Thursday, September 30, 2010

For Maria

Ten years ago I was told that I write porn. It wasn’t said as a compliment. The curious thing was, the comment came from someone who’d never read a thing that I’d written.

Maria: if you’re reading this, I despised sharing an office with you. You had breath like toxic warfare; and the personality of a wart on a baboons’ backside. I’ve never met such a contemptible example of human nastiness, all rolled into one wrinkled bag of loathing and hatred. Your breath was so bad I looked forward to your farts.

Not that Maria will be reading this. The rat-faced old harridan eschewed any form of fiction that hadn’t been sanctioned as wholesome by the likes of Oprah or Richard & Judy.

I worked in an office. I was a lowly monkey in a carnival of filing cabinets and post-it notes. Trust me: it wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds. I shared the office with Maria and, in the hierarchy of the corporation, I was beneath her privileged status.

I don’t much care for offices. Or crabby know-nothing-bitches with unfounded opinions. Especially when those imbeciles have breath that smells like they brush their teeth with roadkill.

However, when Maria told me that I write porn, I was hurt.

Pornography is considered a dirty word.

Arty-farty critics describe films with a violent content as ‘pornographic.’ I’m sure they don’t mean that in a good way. People will stare disparagingly at lewd advertisements and condemn them as soft porn. I’ve watched music videos on MTV and said, “Without the annoying music, it’s little more than thinly veiled pornography.” However, with the music it’s obscene and unbearable.

It’s a strange relationship we have with this word. I assume there are many people who occasionally enjoy some sort of pornographic entertainment. Yet the connotations associated with the word are most often negative.

And when Maria told me I write porn, I genuinely felt disappointed with myself. She was my superior in the office, so I was naïve enough to believe her opinion had merit and weight. Even though she was discussing my third or fourth published novel, when she labelled my output as porn, I felt as though she had pinpointed the true failing of my creative endeavours. I wasn’t an artist. I was a worthless pornographer.

I engaged Maria in conversation and discovered, by chance, that the woman was a raging simpleton. A priggish buffoon with the literary comprehension of used toilet tissue.

“I’ve never read Stephen King,” she later assured me. “He only writes pornography.”

“You told me the other day that you enjoyed Shawshank Redemption,” I reminded her.

“I did. But I doubt Stephen King had anything to do with that. He only writes those nasty little horror stories.”

“Like the Green Mile? You told me, the other day, that you enjoyed that one too.”

“I doubt Stephen King had anything to do with the Green Mile.”

I can’t tell you how relieved I was to get away from that office and Maria. The woman was a drain on my faith in humanity and one of the most misanthropic excuses of humanity I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet. And she had breath that smelled like she’d just eaten a shit sandwich with extra garlic.

Of course, nowadays, I’m not quite as naïve as I was back then. If someone describes my work as pornographic, I thank them for the compliment. And, if they tell me the word wasn’t intended that way, I tell them to go and find a thesaurus and look up an appropriate synonym.

And then I do whatever it takes to stop talking to them. They’ve already made it clear that they’ve not got anything to say of worth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Emerald; Love Goddess of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police PART TWO

Emerald with C. Sanchez-Garcia

Ron showed up at the club a half hour later. Emerald had dressed and was sitting at a table with three other men.

“Hi Mike. Sorry, I’m late.”

Mike waved, reached over to the next table and pulled an empty chair over. “Emerald? This is my friend, Ron. He makes movies. More or less. Ron? Emerald.”

Ron reached across the little table stacked with pub glasses. Emerald squeezed his hand and smiled sweetly.

Until this moment he wasn’t sure what he had been expecting. A buffed and painted mannequin, carved down and beefed up in the correct places, a male fantasy of a woman. She looked . . . defiantly wholesome. A womanly girl with powerful curves to be sure, but natural and unpretentious. Her face and smile were frank and open with none of the veneer of suspicion, or hard lines around the mouth he was used to seeing in women who performed in gentlemen’s clubs. Frank, straight farm girl brows over inquisitive cornflower blue eyes. She reminded him of the early Playboy playmates, “the girl next door”, but with a distinctive electricity, an invisible trail of pheromones that made you automatically turn your head when such a woman entered a room. She radiated sex without effort. He warmed to her instantly.

“I still haven’t seen your show,” said Ron. “I keep missing it. Sorry.”

“That’s all right, keep trying,” she said.

“But I know who you are,” said Ron. “I’ve seen you on the web a few times. Loved it. Loved it. Here.” He took a card from his shirt pocket and handed it to her.

Emerald looked at the business card in her hand. She said she loved stripping and had been doing webcamming as well for a while, which she liked because of the one-on-one intimacy.

“This will be different,” said Ron. “There’s a script and story and acting. If it works out, we could be doing this quite a bit in the future. You can reach a lot of people this way.”

“I like the idea of reaching a lot of people, more than the money.” she said.

“Yeah, but hey,” said Ron, “Money’s nice too. Everybody loves money. That’s why they call it money.”

“Is that why they call it money?” said one of the young men.

“Oh,” said Mike, “Ron? This is Shane, Emeralds very special friend. “Shane? Ron.”

