choice – learn from the criticism or have a diva fit. I chose to learn from it. That critique taught me more about writing short stories than any class I’d taken. Sure, my ego was bruised, but my writing took a huge leap forward. It changed the way I thought about my stories and the way I told them. It made my work publishable.
Writing isn’t easy. Letting other people read your work takes guts. At first you need supportive comments, but as you hone your craft, you’re going to develop a hunger for honest critique. When you get it though, don’t be like I was in high school – so oversensitive that I couldn’t enjoy the good parts.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I've been publishing erotica for eleven years. I've been critiquing other authors' work for nearly that long. A few months after the initial release of Raw Silk, I discovered the Erotica Readers and Writers Association. For several years, I participated in their Storytime email list, writing four or five in-depth crits per week. I probably spent seven or eight hours weekly on this activity. (That was before the advent of social networking and blogs and other time-suckers!) It helped that I was unemployed during most of that period!
I left Storytime when I couldn't reconcile the time demands with the rest of my life, but I have continued to do on-request critiques for friends and colleagues. I also started writing erotica reviews for ERWA and later, for Erotica Revealed). In 2002 I undertook my first erotica editing project, working with S.F. Mayfair to produce the anthology Sacred Exchange. Since then I've edited four other volumes, with several more in the pipeline.
Reviewer, editor, critique partner: these roles obviously have something in common, as they all require evaluation of another author's work. However, the objectives and the audience are distinctly different, at least the way I see it.
When I wear my reviewer hat, my audience is composed of potential readers. My goal is to provide an overview of a book, to highlight its strengths and to warn the reader about any weaknesses. As a reviewer, I also have to recognize the influence of my own preferences and prejudices. I recently submitted a review of a highly acclaimed short story collection that I really didn't like. In my essay, I tried to explain what it was about the book that turned me off—but I left the final decision up to the reader. Any reviewer who claims to be “objective” is fooling herself.
When I wear my editor hat, I'm talking to the author. I want to help him or her improve her work. However, the overarching goal is getting the book out. I focus on the most blatant problems in a story: awkward sentence structure, inappropriate vocabulary, factual inconsistencies, grammar issues, and so on. Of course, if I am editing an author's contribution, this implies that the submission has already been accepted on its overall merits. I may see ways to make the story even stronger and more compelling, but normally I won't mention these issues unless the value-to-effort ratio is pretty high.
When I'm critiquing, however, any aspect of a story is fair game. Critiquing is a kind of collegial collaboration. Unlike the editing situation, the individual offering the critique has no particular authority over the author, who can (and should) reject any or all of the critic's comments if they conflict with the author's intent or instinct. Critting can also be an exploration of new directions for a story. What if you started here, in the middle of the action, instead of before anything happens? What if your hero was actually attracted to men as well as women? What if you tried narrating the tale in the first person instead of the third?
In my critiques, I often suggest far more sweeping changes than I'd ever consider as an editor. Unlike some critics, I tend to focus most on structural and thematic aspects of a story in my crits—the big picture—as opposed to issues of language. I always try to begin my crit by citing the strong points in the piece, the things that work well. Then I go on to suggest modifications (sometimes quite extreme) that could make the story even more effective.
Back when I was on Storytime, I would adjust the level of my crits to consider the experience of the author. With a newbie, one has to tread lightly so as not to be discouraging. Novice writers also tend to exhibit different sorts of problems than more experienced authors. Grammar, continuity and point of view are often significant issues. “Mistakes” like excess description, “telling” as opposed to “showing” and abrupt transitions are more common.
These days, most of the crits I do are for colleagues who are published and experienced. They return the favor—as I see it, your writing is never so perfect that it can't be improved. These crits are often far-ranging, heady conversations that go well beyond the specific story under consideration. Of course, the better you know your colleague, the more effectively you can communicate. I have a handful of authors with whom I often exchange crits. I'm probably losing some of the critiquing skills that I developed on Storytime working with less seasoned writers.
So how do you do a crit, step by step? Every individual will be different, but here's an outline of my strategy.
1. Print a hard copy of the story or book. I can read for a review on the screen. I can edit directly in a digital file. For a crit, though, I have to have the work on paper.
2. Read through once, red pen in hand. My goal on this pass is to get an overall sense of the story. As I read, I'll flag things that bother me. I don't get specific at this point. I'll just circle a word or sentence or draw an arrow in the margin.
3. Read through again, focusing on the previously-flagged "problem" areas. At this point, I begin to ask myself questions. What's wrong here? What is the fundamental problem and how could it be solved? Is my discomfort with this area really a result of decisions the author made earlier in the work? Often a red mark at one point in the story will lead to my seeing more pervasive issues that are not really localized.
4. Open a document and begin writing my critique. Some people who crit edit their comments directly into the manuscript. This can be a lot less work for the critic, but when I get comments in this format, I find them less useful than a stand-alone document might be. In-manuscript comments make it difficult (for me at least) to home in on the issues and problem areas, since all my text is there to distract me.
I usually begin my critique with positive comments, sharing what I like about the story. Next, I'll talk about global problems: problems with flow or pacing or the arc of the plot; issues relating to the characters and their motivations; weak beginnings or endings or awkward transitions; redundancies or passages that I feel should be removed; areas that need to be expanded.
Then I'll move step by step through the manuscript, highlighting particular areas where I think revisions are necessary. Usually I'll quote the original text and then provide a suggested rewrite. This can take a lot of time, but as I said, I think this is more helpful to the author than simply inserting the suggestions into the manuscript.
I'll conclude by emphasizing the most important issues and once again congratulating the author on his or her successes.
5. Review and edit. If I have the time, I like to let my crit sit on my hard drive overnight and then re-read it. Even if I need to get the crit out right away, I'll reread my document once or twice for clarity. I usually end up making some changes--mostly additions to elaborate on my points or my logic.
6. Send the crit to the author. Given the unreliability of email, I usually ask for a quick acknowledgment so that I know the critique has been received.
One thing I notice in articulating this strategy: for me, critiquing is a highly intuitive activity. I do not begin with a checklist of topics to consider. Rather, I let the story talk to me, and pay attention to the places where I lose the connection or the communication. I'll be interested to discover, over the course of this week, whether this is characteristic of other critters, or whether they tend to be more analytical.
I review, edit and crit partly because I'm fairly good at it. Even more important, though, I want to bank up some "Writers Karma". What goes around comes around. As an author myself, I need thoughtful reviews, careful edits and perceptive critiques. So I try to give them to others. As a result, I wear many hats in addition to my "author" chapeau. I'm convinced, though, that these other activities ultimately benefit my writing.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
By Charlotte Stein (Guest Blogger)
I’ve recently started a story about a woman whose furtive masturbatory endeavours get her into all sorts of trouble. And I kind of wanted to talk about that, and how women never admit that they like to diddle themselves, even though any reasonable person would probably go insane if they didn’t rub one out on their happy pillow seventeen times a day.
Or is that just me?
But seriously though, that’s not me. I almost never use a pillow.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, what I wanted to talk about. Which is women and empowerment and doing yourself, etc etc. Only as is so often the case with me, I found my mind wandering to the thing it always wanders to, on those cold lonely nights with my pillow, Dave.
Cocks. Because I love cocks, and HOMG I love them even more when they’re being stroked. Hopefully by some dude who thinks he’s being sneaky, probably as he lurks in the men’s bathrooms of the office he works at, gasping against tightly pressed together lips with his hand probably stuffed into his pants because dear God no, he can’t do it right out in the open!
Especially when I’m only too willing to burst into said bathroom, and kick in the stall door, and most likely catch a dude having an innocent poo on the toilet.
But seriously, here’s a short excerpt from my latest just-handed-in-novel, Control, about how much I like the idea of catching dudes doing naughty things:
‘Gabe, are you all right in there?’ I say, and it’s so much like a game I could cry with happiness. I can feel it filling my chest as much as it’s filling other places, even when I try to hold it down.
Don’t, I think, don’t, but then he answers:
‘I’m fine. Really. Don’t come in here.’
And I’m not sure I can stop it. He’s playing, with me. It’s obvious. I think he means it, but at the same time...