They shook hands. Emerald whispered in Shane’s ear. “I’m feeling hot. I have to be in bed by ten o’ clock, luv, or I’m going home.”

She looked at Ron. “How long do you think we’d be working together? Long run, I mean.”

“Well,” said Ron, “to be honest, the average on camera career of a female porn star is about two years. Guys last longer, but they get paid a lot less too. This will be my first movie, so you can get a percent of the profits. And if you like it, there’ll be steady work for a while. You’ll meet people, get some write ups, maybe go to the AVN and sign autographs in very high heels and a smile.”

“What’s AVN?” said Shane.

“Adult Videos News. It’s a magazine until it’s a convention. Las Vegas.”

“Las Vegas!” cheered the table at once.

Emerald leaned in. “So what’s your movie?’

“ ‘Emerald –Love goddess of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’. Oh yeah!“

There was an eerie silence around the table.

Then Emerald brightened. “Shane! I want to be in it. You’ll be the camera man.” She pointed at Ron. “Shane’s my guy. No Shane, no movie.”

“A-okay,” said Ron, “I want my star to be happy.”

Shane raised his glass. “You’re on.” Emerald clinked glasses with him.

* * *

“I need more ass shots.” Said Ron, pacing the room.

Shane sat on the edge of the bed, replaying the last couple of minutes. Emerald sat on the floor, huddled under a blanket on a bear skin rug, drinking a steaming cup of tea. In a corner of the room, Andy was dressed in a bright Mountie uniform with a red jacket with brass buttons and a gold braid, and bright blue pants with English riding boots. He dozed against the wall with a broad brimmed beaver hat over his face.

Mike was dressed in a cadaverous black suit coat, with a curled waxed mustache, which he kept checking in the mirror. “Do you think I’d look good in a beard?” he said to Emerald. “Really. Tell me the truth.” She nodded and shrank down under the blanket. The room was colder than a polar bears asshole. She didn’t feel like chit-chatting. She loved the camera. She loved the presence of the men. She was in the zone. She was ready to keep going.

“It’s just there’s something missing,” said Ron as he went to the window. The house belonged to Andy’s uncle, as his summer home, but vacant in the winter. They were there on the condition that Andy be allowed to play Dudley, which meant he could go for the big sex scene with Emerald near the end of the movie. A very happy ending, as massage parlor girls called it.

“Are those railroad tracks?” said Ron. “Shane? Those are railroad tracks. You see that?” Shane put down the camera, and plugged it into the wall to charge. He came over.

“Sure are.”

“We should be out there,” said Ron.

“Mmm I’m about to come,” she whispered an hour later. Her eyes closed. She was firmly tied to the railroad tracks in the snow. She’d thought the room was cold. Shit. The room was an Arabian desert to this. She was naked. In the snow. On the tracks. The ropes were tied around her wrists in loops, but loose enough that she could reach her clitoris with her fingers. Her ankles were tied, but loose enough that she could lift and spread her knees and reward Dudley-Mike for showing up in the knick of time to save her. The whole business was weird, as though she had been astrally projected into a toy snow globe surrounded by strange people. The scratchy itchy ropes were laced three times under the swell of her breasts to lift them skyward like a push up bra made of rolled jute cord, and firmly tied down to the steel rails to keep everything in place for the overhead shots. The rough jute fibers chafed the tender skin under her breasts, until it would itch like a mad bastard and she couldn’t scratch. If I can make myself come like this, she thought, I can make myself come on demand anywhere.

“Take one!” yelled Shane. He leaned in and the camera was rolling.

Emerald reached down and buried her fingers between her legs. “Mmmm, I’m going to come. Snidley, you fiend. I’m going to come any second.”

She was interrupted by a cacophony of honking above them. Everybody looked up as a huge V formation of low flying geese past by them overhead. Down below the railroad embankment a red figure was jumping and stamping his feet to stay warm.

“You all right Andy?”

“Andy’s got clothes!” said Emerald. “Can we hurry this up?”

“The flock of geese cut you off,” said Ron. “We have to start over.”

Emerald rolled her eyes, her back was numb and the freezing rails were digging into her shoulders. She composed her expression and Shane brought the camera back up.

“Why can’t we do this in a studio,” she said, “or something where we can use fake snow?”

“Authenticity!” said Ron. “That’s what makes our movies different. We’re the for real guys. Like Jackie Chan, he does his own stunts. You’ll be the Jackie Chan of porn. Anyway, we don’t have the budget for a studio.”

She gritted her teeth and tried not to think about warming up later. “I think I need to pee.”

“Shouldn’t have had all that tea.” Said Mike.

“Can you hold it for a while?” said Ron. “Maybe we can use it, like a golden shower for Snidely when he goes down on you.”

“Shit!” said Mike. “She’s not pissing on me! I gotta bring this costume back.”