The door won’t be locked. I know it before I even get close to trying it. And I just reach out and turn the handle and push it open, not quite bursting in because I’ll never be Delaney, but close enough.
He has his trousers shoved down— not around his ankles, in a pathetic puddle. Taut between his legs, and no further than mid-thigh. He hasn’t taken the underwear off, and it flashes pink and gleaming against his delightfully hairy and finely muscled thighs.
I can’t see his balls, because the elastic is cutting over them— likely too tight for comfort. Though I suppose that’s the point. It doesn’t seem to be putting him off to have a pair of little knickers, digging into him.
Quite the contrary. His cock’s in his fist, the ruddy tip peeping between his tense, squeezing fingers, everything so clearly ready to go off that I freeze in delicious anticipation. I run my gaze all over this frankly startling tableau — one that’s so sexy and dirty and fabulous that I’m sure he must have planned it just so, oh God, you little whore — just waiting for it to happen.
But I guess he’s in no rush.
And now you’re thinking that I hang around in noted masturbation spots, waiting to jump out on unsuspecting men. Does it say something about me that now all I can think is: IS there such a thing as a noted masturbation spot? If I go down to Kew Gardens one day and visit their animal topiary, will I find Furtive Freddy pulling on his plonker, behind the leafy hippo?
Because grudamn, let me get my butt down there, immediately. Men of the world, beware. I’m addicted to your wanking, and I’m only too willing to resort to nefarious means, to catch you at it.
Charlotte Stein has been writing for over ten years, and perving on hot dudes for even longer than that. However, it’s only recently that she’s had the courage to pair the two together and pen some critically acclaimed, steamy-hot erotic romances. She lives in Brit-land with her very own hunk of manbeef, and their imaginary dog.
You can find her at
www.themightycharlottestein.blogspot.com, usually in the middle of rambling about nonsense, squee-ing over her totally unexpected life as a writer, and generally lusting after seriously sexy men.
Control, her novel about a woman who can’t decide between a submissive and a dominant, can be pre-ordered here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Control-Charlotte-Stein/dp/1907016449/
Friday, May 28, 2010
That's right, we're talking about masturbation.
For the life of me, I can't understand why some parents aren't teaching their kids more about self pleasure. I mean, let's face it. With masturbation, there isn't a chance of pregnancy, and the only STD that can come of it is if you are already infected. It's truly the only "safe sex", because we all know abstinence only just doesn't work.
We need to teach it in schools too. In addition to showing the girls how to put a raincoat on a banana, we need to be teaching them about battery operated boyfriends and how truly good to us they can be. No chance of cheating, and there isn't any worry about a two second lift-off. Only issue might be a need to buy new batteries every so often, and keeping a spare set on hand removes that problem.
Now, we all know that masturbation can be empty feeling. But it can also be entirely pleasurable, depending upon your mindset and libido. Some of the best sex of my life has come with a partner, and some of the best sex of my life has also happened while I was completely alone.
I had my first orgasm all by my lonesome, after having had sex several times. I've learned what truly pleases me, not from exploration with a partner, but from self-loving. It has allowed me to know what I like, and to guide my partner to it. I still find out things when I am by myself … which can be infinitely enjoyable to both of us when I share my discoveries.
And masturbation, contrary to some belief, isn't a fall back when sex isn't available. Sometimes, I chose it rather than sex. Sometimes, I like to watch my partner stroke himself off. And just between me and you *wink, wink* I really get off on watching a woman masturbate. Yeppers, nothing gets me hotter than seeing fingers disappear into moist, warm depths, and come back out glistening in cream.
I think that's part of why so many of my characters indulge in masturbation, for whatever reason comes up. *smiles*
Take for example Natasha, in my recently re-released The Life Not Lived. She's dealing with the aftermath of a divorce, and her realization that she had been lying to herself for years, trying to be heterosexual.
Frustrated at the way her thoughts were intruding, she forced them aside and stroked her finger over her clit, ruthlessly manipulating the ball of nerves into a shallow orgasm. Gasping at the sparks that flickered to life within her, she continued her motions, running her finger along her slit, and delving past her puffy lips. Cupping one breast with her other hand, Natasha rolled her nipple between her thumb and index finger, pinching it hard enough to sting.
Gasping at the delicious tingle it sparked, she pumped her fingers faster, grinding them hard against the thin strip of skin that covered her pelvic bone beneath her clit. As her inner muscles clenched tight, she withdrew them, returning her attention to her clit. Swirling around the taunt bud, she stimulated it to the point of pain, before she was ready to allow herself another orgasm.
Pinching her nipple hard, she arched her hips, allowing her body to crest. Natasha pulled her fingers from her panties with a soft gasp and curled onto her side.
Then there is Alisa, from Diggin' Up Bones, who is trying to come to terms with the rape she suffered, and her returning feelings for the man she loves. Scared of being hurt, she is more terrified of losing what matters the most in her life.
The water washed away her frustrations and beat at her tight muscles. She leaned back against the cool tiles and closed her eyes, allowing her hands free reign. Of their own volition, they cupped her breasts, holding the slight weight in their palms as her fingers rolled her tight nipples. She lost herself in fantasy. Zach was under the spray with her, his rough, work calloused hands holding her breasts, teasing her nipples with his thumbs as his lips pressed soft kisses along her throat.
Gliding a hand down her stomach, she paused at her belly button, tracing over the sensitive little valley, then continued. Slipping a finger past her pouting lips and dipping it into her moist core, she stroked the sensitive skin. She had been wet ever since she'd watched Zach walk across her lawn earlier, the rising sun hitting his hair just enough to bring out the deep chestnut with its natural highlights. Long-legged, his strides had eaten up the earth as he moved with purpose. He mingled with the crew, often gesturing with his hands to make his point. A fluid grace filled his movements and her body remembered well being the recipient of his caresses.
Thrusting her finger deep, she rubbed her thumb over her clit, desperately trying to take the edge off her frustrations. Zach's presence just outside her house had her emotions in turmoil, and it was only getting worse. She had almost leaned forward and kissed him at the door, she wanted his touch so badly. Just watching each of his words form on his lips had aroused her. Topped with his voice as he spoke, it had taken all her will power to turn away from him. It didn't help that despite not knowing why she'd pushed him away, he still wanted her. She saw it in his blue eyes every time he looked at her. It seemed time hadn't lessened what they felt for each other, as she had hoped. The rate it was going, a decade could go by and she would still melt into a puddle when he walked into the room.
Alternating her hand from one breast to the other, she teased and pinched her nipples while she manipulated her clit and pussy with the other. Her legs grew weak as her inner muscles tightened, trying to milk a cock that wasn't there.
Locking her legs tight, she arched her back against the shower wall as tremors raced through her. Mouth open, she gasped for air. Her insides were on fire, and in her mind's eye it was Zach's fingers driving her wild, his fingers slowly thrusting in and out of her pussy while his mouth plundered hers.
With a soft cry, a shudder wracking her body, she climaxed. Her essence leaked down her hand to wash away in the torrents of water racing down her body from the showerhead. Gasping softly, she dropped to her knees, her legs too weak to hold her. Tipping her head into the spray, she flipped her hair over her shoulder and let the water wash away her tears, as they streamed from her eyes.
Of course, who can forget the exhibitionist masturbation, a personal favorite of mine. *smile* I tried to capture this thrill in my story The Window of the Soul, which is in my Private Eyes collection that will be out soon from Phaze. (Unedited excerpt)
I angled my view back down, capturing the breathtaking sight of her fingers pulling out of her moist red pussy, shining with her essence. The musky smell of her sex floated up, teasing me, tempting me to drop to my knees and bury my face between her legs.
She thrust her fingers back in, arching her back, softly moaning as a third joined the other two. And I somehow managed to captured it on the camera, her pussy widening to accept the offering, sucking the third into her depths. Her hips writhed on the bed, until with a soft pop she pulled her fingers free and reached for the dildo, driving it into her pussy. Her other hand slipped down her body, and with an elegantly, long finger she manipulated her clit, rolling the tiny bud around.
I moved back to her side, my pussy clenching with need, as I continued taking shots. I know some of the shots were slightly out of focus, but the rest--the rest would be some of my best work. Forget farting babies, this was what I worked and slaved all day long for. To see beautiful women come apart, and to capture that moment, that intimate moment on film.
She slid her hands free long enough to grasp for the clit clamps, and our hands brushed as I reached out to grab them, to hand them to her. She let out a soft whimper as she attached the first clamp and I zoomed in, catching her fingers stroking over her other nipple, her motions as she opened the clamp up and attached it. I longed to be the one bringing her that delicious pain, attaching the gator clamps to her sensitive nipples.
Her whimpered moans drowned out the softly playing music and the whirl of the camera, as I struggled to keep up with her rapid pace as she returned her hands to her pussy. She was on fire, and I knew whoever was lucky enough to share her bed had a truly sensual being on their hands. She was sex incarnate, a living breathing Aphrodite, tempting us mere mortals with her wicked ways.
I snapped a shot of her inner thighs, glistening with her juices. I zoomed in on her breasts, shooting their rapid rise and fall, as she gasped for breath, the clamps almost obscene against her glistening skin. And as she screamed out her ecstasy, thrusting the dildo into her pussy faster and faster, I captured the look on her face on film. Her eyes closed, her lips slightly parted, her nostrils flaring. In that moment, she could have been eighteen or eighty, as her facial features smoothed out, her face completely and totally relaxed.
Some people think when you’re sleeping is when you truly have the face of an angel, but I disagree. It’s when you come that your inner radiance shines the most. There’s no artifice, no hidden emotions; it’s all there for your partner to see.
Her eyes opened and locked on mine. I licked my lips as I watched her pull the dildo form her pussy. With a soft smile she brought it to her lips and I caught it all, the tip slowly disappearing into her mouth, the hard length creamy with her pussy juice. The crotch of my panties was soaked by the time she was done sucking the dildo off, and as she trailed it back down her body, her saliva leaving a faint trail, I caught it all.
I guess there can be no doubt that I am all for masturbation, alone of with an audience (of one, or more).
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Masturbation is rich in the area of euphemism. To use the clinical term masturbate is dysphemistic and, ordinarily, inappropriate.
“Do you have any plans for the weekend?”
“I think I’m just going to stay at home and masturbate, mother.”
Consequently, because our society consists of many societal taboos that remain on the fun side of what’s right and what’s wrong, we tend to allude to this solitary act with coy terms that aren’t quite so explicit.
The first that comes to mind is onanism. Kathleen’s already mentioned the great man himself this week but, for those who are still unsure: Onan is a character from the Book of Genesis (or a real life person whose exploits were recounted in the factual Book of Genesis, depending on your religious viewpoint). In a plot twist that’s only ever seen in poor soap operas and the bible, Onan was instructed by God to impregnate his late brother’s wife.
(Please don’t bother correcting me if I’ve got this wrong, or raise queries about the suspicious lack of deity/omnipotence that is a subtext to this story. My personal view on religion, and one which I know is shared by religious leaders the world over, is: when it stops making sense, claim that it perfectly illustrates your personal prejudices, and then maybe start a war).
Anway, Onan happily did the nasty with his recently widowed sister-in-law but he pulled out at the last minute. (The Bible doesn’t tell us whether or not he had used that favourite chat-up line for widows, “You look like you’ve been crying a lot. Would you like me to give you a facial?”) Anyway, as a consequence of Onan’s tactical withdrawal: his seed fell on stony ground; his sister-in-law didn’t get knocked-up; a clan died out; and God punished Onan for his spillage by killing him.
And, whilst I’m not trying to judge God, I personally think that’s something of a harsh punishment. Isn’t there a saying about no sense dying of spilt milk?
Anyway, whilst some suggest that onanism refers to the act of coitus interruptus, it is often used in the UK to imply the act of male masturbation. And, if Onan genuinely did exist, it’s a tragedy that he’s gone on to be remembered as the world’s foremost wanker. If nothing else, Onan’s name serves as a cautionary tale for those who say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
It’s surprising to note the gender imbalance in terms relating to masturbation. Whilst the clinical term refers, ostensibly, to self-stimulation by either gender, the euphemisms tend to focus on male masturbation. Whacking off, rubbing one out, jerking off (which, through a process called back-formation, gives us the pejorative jerk), all allude visually to penile stimulation and ejaculation. Assuming that men and women have roughly comparative sex drives (and I don’t think the disparity is so great), this bias tends to suggest that either women are more discreet about their solitary sex habits, or men are simply more well-known for bashing the bishop.
Admittedly there are terms for female masturbation, such as jilling, gusset-typing and flicking the bean, but the majority of these are comparatively recent innovations in the vocabulary. The richness of current masturbation euphemism comes in the form of a type of Mad-Words construction in the following format:
Examples include: yanking the crank; choking the chicken; tugging the slug; and shaking the snake.
I’m particularly impressed with the poetic devices employed here: the alliteration and the assonance are especially stylish but I’m also amazed by the reliance on metaphor. In the aforementioned examples we see the male genitalia compared with cranks, chickens, slugs and snakes.
I’d be interested to see comments today where readers have constructed their own new and original euphemisms.
So, please put your best euphemisms in the box below: in a ‘BLANK-ing the BLANK’ format. Comments will be appraised for their poetic qualities, visual imagery and literary merit. And I’ll be checking back throughout the day.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
STE Crystal Plus 200FG Mineral Oil
Penreco Drakeol 34 Technical Grade Mineral Oil
Vicks Vapo Rub
Should I do it?
GP 78 FDA Grade TPE Resin
I sit outside in my car in the parking lot of the Cargos Hardware and Sporting Goods, fiddling with the notes I scribbled on the back of an old envelope. Scratching my scruffy black beard. Shall I do it?
PVC Polyvinyl Cholide embedded with phthalades
If only they'd had YouTube when I was a kid, I could have saved myself so much grief.
Polyvinyl silicone acetate.
Mmmmm. I can feel it down there now.
Sextoyscientist.com. A Hobby Hut for the lonely tadpole tosser.
I’ll do it.
I am going to make myself a sex toy.
Some kind of pipe.
We made this possible for you, for all of you. The corporations and scientists just wanted the Internet for storing files and cutting deals.
We changed that.
They gave the twenty first century its technology. We gave the technology its destiny. We humiliated few. We, chicken chokers, have been the hidden force behind the progress of civilization. Not emperors. Not merchants. Not the Illuminati. Not the Priory of Sion.
We, the meat beaters. The despised.
We brought it to you. Technology. The printing press. Home electricity. We had steam powered dildoes and electrical vibrator wands going before the electric light bulb was ever a twinkle in Edison’s eye. Millennium of medicinal research, not for a cure for cancer, but searching for the most irresistible aphrodisiac. We took the Internet away from the military and put it in your home.
Bulletins Boards to find each other, like horny fireflies lighting their asses in the dark for a mate. Usenet newsgroups to boast and brag and weep. JPG photo compression for our nude treasures. High speed broadband to share it fast and wantonly. Search engines to find it easier. Encryption to hide our shame. The World Wide Web to pass around our stash. Online stores and the security systems to guard our purchases from our neighbors. VHS over Betamax. DVDs over VHS. Blue ray over Hi Def. Private video downloading. Digital reading material. Who made it happen? Who sank their money in it?
Who loves ya baby?
The game technology you play with on Christmas morning. Decided by the whims of pork pullers. Not the military. Not international commerce. Not academic insititutes.
The yogurt yankers, we’re the ones who decide the path of consumer technology. We invented the sex toy before we invented the wheel.
What in the world is Marine Epoxy?
My journey to this Cargo’s Hardware and Sporting Goods Supply parking lot began with my wife's feet.
She works as a saleswoman in a big department store at the Mall. She's on her feet, sometimes for long hours and comes home tired. That puts a damper on a lot of things, but she always appreciates a good foot rub. I do that for her every night with a gob of Ben Gay. Ben Gay has its limitations. There are places you can never go with Ben Gay. I went to Walmart to get a new tube and an escalation of epiphany began in the aspirin aisle. Why Ben Gay? Why not massage oil? Start at the toes and work your way up. Its possible on a good night. We boner buffers are nothing if not hopeful.