“Guys!” she whimpered. “Can we do this?” She took a deep breath and re-centered herself. Actually the idea of being “the For Real Guys” appealed to her. She could imagine having sex scenes in the strangest places. This could be good. Jackie Chan. She could do whatever sex act was requested of her without taking short cuts, whether it was dancing, masturbating or having sex on camera. But it wasn’t all that she aspired to. She paid a lot of attention to the energy she experienced when she worked. She had always done whatever she could, on stage or camera to feel her own pleasure and the sacred potential she found inherent in the act of sex. She wanted to transmit that energy, that sense of the sacred to the viewers when they saw her work. She wanted to reach them. Authenticity was always of utmost importance to her, even before Ron came around with these crazy ideas. With renewed inspiration she gave the camera a smile and slid her hand back down her body. The Jackie Chan of porn. This could work. They could be a team.

Having thought that, still, she really needed to pee soon.

She jumped as a loud bark came from a stand of pine trees.

A hound dog ran from the woods and up the embankment, followed by an old man in a cap, wearing a heavy checkered jacket, and carrying a big deer rifle. “Everything okay there kids? You see a deer come through here – Ho boy!”

He froze when he saw Emerald laying nude on the tracks. His eyes rolled up to Shane holding the video camera. “What kind of screwed up horseshit is this? This bunch of yucks giving you some kind a trouble there, honey?” He raised the stock of the deer rifle to his shoulder, and flipped off the safety.

“Hey-hey-hey!” yelled Mike. “It’s cool, it’s cool.”

The old man standing there, his eyes looking straight at her, for the first time Emerald felt terribly naked. She rolled her head, turned over and the cold steel against her neck made her jump. “I’m fine!” She smiled her sunniest grin and twinkled her fingers to the old man as best she could through the ropes. “We’re just having a little fun, I’m fine. No, really, I am.”

The old man lowered his gun and everybody let out a deep breath. “Hey,” he said, his eyes widening with revelation. “I know what this here is, you kids, you’re making a movie. That’s it, ain’t it? You makin’ some kind a girlie fuck movie. Ain’t I right?”

Emerald smiled again. She wondered if her lips were turning as blue as they felt. “Yes, sir, I’m the girlie.”

He pointed the barrel at the ground and scratched his head under his hunting cap. “Well, beat my meat and call me slappy. Ain’t that something, hey.” He brightened. “Now it wouldn’t cramp your style or nothing, if I was to just stand over this way and watch, now would it? I’ll be real quiet. I won’t say nothing.”

“Sure you can!” yelled Shane.

“Shane, you fuck, shut up,” hissed Ron.

“But you gotta stand back behind the camera, and be very quiet.” Said Shane. “I know Emerald,” he whispered to Ron, “This is good. Let him do it. Definitely.”

“Got it!” The old man scooted behind them, pulling his dog along, shy and contrite as a boy. He leaned in towards Ron and whispered in his ear with dark tobacco breath “Holy shit, ain’t she got some kind of a fine pair a bazooms, don’t she? I mean, hot damn look at ‘em sticking up there, just big as life. Goddamn.” He fell thoughtful for a moment. “You need any, uh, like men to volunteer for something, you know what I mean?”

Ron sighed. “Thanks. No. We’ve got that part covered.”

The old man nodded. “I’m just saying, is all. Snow on the roof, but fire in the furnace.”

“Quiet on the set!” yelled Ron. Emerald was straining against the ropes. “Ready?”

“Let’s just get this over with,” she chattered through clenched teeth. But the truth was, having the man there, a stranger, was affecting her. He was a genuine audience, not like Shane or Mike. He was watching her, and she felt herself relax against the cold. She thought of him, just over there, wide eyed with the power of her beauty and youth and waiting to see what she do. Thank god for him. Shane was right to bring him into the circle. She needed him to watch.

Mike put his black top hat back on and adjusted it forward. “Ready!”

Shane raised the camera, glanced at the red record light, held up his thumb.

“Action, take three,” yelled Ron.

Mike minced into the scene, walking on his toes, twirling his waxed mustache. “Hah! Emerald, my proud beauty. Now I have you in my power. At my very mercy! And I have no mercy!”

Emerald’s glanced over at the man with the gun. Yeah. He appreciated what he was seeing.

“But oh Snidely. You turn me on. You have me in your power Snidely. If you were . . if you were to take me right here . . . right now . . . I couldn’t resist you.” She moved her knees apart, saw the wide eyed man lean in over Ron’s shoulder. “If you made me come, right here in the snow, if you could just loosen these ropes for a moment – “

“Nell, my proud beauty – “

Ron gritted his teeth. “That’s Emerald, not Nell, you idiot.”

“Emerald, my proud beauty – “

“Cut, wait. Let’s do this again.”

Emerald squirmed on the frozen steel. Her back was really starting to hurt. One more take and she’d scream. She glanced past her arms at the snowy crushed granite. The snow was trembling and dancing. Pieces of it were dribbling off the pebbles. After a moment the pebbles began to dance. Her skin had been too numb to feel it before, but when she moved her shoulders, shifted her bare skin a little – there – she felt it now through the hard rails.

“Shane?” said Emerald.

“Her name isn’t Nell,” said Ron, “Her name is Emerald. I appreciate you’re getting into your character, but details are important.”

“Shane?” said Emerald.

“But I don’t understand what my motivation is,” said Mike. “I mean if I wanted to do her, why wouldn’t I take her to some place warm where I could do her a lot?”