Massage oil was in the area prudently labeled "Family Planning", which family planning involved fruit flavored rubbers that glow in the dark and cherry flavored lubes. But there was also something new. KY has moved its brand image away from astringently packaged lubrications suitable for prostate exams and more towards gaudy bedroom fireworks. Now there's something called "Intense". Female Stimulation Gel.
Female Stimulation Gel.
Clinical and trustworthy. Scientific and sterile. And yet - stimulating! Stodgy old men in white lab coats, nude young college girls, volunteers strapped like lab rats into dental chairs, wired to EKGs above and down there, that measure their response to . . . stimulation.
“Begin the stimulation, Miss Klocknocker.”
And what secret society do you think came up with that?
So I’m thinking. If there's the old reliable stuff Dad stimulated Mom with, what else is out there? How extreme underground can it get? What would tattooed biker girls use to get off? Spanish Fly gel? What would be the ultimate, screaming, nymphomaniac in a bottle female stimulation gel?
I got the Ben Gay, but the question had a hold of me. A little Googling and women seemed to agree that the ultimate is something called "G". Women rave about it. G is the stuff.
Walmart doesn't sell it. Kroger doesn't sell it. Walgreen’s doesn’t sell it. Target doesn’t sell it. CVS Pharmacy doesn't sell it. Rite Aid Pharmacy doesn’t sell it. The flea market doesn’t sell it. Pets Mart doesn't sell it. It’s turning into a Holy Grail.
“Lucy's Love Shop” is a little place in an obscure strip mall, next to a sushi joint and a real estate office. It keeps its head down low in Baptist country. In the window were frilly naughty but nice underwear such as you might see these days in Victoria Secret or even J. C. Penny’s. The real stuff was in the back.
Yet walking into Lucy’s what I saw was that we sea monkey spritzers have failed to penetrate here. This is the world of ravenous goddesses and seething courtesans. A wall full of daunting dildoes and ferocious vibrators. Dildoes that look like natural phalluses right down to little pee holes that squirt. Dildoes that look robotic and insectile, pure function over form. Women have so many good things to play with. They don’t even need our dicks. And yes they have orgasm gel, four different kinds, but - No “G” gel. Nada. I could settle for second best, but I can get that anywhere. I want the female stimulation gel of the gods.
But next to the dildoes there was this thing like a Salvador Dali hallucination, on a row next to the boxes of blow up dolls. A shrink wrapped cylinder with a pussy inside. A flashlight case containing the most perfectly pooched labial lips. Talk to me Big Boy. I turned my back on the clerk and picked it up, turning it over in a detached scholarly manner, raising an eyebrow in a bemused fashion. A remarkable specimen, see here Dr. Jones what we’ve found in this ancient Mayan pyramid. A mummified cunt.
How much . . . ?
Eighty Dollars?? Oh my shit. No way. And how would I explain this to my wife when she finds it under the bed? Would she be jealous? She’d be furious. Go sleep with your flashlight! Tell your flashlight to cook dinner for you!
It looked mighty good. I admit it. I tried to give it a little feel through the thick plastic armor to get an idea what it would be like to, you know, use, but for eighty bucks it might as well be an alien artifact abandoned on the moon. I read the hypoallergenic materials breakdown. This stuff didn’t look that hard to get.
I lock my car and go up to Cargo’s Hardware and Sporting Goods Supply. A man in an orange Cargos’s vest sees me. He sees something in my face that makes him blink instinctively for just a second. My shame? It is a look he can see? Has he seen this look before?
“Help you find anything?”
I glance down at my list. Start with the easiest thing first. “I need to buy some pipe?”
“Plumbing’s back there, end of aisle nine.” He raises his arm and points towards the far end of the store.
As I walk by him I feel his eyes on my back. Does it show? Is it the list? I glance down at my shoes. My zipper. Paranoia. Is it the way I walk? Does he know?
I am the Raskolnikov of sperm spacklers.
As I get closer to plumbing I pass through the home appliances. A man is standing in front of the vacuum cleaners, holding the attachment hose in his hand, fondling it. I stop, because I feel the vibe coming from him, like Gaydar. The way he’s looking at the fellatio nozzle hole. Sizing it up. Talk to me Big Boy. He turns around and our eyes meet.
I move on a little more and see the Plumbing and Bathroom sign a couple of aisles down. I cut through sporting goods.
A man holding a wicker creel in his hand. But it’s the generously round hole he’s looking at. He makes a ring with his thumb and finger and holds it over the hole. Measuring it for girth and depth with his hands. Caressing his fingers through it. Rubbing it. He turns. He knows I know. I know he knows I know.
Passing through the board game department at the end of sporting goods, a chunky woman is holding a wooden chess set in her hands. But there’s only one piece of royalty she cares about. She lifts her eyes.
Rounding the corner into pet supplies, a woman is holding a furry toy mouse between her thighs and stroking it, her eyes half closed in bliss.
She turns at the sound of my feet as she rises on her toes and our longing gaze meets gently across the room.
Almost running now into home appliances. There, a woman holding a six inch pepper grinder in her hand, her pink tongue tip touching the big knob at the end. She sees me, startled, puts it back on the shelf, turning red.
Toilets parade by and I’m at the end of aisle nine. Pipes. There’s two rows of them, plastic, metal, every kind of pipe. I’ve never fixed a pipe or toilet before in my travels. Never needed to, never stayed in one place that long before. But for what I’m doing what would I need? My daddy bequeathed me the standard plus a little girth. So I figure seven inches plus a little space at the end. Maybe eight inches. Nine inches. How hard does it need to be? Sextoyscientist isn’t about using the tube for the thing itself but only as a mold, which means it should be a little longer to account for compaction. The Fleshlight case is the size of a standard flashlight case, so maybe its not part of the act. But I wouldn’t want to mush this thing into the sheets either, try explaining that one on laundry day. Figure nine inches. Looking through the pipe they’re all the wrong size. Papa Bear Pipe is too wide and long. Baby Bear pipe is too small and narrow. Where’s the Mama Bear pipe?
Get your Fleshlight to cook dinner for you!
Yeah, and there’s that. How do I keep it out of sight? I should get screw on caps to go on the ends. Then it doesn’t look like anything.
At the end of the row there’s something that looks like it might work. A heavy metal length of sink pipe about twelve inches. That’s a little longer than I need, I confess. Bit it’ll be perfect for a mold, and later for a protective case. Best of all it has threaded ends and a little bin of dedicated caps you can screw on both ends.
As I stand there a couple of more men gather up behind me. One of these has a white plastic bag that says Mortin’s TPE Grade Silicone. The other on the right of me, eyeing my length of pipe, has a jar of Micleson’s FDA Grade Mineral oil. Oh my God. My people. I have found my people. The pickle pounder on the left looks at the pipe I have and picks one up and turns it over in his hands. The gherkin gooser on my right picks one up and turns it around and sets it down and checks out a smaller one next to it.
These are the guys I should ask – where did you find that stuff? If I ask they’ll know. But what I realize is I can’t. The fraternity that dares not name itself. Pudding pumpers. Weiner wrestlers. I just look at the length of pipe in my hands and I can hardly move. The yo-yo yanker on my right reaches down slowly, almost defiantly and picks up the same pipe I have.
I want to ask him do you think it’ll work? Any tips or trouble shooting I should know? One fellow axe-murderer to another? But nobody says anything. If we were barbeque grill enthusiasts or home brewed beer hobbyists, something manly and respectable there would be this comradery. A little bombastic chit chat about the best grains and malts or the One True Way to marinade a brisket. But this.
I back away with my pipe and my list.
Outside the plumbing aisle, what about the stuff they carried? Where would that be? I figure silicone would be somewhere nearby plumbing. But the mineral oil. Maybe paint?
An earnest young man in a Cargo’s vest comes up to me. “Help you find anything sir?”
The mystical list in my hand, the capped off pipe in the other. What the hell.
“Yeah,’ I say, “I’m looking for some stuff.” I hold up the envelope. He takes it and squints at my handwriting. I point out the word on the top. “I need some food grade mineral oil and some TPE resin. I know it’s here someplace.”
“Mineral oil? We got that, I think maybe. What’s TPE resin?”
“Ah . . .” Hell. What the fuck is TPE resin? I’m doing all this on faith. “I think it comes in little pellets or something. You mix it with the oil and some other stuff.”
He takes a deep breath and glances at the capped off steel pipe in my hand. “Oh.” He looks back at the paper. “Sooooo . . . . what’s TPE stand for?”
“I think it must mean ‘thermo plastic elastomer’. Yeah. Its probably what you get when you mix them together. I need some Marine Epoxy too.”
“Soooo . . . . you mix them together and get what?”
“Thermo plastic elastomer gel. It’s all on the internet.”
“Oh . . .kay. . .” He glances up and his eyes are passing over my beard. “What do you do with thermo plastic – gel? Exactly?”
“It goes in the pipe. You make things with it.”
“What things? What’s it for?”
Ah no. Well, let’s see here.
You mold it into the pussy lips of your choice, put it in the pipe and when no one’s around you poke your stiff little -
“Its kind of a personal thing. I can’t really explain it.”
“I’m just asking. What’s it for?”
“I really don’t want to explain it.”
“Let me check with my manager and see if he knows if we have these things. Wait here please.” He puts the paper in his pocket.
“It’s okay.” I try to stop him, but he’s heading off fast. This guy is going to take all day. “Let me check for the oil in the paint department. I’ll meet you there.”
“No sir! Please. Just wait right here. We’ll help you find your stuff. Wait here. Please.”
The two woo-woo whizzers who were next to me in the pipes are at the check out counter. That’s where I should be. Seems like I’ve been standing here forever. I don’t want to be rude and walk off on somebody who’s trying to help.
Behind me are two guys in black suits and narrow black ties and black bug eyed sunglasses. Shiney black shoes. He’s brought two managers. Wow. They like me!
“Hi, I’m trying to find something –“
“We need you to come with us please.”
One of them quietly scoots behind me, grabs my wrists and handcuffs me. “Don’t make a fuss please. We just need to talk.”
Funny how everybody says please.
An hour later I’m sitting in the back seat of the of a big black Ford Explorer with black tinted windows and electronically locked doors. A Homeland Security guy has been going over my paper with me. I’ve confessed to everything. He’s got a nice new iPad in his hand and he’s at sex toy scientist but the videos don’t work because Apple doesn’t enable Flash player on any of its stuff.
“A male masturbation device? You’re telling the truth? Because we find out if you’re not, things will get very bad.”
“Sextoyscientist dot com. Its all there. I don’t want any trouble. I wouldn’t lie to you.”
He sits quietly for a long time, drumming his fingernails on the iPad screen, making the applications dance open and closed. “Well.” He pushes a key fob in his suit pocket and the door locks jump open. “I guess we can’t legally hold you on just a piece of paper and a pipe. You’re free to go.”
“Can I have my list back?”
He turns toward me like I’m a moron. “No. And don’t leave town for a few days. Or else.”
“Yes sir. Thank you. I won’t do it again sir.”
I move for the door handle and open it. His black suited sleeve reaches across me and pulls it closed.
“Hold on.” He says. He takes off his sunglasses.
Oh my shit. He’s got the eyes. Talk to me Big Boy.
“I just got to know.” Says federal agent Stiffy Strangler. “Off the record.”
“Yes sir. Anything to help my country, sir.”
He sighs. “How do you make one?”
* * * *
Monday, May 24, 2010
How can anyone not like masturbation? Unless they’re doing it wrong. Or they’re just one of those people who hates everything and everybody. You know the type. I call them Mary Janes – those pinch faced girls on the playground who ran off to tattle to teacher whenever they suspected anyone might be having fun and *gasp* getting away with it!
Mary Janes are the first ones to point to the Bible and recite the story of poor Onan. But I often thought that story was a parable written after the fact to illustrate a huge misunderstanding. I can envision the conversation around the biblical campfire and the resulting game of telephone, in which the real message about masturbation was impossibly garbled:
A: “Verily, I have rubbed myself raw. Tell me, oh learned dude, is masturbation wrong?”
B: “Only if you don’t use lube.”
A:”I know how to get off, thank thou very much. You know what I mean.”
B: *ponders quietly for a while* “Whilst I’m enjoying a bit of solo recreation, I fantasize all kinds of nasty, dirty sex. I’m not thinking of love, commitment, or treating the objects of my fantasy as people. They are there for my pleasure--.”
B: *rolls eyes* “There’s nothing wrong with that, unless I were to treat real people the same way.”
A:”Thou art taking all the fun out of it.”
B:”I say unto you, you can’t treat real people like your personal wank fantasy fodder. It dehumanizes them, and makes you a selfish lover. No one likes a douchbag in the sack. Dost thou knowest that whole ‘love others as you would love yourself’ thing? Yeah. That’s God telling you to be good to the people who will actually have sex with you. Treat them with respect. Show some class.”
Person A, not being the brightest oil lamp, ambled away confused. Later on, s/he met person C, who was lazily stroking his/her way to a little afternoon delight.
A:”Thou should not do that.”
C: “Why not?”
A: *unable to remember or understand the philosophy behind the earlier conversation* “Uh, because it’s bad.”
C:”No, it feels really good.”
A: “But it’s wrong to fantasize about sex. God says we can’t treat ourselves. We have to do it with other people.”
C: “I don’t remember that in the ten commandments. I say unto you, if God wanted to forbid it, he would have mentioned it somewhere in that list.”
A:”Then I shall inscribe a story upon a scroll so that thou, and everyone else, will know of this teaching I got from our learned one. And I shall put your name in my story so that everyone knows about your wankery and shuns thee. What is thy name?”
C: “George. Uh, wait. Onan. That’s right. I’m Onan.”
Okay, maybe not, but it seems that what probably started off as a bit of good advice – “Get out of your tent and spend some time around real people” – was dumbed down into dogma because no one wanted to take the time to explain the longer reason, or maybe they were embarrassed by the subject. Sex is a powerful drive, and controlling people through sex is the wet dream of the Mary Janes of this world, so it’s no surprise that religions couldn’t keep their hands off. Wankery takes on many forms, but some are more debauched than others.
This story isn’t for the squeamish.
Fetish was sex deconstructed. Removed from my body to my mind. The rites of worship worshipped. The fetish was for the details. Someone once said that God was in the details, but others said that it was the devil, a devil I knew intimately.
I closed my eyes tight and hoped Devon would hurry. We didn’t have much time. Every detail was perfection. It would never be this good again. Never.
At the soft click of the door, I opened my eyes again and willed myself not to blink.
Devon silently folded the sheet down to the swell of my breasts. The bare warmth of the sheet escaped as he lifted it from my feet and folded it above my waist.
Would he jump if I moved?
Devon climbed on the table and lowered the waistband of his scrubs to free his cock.
Devon wasn’t the most endowed member on staff, his looks didn’t excite me, and he was not the one I would have picked for recreational fucking, but he met my requirements – meaning that he could perform the exacting details I demanded.
He was quiet while he jerked off. A few gasps, the slap of his hand, and the squishy sound of the lube.
A trickle of water from the melting ice cube streamed out of my pussy and pooled under my butt cheek.
My eyeballs were dry.
Remember how much you hate what it takes to get the details right. Next time you’re tempted to pick up the phone and make an appointment, remember that it hurts to have ice cubes in your cunt. Think of the pain in your feet and hands. Think about never being warm again.
Devon had bowed his head to the task. He groaned. The table shook as he worked his cock. He knew not to waste time. With his free hand, Devon spread my labial lips. Warmth bled through his examination gloves to my skin.
Hot, thick come splattered against my clit. I bit my tongue to hold back my moan. He came buckets, my Devon did, covering my cunt like boiling water splashed on snow. Another shot, so warm, so full of life, pulsed onto my chilled skin. It slid from the hard nub of my clit down toward my pussy. My clit tingled under it, loving the perfection of the moment, soaking in the heated gift from his body.