“Because you’re Snidely Whiplash, that’s why. I want authenticity. Authenticity.”

“Ron?” said Emerald.

“Well, if I’m Snidely fucking Whiplash, why isn’t she Nell?”

“Why the fuck is the ground shaking!” yelled Emerald.

The men stopped and looked down at her. “Wah?” said Mike.

The old man was looking off in the distance. “Boys.” He set his gun down slowly in the snow at his feet. “Boys.” He raised his arm like a prophet, pointing down the tracks. “Boys, we got us a little problem.”

Emerald turned her head to see what they were seeing. It was coming.

“Get me off? Get me off? Please? Get me the fuck off these tracks.”

“Ah, man,” said Mike. “Here comes a shit load of authenticity.”

Shane raised his camera, took aim and let it roll. Snidely-Mike fell to his knees. “Hang on, hang on.” He fumbled at the ropes but his bare fingers were numb. It was like trying to undo a knot wearing baseball gloves. His top hat slid off his head and the wind carried it away. “Jesus Christ.”

“Get me the hell off these tracks! Hurry!”

Andy in his Dudley suit came slipping and sliding up the railroad embankment. He threw himself on his knees and began yanking at the cords. Far off the train sounded its hysterical scream of power. Now Dudley and Snidely were both climbing over Emerald’s nude body and cursing while Shane rolled the camera. Andy’s Mounties’ hat fell off. He ignored it, grabbed a knot in his teeth and snarled and pulled. “Is this authentic enough for you?” yelled Mike, as Ron joined in the pile and began tugging randomly at the ropes.

“It’s a simple knot,” he whimpered. “It’s a simple fucking granny knot – why’s it so fucking tight? Who tied this thing so tight?”

“Come on guys! Please! Please! Don’t stop!”

“Nrrrr!” Dudley snarled, and gnawed at the knots with his teeth..

“Wait! I got it! I got it now!” The old man sprinted over reaching a hand under his coat. Suddenly he pulled a huge hunting knife from a sheath on his belt. “Look out!” he plunged in beside them. Down the tracks the train was close enough to read the call numbers under the cabin windshield. The horn blared again.

The old man’s deer knife was finely honed. It cut through the ropes like spider webs. Shane and Mike jumped off the tracks, Andy and Ron grabbed Emerald by her ankles and arms and leaped for their lives.

The train thundered by, its horn blasting a long braying note as they tumbled down the embankment, tangled in each other.

“Ah!” screamed Emerald. “oh my God oh my God! Oh. Oh, wow.” When the boys looked up she had her hands squeezed tight between her clenched thighs and a huge monkey grin. She curled up into a ball, panting puffs of white steam.

“Are you all right, honey?” Said Shane. He put his arms around her, and held her tight, trying to warm her. “Man, we’re going to get so many hits on Youtube.”

The old man was picking himself up, dusting off the snow and looking around to see where his knife had fallen.

“I just came,” she said. “That was the biggest Big O I ever had.”

“You’re kidding,” said Ron. “You had an orgasm? And we didn’t get it on camera?”

“It was huge,” she said. Her skin was flushed pink from top to bottom. “I never felt anything like it ever. I feel like I just got my brains fucked out by angels. It was God. It was cosmic. It was huge. It was the fear, because I thought I was going to die there. It was the emotion. I think I’ve discovered my new turn on. I’m going to use it on stage. Railroad track sex!”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things I Like About Dirty Movies

I don't watch much porn. Maybe that's a little weird, for an erotica writer, but probably not so weird when I say that I've always loved reading about the erotic more than I've loved watching it. I like the scope my imagination gives me and specifically, I like it when it puts hot, hot dudes that I like in the place of whatever hero the writer's imagined.

Which is, of course, very hard to do with porn. When you watch porn, all you get is the guy doing the deed, and though I've seen some very attractive men in some skin flicks, it does seem like...well. Mostly you just get hairy, and squat. And occasionally some more hairy, and squat. And just for variety, maybe a little bit more hairy and squat!

Which,'s not quite as hot for me as imagining Gabriel Gray going down on the main character in Taking Care of Business. It's just not. Though I wouldn't want you to think I'm shallow, or anything! Oh no no no. I can deal with some hairy and squat. Harvey Keitel is sort of attractive, in certain lights. Why, just the other day I was extolling the virtues of Anthony Hopkins, and he's the very epitome of hairy and squat.

But just, you know. I need a bit more than that, most of the time. I've seen a few lithe, lissom lovelies in gay porn, with jet black hair and sleepy eyes - just the way I like 'em - but the truth is, I'd much rather watch a guy and a girl getting it on. So that, you know, I can live vicariously. I mean, I always put myself in the position of the heroine in erotic fiction.

But it's hard to, when the heroine of Anal Gangbang IV looks like Barbie come alive with the aid of voodoo. Heck, it's hard to even when she's a lovely, natural beauty with a perfect body and doe eyes - which female porn stars are often allowed to be.

And that's great. I love that porn celebrates the naturally beautiful and the unnaturally beautiful, and that vaginas aren't considered weird scary things to hide under the bed. I love that a lot of porn shows women receiving oral sex, because I'm sure this teaches a lot of guys things far more than it "corrupts" them or turns them into rapists or whatever else the puritans are bashing on about now.

Which is the side of porn that I do actually enjoy. Beyond my superficial need to see Gabriel Gray in the buff with his schlong out, I can enjoy porn for its obvious sexual freedom. It's no shock to me that I like my dirty movies when the heroine sounds like she's really enjoying herself, or when lots of convincing dirty talk goes on, or when the hero makes some unearthly grunting noise that turns my cogs more than I'd like to admit.

Yeah. I can forgive a lot of hairy and squat, for some of those things.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Porn Sex Ed

I think I’ve mentioned before that in high school, I often went to the Skyporn, a drive-in porn theater, with a group of friends. We took lawn chairs, a camp stove, hot dogs, marshmallows, beer, and Southern Comfort, and spent our summer evenings watching twenty-foot long cocks lunge across the screen. Since most of the speakers at the Skyporn were busted, we provided our own dialog ala Mystery Science Theater 3000.

We were also big Rocky Horror fans. The nearest midnight showing was in a porn theater miles away. Sometimes, we showed up early and sat through the regular features (in costume).  I never really thought twice about how many porn flicks we watched together until a new kid moved into base housing and we invited him to hang out with us. After the second week, he said, “Do you guys ever go see movies that aren’t X-rated?” There was a very long pause before I volunteered that I’d seen A Clockwork Orange the week before he moved in. He rolled his eyes. After that, we made an effort to go to movies that wouldn’t offend his delicate sensibilities – like Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Heavy Metal, and Friday the 13th – but we didn’t give up our porn habit either. (He always went along.)

The funny thing about this is that while I passionately defend porn and especially women’s right to view it, I rarely watch it anymore, because even when the cocks were twenty feet long, I wasn’t visual enough to get turned on. Hell, even in high school, when the person sitting next to me had my nerves trying to leap out of my skin to get to them, I watched porn as a social event/ info gathering expedition/ comedy workshop. That doesn’t mean that those evenings were wasted. I learned a lot from watching porn.

This should be a top 10 list, but I could only think of 8:

#8 – It’s cool when a girl says, “I like that,” or “More,” and gets involved instead of just lying there. Anyone worth fucking don’t mind being told what she likes.

#7 – Rolling a condom down a hard-on can be sexy as hell.

#6 –I found out what a vulva looks like, and that they’re all different. Hey – guys can easily see their dicks. For girls, it either involves advanced yoga skills or a hand mirror and contortion.

#5 - All that girls get to learn about in sex ed is their procreation plumbing. Even our breasts are relegated to baby duty, and guys as well as girls are admonished for thinking of them as anything else. Porn teaches women that their bodies can be a source of pleasure for them, and their partners. 

#4 – Anyone worth fucking will go down on you, especially if they expect you to do it for them.

#3 – Anyone worth fucking wants to help you reach orgasm.

#2 – Sex doesn’t stop when the guy comes. It isn’t all about him getting his.

In the long ago mists of time, I had a brief fling with ‘the totally inappropriate but too hot to pass up guy.’ After an energetic romp in his bed, I turned onto my stomach, propped up on my elbows, and chatted about our upcoming chemistry lab. He got this look of wonder on his face that I’ll never forget. He brushed my bangs out of my eyes and said, “Wow. You’re just, like, here - naked, and talking and smiling.” He was more in awe of that than the actual sex. I didn’t learn how to be a lover versus just a fuck directly from the movies I’d seen, but I doubt I would have been as relaxed and comfortable after our nooner if porn hadn’t taught me lesson #1 – the best sex is when the girl is having fun.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Boogie Night

By Lisabet Sarai

I live in a foreign country where porn is seriously illegal. I'm here by the grace of a government that could kick me out at any time. So these days my husband and I no longer indulge in the porn we used to watch occasionally, back when we lived in the U.S. -- back in the days of video tape cassettes. That's okay. Back then, most of the movies we sampled were rather boring and stereotyped, with buff, bulging, heavily-waxed protagonists who looked like plastic and “plots” so flimsy they didn't deserve the label. I don't find purely physical sex very erotic, in literature or in film. So much of the time, our porn experiences were rather disappointing. (Fortunately I had my resident stud to console me in the face of this disappointment!)

It looks as though the adult film industry may have matured, especially since so many women have joined the directorial ranks. Every month when I write the Erotic Lure newsletter for the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, I survey the Best in Adult Films pages and pick out a couple of titles that look appealing. I'd love to have the chance to actually view some of them, to see if my intuitions are correct. Alas, that's not really practical.

I love my adopted country, but I do feel rather isolated. I have to keep Lisabet Sarai strictly under wraps here. I don't get the chance to hobnob in person with my fellow erotica authors. I've known several of the Grip posters for nearly a decade, but I haven't actually met any of them in meat space.

Before we moved here, though, for one short period, I was part of the New York City erotica “scene” and it was a heady experience indeed.