Devon immediately climbed off the table. He pulled the bottom sheet down to my ankles. Hurrying, he stood by my head. But then he did something he’d never done before, he bent down and placed a reverent kiss on my lips. Then he gently pushed my eyelids closed, and I felt the sheet cover my face.
The door clicked shut.
I flung back the sheet and spread my slit so I could see it in the overhead mirror. The slick load clung in thick globs to my pubes.
So warm. Warmth is life.
Everything was perfect. Perfect that time. Better than fantasies.
A spasm shot down my legs. I drew my knees up and spread my legs wide. Pinching and pulling, I overloaded my clit with sensation – hot come, cold fingers. My hands made tighter circles.
My lips pulsed.
My hand was almost a blur. My shoulders lifted off the table. My pussy clenched tight.
A furious orgasm shot though me.
God or the devil, it was perfect.
Chill appears in The Best Women’s Erotica 09 and The Best of Best Women’s Erotica 2.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
By Lisabet Sarai
Our topic this week, in honor of National Masturbation Month, is "Solo Sex". I'm not going to talk about my own masturbatory activities (that would be pretty boring!) but rather, the solo sex that appears in my writing.
My published work includes a number of scenes involving solo sex. As I was mentally reviewing them, I realized that they all had something in common. The character is never merely focused on physical pleasure. She (I don't recall writing any male masturbation scenes) is always engaged in some fantasy which usually includes another character.
It's the erotic charge of those fantasies that drives the character to climax. The character may be imagining that the object of her desire is actually present and responsible for the sensations she is inflicting upon herself. Or she may be running a mental movie, watching a scene in which she may or may not participate. Either way, the fantasy acts as an amplifier to the sensory pleasure.
Here's an example from Exposure:
By the time I hang up, my desire for Jimmy has me tied in knots. I can spare a few minutes, I figure, to do something about that.
I’m still wearing my robe. I shuck it off my shoulders and spread it on the carpet, then lie down on my back on top of the plush terry cloth. My nipples are tight, aching bullets of flesh. I cup the weight of my breasts in my palms and flick my thumbs across the stiffened tips, sending shocks through my body with each stroke.
It’s not enough. Readjusting my body a bit, I manage to take a nipple into my own mouth. I suck hard, imagining it’s Jimmy’s eager tongue that’s rasping over the sensitive flesh. I see myself feeding him my lush tits, first one, then the other, while I stroke away at his smooth shaft. Suckling me would be enough to get him off, I suspect. I sense his cock contracting in advance of his convulsion and let go, pushing his head down toward my pussy instead.
Very few men know how to eat pussy, I’ve found. I don’t know yet how Jimmy will do, but I picture him between my thighs, licking and nibbling. Meanwhile, I simulate the effects of his tongue, working my cunt with both hands. I’m as slick as if I’ve been oiled, inside and out. My fingers of my left hand glide over my swollen lower lips to settle deep inside my cunt. I massage the inner muscles, feeling them pulse whenever my other hand squeezes my clit. I bring in my heels, closer to my butt, so that I can rock my pelvis against my hands, one probing, the other circling, teasing, flicking across the rigid nub until I can hardly stand it. My thighs spread wider as I imagine Jimmy burrowing deeper. “More,” I whisper. “More...”
He’s using his hands now as well as his mouth, holding me open while he sucks me for all he’s worth. His thumb continues to prod and tickle my clit. I writhe and arch against him every time he touches it. Now his other hand is wandering. He slips two fingers into my cunt and pumps in time with his suction. “More,” I moan, close now but needing just that extra little push to send me over the edge.
He’s listening. He’s tuned in to what my body needs. There’s a brief awful moment of loss when he pulls his fingers from my cunt. Before this registers, though, he plunges his thumb into me in their place. And then, half a breath later, he slides one of the liberated fingers smoothly into my ass.
Oh, Jimmy, you’re so nasty, I think as I scream and topple into bliss. Who’d ever think a nice, respectful guy like you would be like that? My body continues to shake with the aftershocks of the climax, my pelvis jerking in the air. Would he really be like that? I wonder vaguely. I want more than ever to find out.
Finally, I relax and stretch out my legs. I cringe at the sharp pain in my ankle. Right. Until a few minutes ago half my weight was on that ankle, as I strained my pussy toward the ceiling, trying to come. Got to be more careful when I play with myself, or I’ll never heal. Next time, I should lie on my stomach. Or maybe do it on my hands and knees, so I can imagine Jimmy screwing me doggy style...
I’m actually getting turned on again, enough that the pain begins to fade. The pictures are rolling in my mind again, clearer than ever. Jimmy’s grinning at me, his cheeks smeared with my juices, as he positions himself behind my elevated butt. He leans over and slides his tongue up my crack from front to rear. The next thing I feel is his swollen knob, rubbing back and forth outside my well-lubricated cleft.
The telephone rings, rudely shattering my fantasy. I hope it’s not Jimmy again, trying to make me change my mind. Because at this point, I’m not sure I have the strength to say no to him.
Stella has a vivid imagination—it's a requirement for her job as a stripper—and she uses it to good effect when she's pleasuring herself.
Kate O'Neil from Raw Silk considers herself to be an independent, sensible, no-nonsense type of woman. Her unexpected urge to submit surprises and concerns her. She runs away to Singapore to get away from the charismatic Gregory, who kindles these disturbing feelings. However, she cannot escape from her own mind.
Alone with her thoughts, Kate enjoyed a fiery Szechuan dinner in the hotel restaurant. David would have appreciated this, she thought, full of longing for his comfortable presence. Recklessly, she ordered a bottle of Bordeaux and drank two-thirds of it with her scallops in garlic sauce. Then she wove her way up to her room, definitely unsteady on her feet.
The room spun a little as she lay naked and exhausted on the cool sheets. The room was basic, utilitarian, no plush carpets or silk draperies. Through the open window came the muted sounds of evening traffic. The ceiling fan washed her bare skin with an intermittent breeze, rhythmic and soothing like surf on a distant beach.
So, here I am, she thought, in a strange city, nearly a thousand miles from Bangkok and its temptations. But I can't run away from myself.
She ran her hands over her breasts, across her belly, lightly down her thighs, savouring the smooth curves of her own body. Gregory had said that she was born to be his slave. Some part of her resonated in agreement. Her sex stirred and tingled at the thought. She closed her eyes and listened to the whisper of the fan.
Is there anything that he could ask of me that I would not do? she wondered. As if in answer, images began to play against her closed eyelids. She saw herself bent over a chair, her rump exposed and vulnerable, while Marshall swung a flexible bamboo cane, that whistled through the air and left long red welts on her skin. Then she was on her hands and knees, and Marshall was fitting a bridle and bit in her mouth; she felt the horsehair tail embedded in her ass, tickling the backs of her thighs, saw the riding crop leaning against the stool in front of her. Now a more subtle picture: she knelt behind Gregory's back as he held open the cheeks of his own buttocks, commanding that she service his anus with her lips and tongue.
A shiver ran through her. Would she, could she do this? Here, by herself, the thought was disgusting and yet fascinating. Kate rolled over, and stuck a pillow between her legs, as she used to do when she was a girl. She rocked back and forth, the indirect pressure on her clit building a different kind of arousal.
The pictures continued to unroll in her wine-loosened imagination, becoming more vivid and elaborate. Where was she getting these ideas? She had never thought about such things before. Had Marshall somehow planted these notions in her subconscious? She felt his presence, now, radiant warmth as if he stood beside the bed watching her.
She was kneeling again, but now it was Noi, the seductive mamasan, who stood before her, one booted foot elevated on a stool so that her sex was spread and visible. The Thai woman's pubic area was shaved smooth; Kate could see every detail of her labia, ripe-looking folds of flesh that glistened with moisture, and her fat clitoris that peeked out between them. “Eat her,” she heard Gregory say, “eat her well, or believe me, she will whip you so hard that you'll think my beatings were mere ticklings.”