Picture this: the dim, brick-walled basement of a funky bar in the Bowery, well-known as a venue for erotica gatherings. I've attended several events there hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussell, doyenne of the New York erotica community. Now I'm hosting a release party myself, for not one but two new books: my third novel, Ruby's Rules, and the BDSM and spirituality anthology Sacred Exchange, co-edited by me and S.F. Mayfair.

The room is not exactly full – I've always been terrible at promotion – but the modest crowd includes both strangers and dear friends. One of the authors represented in Sacred Exchange has come all the way from western Pennsylvania to participate and to meet me. My closest girlfriend has driven in from New Jersey. Rachel is there, with her latest flame in tow. A small but appreciative group sips red wine or martinis, chats, laughs, and waits for the reading.

I am wearing a tight burgundy velvet cocktail dress with a halter neck that accentuates my cleavage. Underneath I'm wearing very little – the costume won't allow it. Despite the horrible pronated arches that usually keep me in flats, I've donned the highest heels I own. My hair is a wild mass of curls. I've exchanged my glasses for contact lenses and I've done the best I can with the unfamiliar eyeshadow, mascara and blush.

I climb the two steps to the podium in the corner, nervousness fluttering in my gut like a trapped bird. There's a spotlight trained on the pedestal, which is fortunate because otherwise I never would have been able to see the pages of my book. A hush comes over the crowd as they notice I've moved into position. I purse my lips around the mike and try to sound husky and sexy. I begin to read from the first chapter of my novel featuring the brilliant, ruthless and irresistible Ruby Maxwell Chen:

My silence is making my unfortunate guest even more nervous.

I lean forward slightly. Under the desk, I smoothly part my legs and spread them wide. Mr. Dalton’s eyes grow round and his mouth falls open at the sight of the black lace garters against my pale skin, and the jet triangle of hair framed between them.

Well, Mr. Dalton,” I say finally, “I need time to consider the details of your proposal. However, I am confident that we can come to some understanding.”

Uh...I...” He is rendered incoherent with confusion, embarrassment, and, I can clearly see, lust. I delicately part my silky fur to expose the damp pink folds of my cunt. I have been planning this for the past ten minutes, and I am wet with anticipation.

I believe that you have said enough, Mr. Dalton. I will give you my answer shortly. In the meantime, I would appreciate your removing your jacket, your trousers and whatever you have on underneath.”

He wants to run, but my eyes hold him, my eyes and that moist, inviting chasm between my thighs. “Now,” I say, allowing a hint of sternness into my voice.

He complies, as I expect. My eyes give him no respite as he awkwardly sheds his clothes. He wears tight blue briefs that highlight every detail of his straining cock. The showy underwear is a present from his girlfriend, perhaps; he is too caught up in his ambitions to have a wife.

A blush is spreading over his fair complexion, and he hesitates to remove the briefs, though they hide nothing. I tap my pen on the desktop, feigning impatience. In truth, I love the suspense, the gradual, reluctant submission, the slow exposure of vulnerable flesh.

I continue for ten or fifteen minutes, losing my anxiety as the story takes over. I can feel the appreciative gaze of the audience. I am Ruby's voice. Though I'm two decades older and far less gorgeous than my heroine, I identify with her as I read. I am transformed into an object of desire.

The bar is silent when I stop. Then comes the applause: not thunderous – there aren't enough people here to thunder – but enthusiastic. I realize that my pulse is racing. When I excuse myself to go to the ladies' room, I discover that my panties are distinctly damp.

I return and the crowd closes around me, offering me copies of my books to sign.

For one moment in time, that one precious night, I feel like a porn star.

And it's one of the high points of my life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cara McKenna's Kinky Limits

When Charlotte invited me to guest post on the topic of “kinky limits”, I must admit, I was a bit surprised. And flattered, since Charlotte is such a bomb-ass ho. But kinky? Me? You really think so?

I’m proud to say I write down-and-dirty erotica and occasionally my explicit sex scenes get rough, but I don’t really consider myself a kinky writer. Not in the bells and whistles, props and costumes kind of way. As many erotica authors will agree, I can’t eroticize things that turn me off; if I tried I just know my discomfort would come through on the page and leave my readers cold. And sadly for me, just about anything that smacks of a fuss turns me off. I can understand the power-dynamic appeal of bondage, but the thought of all the formal BDSM accessories and etiquette exhausts me. My scenes with a bondage flavor will never involve leather and fancy furniture, though I have used duct tape and gritty hardwood floors. DIY bondage, that I’ll do! Come to think of it, according to my books the only beds they manufacture are the variety with slatted headboards, located in handy proximity to unused pantyhose or easily removed belts.

I guess my favorite kinky head trip is tied up in the whole m/m scene, but specifically, straight-identified guys experimenting with other men…especially if I can make them exceedingly uncomfortable. Which is different from writing about things that turn me off. Anguish totally gets my motor running. So that’s a favorite kink of mine—bringing an alpha male to his knees. Literally, whenever possible. Emotional unease turns my sadistic writer crank. I’m sure it’s lost me a few readers already in my short career, but the scenes and indeed stories I love writing most are fraught with turmoil and ugly emotions. Jealousy, sexual identity obliteration, lusting over off-limits persons, crippling and compromising infatuation…basically taking a character who thinks they know what they’re about and punching them right in the soul via the introduction of their love and/or lust interest.

But let me back up and ask this—what counts as kinky nowadays? Is spanking still kinky? I’ve written my fair share of it, but I’d say that’s pretty vanilla now. Or maybe I’ve just been listening to too much of the Savage Lovecast (not that there’s any such thing). But eavesdropping on other people’s crazy sex issues has definitely raised my mental bar for what’s properly kinky these days. The zaniest of that stuff violates the few rules in place at the mainstream erotic pubs, what with all the piss drinking and dressing up like babies and the furries and so forth.

Let me see, what kinks have I written about… A healthy amount of what I call “light bondage” (cue the belts and headboards), cuckolding, rape role-play, conception-as-turn-on, double vaginal penetration, male-on-hetero-male penetration, bit of spanking, sex in the great outdoors, spitting / biting / slapping (all female on male), menage of course, voyeurism, a harem of men squirreled away in a brownstone in Boston’s snooty Beacon Hill neighborhood… Still, nothing too freaky, I don’t think.

Now what would I like to write one day? Now my knickers get all bunchy when people use “kink” and “fetish” interchangeably, but I suspect I’d be interested to write about a true fetish sometime. Like a story about a man who can’t get off unless he’s chewing toffee out of his partner’s hair, then giving him a happy ending with a game woman who owns a salon-stroke-candy shop. Only not that horrible. But a proper fetish, bordering on an affliction. Again, off I go with the uneasiness and mental turmoil.

I’d be also interested in trying out [ahem, on paper] fisting, sensory deprivation, pegging (in fact I’m quite sure that will come up in a story I plan on writing next year), prison-based sex (guards or inmates or a mix, I don’t care—bring it on) and maybe a bit of good old-fashioned American wife-swapping. I love a little something’s-amiss-in-suburbia dystopic romp.

Now what could I never write, or as Charlotte put it, what squicks me out? Probably no female-on-female—not a squick factor, it simply doesn’t do a thing for me, personally. I won’t say I’ll never write male-on-female anal, but I must admit, I’m sick of it. Mainly because it became the biggest mainstream, Maxim-type popular taboo during the time I was coming into my own sexuality, and it’s now pretty much standard in all porn and much hetero erotica. Sorry, so over the anal craze. Leave my butt alone! If others dig it, I say go for it, kids, but for some semi-irrational reason it gets my feminist hackles rising every time. And as far as double penetration goes, if my heroine finds herself in a bed with an extra cock, I suggest giving the good old flexible front door a try. Room for one more.

And on that classy note, I’ve hit my 800 words limit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

You might be wondering just what will I actually do?

I know, I am a bad, bad, bad Gripper. I missed the last two weeks, and this post is coming in way late in the day. All I can say is - Student Teaching. Yeah, figured that you would understand.

All week I have been reading the posts from my fellow Grippers, and when I had a spare moment, I have commented. And I have to say, I can see what each of them is saying.

As for myself, well the title should say it all. My husband likes to tease me that for an erotic writer I am the most prudish person that he has ever met.

I don't like (having tried at least twice)/won't try (total ick factor) so many things, several of which I have no real worries about because he wouldn't ask me to. Among these are:
* sex in public
* hardcore BDSM
* pain-play (lowest threashold for pain in the world!)
* EA (see my comment to Lisabet)
* animals just don't turn me on
* nor do people under age, and as I am getting older, under age to me is getting older to - I am sitting at 25 right now
* the standard no-nos: golden showers, scat, necro (although zombie sex, I might be able to find a spin on that one LOL), incest (my sisters just aren't that hot), and so on
* this list can go on ...

... and on ....

... ... and on ...

but I won't bore you with it. Just to say that I am a tad bit more adventurous in my writings than in real life, as you can tell with some of my D/s, and BDSM stories. Prude, remember?

But my Kinky Limit today ... Breast torture.

Yep, that's right.

I have two buddies, whom I love dearly, who used to write for a site devoted to breast torture. Paid good. I thought about it. I debated it, especially with mounting student loan debt. But in the end, I just couldn't do it.

I an write about some things that I will never do in reality (such as mild blood play involving gay kinky D/s vampires as in Blood Slave, and a lesbian couple having sex in a peep show booth, like a story in Private Eyes and oh so many more - all available from I have even debated an alternate pen name that isn't in any way accociated with "me" for some of the more taboos stories, but I haven't had a good enough story idea hit me that calls for it. So far, I have been cool with everything I have written being associated with me.

When it came to breast torture though, I just couldn't do it. I couldn't write a story where a women got off on having her breasts tortured, and her sig other (male or female) liked doing such things as cutting, binding, piercing, etc her breasts.

Not that I am knocking it for those who do enjoy it, because like I said, there is a LOT of things that my prudish ass just won't do but that I will write about because I know some do enjoy it, nor an I knocking those who write it but might not get off on it. But I reached a personal limit there.

Maybe it is my pain threshold, maybe it is my fear of bloodborne disease, maybe it is the fact that I just don't find blood sexy. Who knows.