Kate moaned a little as she ground the pillow harder into her groin. Her nostrils were filled with the rising odours from her own sex. Or perhaps this was Noi's scent, as she saw herself lapping at the other woman's cunt, exploring the secret tastes and textures, while Gregory watched.
The scene shifted again. She was bound, hanging from an iron hook in the ceiling. Her legs were spread by a rigid bar fastened to her leather anklets. Gregory circled her, inspecting her, then returned carrying a lacquered wooden box. He opened it before her, to display an array of phalluses and dildos, of rubber, leather, even stainless steel. The smallest was longer and thicker than Gregory's own enormous penis.
“Your choice,” he said, his tone mocking and bright. “What is your pleasure, my dear?” Leaning forward conspiratorially, he added, “You must choose one for the front, of course, and one for the back...”
Kate thrashed and writhed on the pillow, as she imagined Gregory forcing these huge prongs into her orifices. Suddenly she craved penetration; she needed desperately to be filled. She rolled over on her back and thrust all four fingers into her vagina. But this still left her unsatisfied.
She opened her eyes and looked around the sparsely-furnished room. Little help here, it seemed, and then she noticed the bedposts. The bed had a plain wooden headboard, ornamented with smooth posts topped with a knob, like chessman. Drunk on wine and her carnal fantasies, she was on her knees in an instant, trying to unscrew one of the posts from the frame.
It seemed at first that the ornament must be glued, or a single piece with the headboard, but then she felt movement. A few minutes work, and she held the post detached in her hand.
It was heavy, and nearly a foot long. It tapered slightly near the end, then bulged out into a globe about two inches in diameter. Kate ran her hands over its polished length. A trembling ran through her limbs. Surely, she did not dare...
Then she heard Gregory's voice in her mind, through the haze of alcohol and desire. “You want to do it; you know you do. I want you to do it.”
You'll have to buy the book to discover whether Kate actually dares to impale herself on the bedpost...
As we've discussed here before, we authors are influenced by our own experiences and desires, even when we're clearly writing fiction. My own masturbatory efforts definitely tend to involve fantasy. I want to forget what I'm doing to myself and get lost in some deliciously filthy scenario that pushes my personal buttons.
I think that this is common for women; I don't know about men. The Chuck Palahniuk story that Garce wrote about a few weeks ago suggests that for men, solo sex might be completely about sensation, no fantasy required. Maybe men really can f*ck alone. However, I'm not so sure.
I was just editing Garce's story “Love's Tender Gender Fender Bender”, in his upcoming Coming Together Presents collection. The main character in this riff on Kafka's “Metamorphosis” is fundamentally a man, even though he's in a woman's body. He's taking that body for a test run, so to speak, masturbating furiously. To make it work, though, he has to fantasize—first about a woman and then, hilariously, about a lady cockroach.
Of course, perhaps Garce was suggesting that now that Gregor was a woman, she couldn't come without fantasy. I'll leave it to him to comment on this question.
From my perspective, however, solo sex requires a partner (at least one!)—even if he (or she) is just figment of the masturbator's imagination.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Personally, unless technological innovations improve my life in a fundamental way, they are of no use or interest. So, until technology reaches the stage where I can buy myself a bigger cock that ejaculates bank notes, I’m happy to stay in the comparative dark ages.
I was one of the last people in my social circle to succumb to pressure and buy a mobile phone. There were various reasons for my slow uptake of this technology. Primarily, I’m a cheap bastard. If I don’t need it, I’m certainly not going to pay for it. And I never saw the need for a mobile phone. I seldom use the landline (which, at the time, was only known as a humble phone). I don’t receive many calls, and I had rarely found myself in a situation where I was away from a nearby telephone but needed to talk with someone whose number I knew.
So I resisted. I only gave in and bought one after an unfortunate incident with a flat tyre. Even then, I bought the cheapest mobile phone available on a tariff that allows me to belligerently not use my mobile at a price that accommodates this natural parsimony.
(Funnily, this came about shortly after a telesales call where a young man had been trying to encourage me to buy a mobile phone. This was at a time when the newspapers were filled with stories about people suffering brain/ear problems because of excessive mobile phone use.
CALLER: Congratulations, sir. Your name has been selected to receive a free mobile courtesy of our company.
ME: Mobile phones? They give you ear cancer, don’t they?
CALLER: No, sir. We’re offering you a brand new mobile phone at-
ME: EAR CANCER! EAR CANCER! You’re trying to give me ear cancer! I don’t want ear cancer. Don’t make me have ear cancer.
The telesales caller hung up shortly after my outburst).
I also have issues with iPods: not sure why anyone would need or want one of the bloody things. Discussing this with a colleague recently, he stared at me as though I was an alien visitor.
COLLEAGUE: They’re great for listening to music whenever and wherever you want.
ME: But why would I want to do that?
COLLEAGUE: Don’t you like music?
ME: I like it. But I can manage to exist for two consecutive hours if it isn’t there.
COLLEAGUE: What about when you’re driving?
ME: I tend to concentrate on the roads, try to avoid accidents, that sort of thing.
COLLEAGUE: What about when you’re walking or exercising?
ME: You don’t know me very well, do you? I neither walk nor exercise.
We agreed to disagree. Well, I told him he was a technology obsessed ‘tard and he told me I was a Luddite. And he’s not the first person to call me that.
Yes, I use a computer. Yes, I use the internet, emails and other technological marvels However, I usually find I’m using technology that is not so much cutting-edge, as nearly-obsolete. My recent foray into trying the newest version of Microsoft WORD has meant that a dozen editors I work with regularly have written letters saying, “Why can’t I open this document?” It’s a clear reminder of a lesson that I thought I’d learnt well.
So, until technology produces a device that can make my cock bigger, and enables it to start spurting banknotes on command, I’m content to be a Luddite and live without all these modern innovations.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I push my shopping cart over to the electronics department to pick up some half dozen D batteries for my old boom box radio. We’ll need that too. In front of the Wii and Playstation 3 consoles teenage boys are standing in a kind of sinister wired up Matrix human-farm trance, staring dully and pushing buttons. In front of the TV wall, a tall black guy wearing a doo-rag is waving his hands at the hi rez flat screen images. “No! No – I done tol’ you muhfah, know I'm sayin' ? It's four hundred muhfuckin’ dollars – four hunert!” He’s muttering this to voices in his head only he can hear. And of course the voices, maybe his girlfriend or kid, are answering him back.
The batteries are on a spindle next to the iPod and iPhone players. Two kids are standing silently, way in The Zone with that far away human-farm trance, and little wires coming out of their ears, nodding their heads.
There’s a story about Akio Morita, the chairman of Sony and producer of the first Sony Walkman personal tape player back in the ‘80s. They say when he brought a prototype home with the little foam headphones clamped on his noggin, he got in a fight with his wife. She could feel right away how walled off he was from her in his own little world of private bliss.
Now that I have my batteries I grab some cheap soda, some Fiddle Faddle popcorn and a can of nuts and I’m off to hunt down Big Mo.
Monetta South Carolina is about forty minutes drive from home according to my Yahoo Maps printout. The first twenty minutes is the usual faceless Interstate Highway which always seems to look the same no matter what state you’re in, except for that little thrill you get going over the old concrete bridge high above the Savannah River, crossing over into Carolina. When exit 22 pops up outside of Aiken, we jink off onto County Road 1. County Road 1 is a patched and benignly forgotten strip of old tarmac that probably goes back to the invention of the car or maybe the Civil War. This is a stretch where Robert E Lee or Sherman’s armies may have marched, where cotton was picked and the blues invented, crosses were burned and black folks hung, church picnics celebrated and the newly saved baptized in rivers, chain gangs chanted as they banged their hammers and people lived and died without leaving so much as a mark in this world.
We pass through some old half deserted towns. A dried up wooden building that maybe eighty years ago was a gas station and general store. Old men sitting side by side in faded denim overalls on rocking chairs with their old ‘coon hounds on gone-to-shit porches watching the traffic pass. An old juke joint with a neon beer sign goes by on the right, a beat down BBQ joint with a faded hand painting of a grinning pink Porky Pig goes by on the left. For a second you can catch a glance of a side window with bars and a wire screen and a lift up panel, where back in the day a black person would stand to pick up some lunch without being allowed inside with the local whites. A peach orchard goes by on both sides of the road halfway to the horizon, vast and green, majestic as the sea, and I slow down for that. I can’t help it because I have a peach tree in my back yard and I’ve never seen a peach orchard. I get this feeling The Little Prince had in the Saint-Exupéry novel when he discovers that the world is full of roses, and not just the one in the bell jar he’s in love with. He thought it was the only rose in the world and at first he’s hurt. He realizes his rose, its not even a very good rose. But then he thinks – yes, but its MY rose. Me, I think, these are great peach trees. But the one in my back yard I'm personally acquainted with, that skinny little thing – it’s MY peach tree.
Monetta is this little town, the kind that Hollywood loves to make movies about, sticky sentimental movies about noble salt of earth kids who win the football tournament against the arrogant rich kid’s school because of their traditional small town values, or inbred-vampire-zombie town folks that come out at night to chew on the tourists when their car breaks down - take your pick. But it’s beautiful. At the least, it’s a nice place to visit. It reminds me of all the little towns like this in Mississippi and Arkansas I spent time in back in the road days. I go whizzing past Big Mo in my enchantment with the local color and my wife and kid are yelling in my ear to turn around! – turn around! –and I go looping a 180 in a farm road turnoff to go back the other way.
On the West Field is a new Freddy Kruger movie, but on the main field a double feature – “Iron man 2” and “How to Tame Your Dragon”. Two for the price of one.
Big Mo – you are mine tonight.
Rumors had circulated where I work for years about this mysterious beast, one of the last of its kind out alone somewhere in the wilds of South Carolina within driving distance of Augusta. But it took me this long to find an eyewitness who could give me a name and a place. “Big Mo” is one of the very last of an almost extinct species – the American Drive in Movie Theater.
A man in a baseball cap hands me some local advertising flyers for lawn care equipment. I hold out my money to him and he laughs. “That away.” Up there a young woman is sitting at a card table while her little boy plays in the grass with a tin truck. I give her money for three, seven dollars a ticket which is about three bucks cheaper than indoors.
“Iron Man 2? Is it filled up?”
“Gettin’ there honey, maybe two thirds.”
“Its my first time in a drive movie, in fifty years. Can you believe it?”
“Whoo – ee! Well, ya’ll come back and see us anytime.”
We pull into the main field, about the size of a small baseball field. Northeast of the screen is a feed mill grain tower with lights on top. They’ve been bugging the company for weeks to turn off the lights on weekend nights. Big Mo is only open on weekends. Seeing the cars packed about half full down the main field – and the box office (card table) only opened for business about twenty minutes ago by my watch, it occurs to me we got here just in time. Drive Ins, maybe because of their retro- rarity and baby boomer sentimentality are a big deal. There is a great cult loyalty among the drive in crowd such as you see among NASCAR fans.
I pull into a sand paved road with a crazy pile of cars and trucks and campers and pull into an empty space next to an old pick up truck. I do a little wheeling and turning and point the tail end of the van towards the screen and shut off.
My own small town boy scout training on preparedness has caused me to research the Big Mo. I’ve got map directions and the radio stations it tunes into. Radio stations, now that turns out to be a huge innovation. Huge.
When I was a kid the sound posts used these big ugly iron speakers about the size of a Popeye’s Ten Piece Chicken box. They were made ugly and iron for a reason. Ugly meant you didn’t steal them for souvenirs . Big and Iron meant they weren’t that easy to ignore on your window. Cheap and simple meant, that if you’d gone to the drive in for the purpose of you and your horny girlfriend getting drunk out of your skulls and then retiring to the pleasures of the back seat – where many a baby boomer was conceived – and you drove off with the speaker on your window and tore it clean off the goddamn post and drove off with the cord trailing out of your sexually satisfied drunk-ass window – well – it was cheap to replace.
Now its even easier with dedicated radio stations. I suppose if you live within a mile of the theater you might be able to tune in on a radio at home and listen to the movie like an old time radio show. That would be very cool. But what it means to the drive in fan is you don’t have to park facing the screen and watching the movie through the windshield. This is where high tech meets low tech. I pop open the tail gate and turn on the rear car speakers to the station and its clear as the azure sky overhead. My kid unloads the lawn chairs and the ice chest. My wife lights up the meshita coil for the bugs and we set up shop. In a half hour or so, as the sky starts to get red, and my kid is listening to the weird old commercials on the station which have been preserved from the halcyon days, advertising snacks and drinks nobody even makes anymore, an audio museum. My wife, tired from work is stretched out in her chair with her feet up on a pillow on the ice chest. The sky is clear and the first star, Venus, is coming out over the top of the big white empty screen. Under the big screen is a playground swarming with kids. A couple of bottle rockets go up in the air. Not too hot, not too cold. Mama Bear perfect. Now THIS is how you watch a movie.
The family in the pickup truck next to me, you can tell they’ve done this every weekend forever. Daddy, a jolly good ol’ boy with red hair and overalls is coming from the snack shed carrying a hot pizza in a box. His three little kids are fussing with drinks and ice and who gets to sit where and Mama is lifting up some big disco speakers and setting them up on the ledge behind the cab. The speakers look home made. Made for this place, the Temple of the Story.
I get out and go for a little walk. I have to get a look before the lights go down. The field is almost packed to the fringes now. By the snack shed there’s a goofy knocked together choo-choo train ride that runs in a circle on an electric tether on little railroad tracks. A dozen little kids are riding in the train together yelling and laughing.
The back edge of the field stops at the beginning of a thick woods or marsh with trees and tall weeds, fenced off with barb wire. Fireflies winkle over the tall grass. Near the fence teens are tossing a football around and chasing each other. In the last row a party of college age kids has spread out blankets and the girls are chowing down on fried chicken and beer. A little dog is chasing a Frisbee. Black and white kids all mixed together, every combination of white men and women and black men and women together like a wonderful tossed salad of people. Now that is something that would not have existed the last time I came to a drive in, back in the fifties. Not a headset or techo-trancer in sight. A noisy happy swamp of humanity hanging out. The movie is almost incidental because this isn’t just a movie theater– this is Woodstock, baby!!
Big Mo Nation!
You can visit The Big Mo and see what's shakin' this week at :
Monday, May 17, 2010
I love it when a publisher sends me the electronic version instead of a hard copy for a review. I don’t have to figure out what to do with the book once I’ve read it, so this is technology I embrace.
Bookstores stopped being interesting to me a while ago. The tables of suggested books up front are just whatever is new that the big houses put out that month, not what’s good. Just try to find an employee in a big chain bookstore to discuss favorite books with. Hand selling is the province of independent stores, but the nearest one to me is miles away and I have to pass through the horror that is downtown LA traffic to get there. No thanks. I’d rather look at their website and order from it.
While I’m all for ebooks, I can’t say the same for ebook readers. After the whole Amazon Fail fiasco last year, I stopped buying books from them. They have yet to explain why all GLBT books were tagged as adult content, even if the content wasn’t sexual in nature, while clearly explicit books that were heterosexual were not affected. That’s all right. They don’t have to explain their backward thinking. And I don’t have to do business with them.So I’ll never buy a Kindle. There are other ebook readers, but from the reviews I read of it, the Apple platform Bowdlerizes copywritten material without permission by inserting asterisks in the “dirty” words. That’s also unforgiveable. A company can choose to suppress free speech or censor if it wants to (such as a radio station bleeping out words in songs) but I don’t need a nanny, thank you very much. I prefer to do business with companies that respect my ability as an adult to handle frank words and subversive ideas.
It seems odd to me that new technology is being used to enforce ancient prejudices while older technology (printing is technology) is the source of open ideas and freedom from censorship. Maybe that will be the saving grace for the print publishing industry. If only they could come up with a way to store books efficiently. I can’t bring myself to throw away a book, and given my reading list, I can’t hand them over to a library either. So the stacks of books around me grow. If only they were electronic files. For some reason, I have no problem deleting those.