But for me that is a major limit. I can say without a doubt that you will NEVER read anything by me that involves breast torture in the more intense sense. I have dabbled with wax, and nipple clamps, but that it the upper limit.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Touching Subject

As far as topics go, I think this is one of the toughest gauntlets that’s been thrown down here at the Grip for a while. Charlotte has asked each of us for our ‘Kinky limits: the deviations that are too squick for us to include in our fiction.

Like others have said this week, my squick factor has a fairly high threshold. If it’s not illegal then I’m happy to write about it. However, the one subject I’ve never chosen to write about is Furries.

I’ll explain now why this pushes my squick buttons. (NB – I don’t ordinarily use the word ‘squick’ but it’s Charlotte’s word and I think it’s fitting for the milieu of this subject. Also, I’m beginning to see that Charlotte likes words beginning with a ‘squ-‘ sound. For further information, please see her previous choice of topic when she asked what made us ‘squee.’)

I am not a tactile person. This is possibly an understatement. I am possibly the antithesis of a tactile person. If someone places an avuncular hand on my shoulder, I have to quash the urge to snap their fingers. If someone embraces me so they can talk to me more intimately, I have to quell the urge to rip their arm from the socket and beat them with the soggy end. Touch my hand whilst we’re dining together, I’ll be thinking of stabbing you with my fork. I am not a tactile person.

I can tolerate holding hands with my wife. I can allow a manly embrace from my son when the occasion merits such an exchange. But, when people who are neither my wife nor my son decide that they need to enhance our conversation with physical contact, my knuckles turn white and you can hear the splintering of enamel as I clench my teeth and grind them slowly together.

To be honest, I try not to let people know about my aversion to physical contact. I’ve practiced the smile of someone who appreciates a clammy hand on my formerly clean forearm. I’ve perfected the untroubled air of a man who yearns to have his palms and shoulders touched by sweaty strangers. I could seriously be awarded an Oscar for my performance in the life-drama ‘The Man Who Didn’t Care About Catching Germs From That Dirty Bastard.’

But, some of you might be asking, what has this got to do with Furries? Others might be asking: what the hell are Furries? This article from the BBC should answer that second question: For those who couldn’t be bothered following the link: Furries are a community of people who share the practice of adopting anthropomorphic personae. Sometimes, most often online, this is done purely through the imagination. More popularly, and particularly at community gatherings of Furries, it’s done by dressing in plush animal costumes, or at the very least, wearing a tail.

My response to the first question (What’s this got to do with Furries?) comes with the understanding that Furries are perceived as a tactile community. According to the BBC article listed above, the Furries Community is not all about sex – that’s a media exaggeration designed to tabloid-titillate easily entertained readers. However, dressing in furry costumes, petting, stroking, skritching and touching, do lead me to believe that the whole experience would be more tactile than I could tolerate.

Of course, writing about Furries would have its own set of writerly squicks that I wouldn’t dare approach. For one: I’ve never been to a gathering of Furries, so I wouldn’t be able to write the scene with any authority. For another: Furries have their own domain of language and it would take too long to translate the concept of Fursonas or Yiff to a readership not already immersed in the culture. But, most importantly: it’s all about touching and stroking and a level of tactile involvement that I really don’t want to dwell on.

So, in summary: my personal squick is Furries because I have some serious intimacy issues. I hope I haven’t offended any Furries who might have stumbled on this blog. I respect your right to the culture of your choice. And, more importantly, I hope no one wants to give me a pat on the back after reading this blog. Trust me: it won’t be appreciated.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Would You Like Flies With That?

Garce's Apology This Week:
Hullo friends in Apology-land! This week for my apology I'd like to apologize to people who were expecting PT Two of "Emerald love Goddess of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police" Screwed up again - that theme (porn stars) comes up next week.


Now here we go:

In the real world my sex life doesn’t live up to my ideas or fantasies. In that sense I may say I’m not living up to my potential. But what surprised me when I became more acquainted with writers in the genre is how normal most of us are. Like most people I had certain stereotypes about who would write sexually explicit stories and what I find is, that in spite of a few unique quirks we’re pretty much just plain folks. I suspect that most of us, at least by the standards set for our characters, lead pretty much bread and butter sex lives. I’m stereotyping, I admit it freely, the fact is people probably all have their secret little quirks and rituals but that its very difficult to write about these even in fiction. There are odds and ends about my sexual habits I’ve never explored in fiction, although I think someday I probably should. And in a better world, if I had the resources to follow my impulses freely and without harm, I don’t know what would come out. Not just bread and butter, though, that’s for sure.

I can immediately think of two squicks in erotic writing that I don’t think I could write well, and tend to jump over when I find them in someone else’s stories. And at the same time, two of my all time favorite erotic stories graphically depict these very acts. One has to do with the use of urine or excrement as a sexual fetish. I know people do this. I know that in the world of submissives and dominants, pooping or peeing on someone as an act of degradation is often a key form of sexual expression. Just don’t pee on me.

One of my literary heroes is Nicholson Baker. Baker does not regard himself as an erotica author, nor is he considered one, and yet his literary novel “The Fermata” has embedded in it, two of the best erotic stories I’ve ever read. Both of these stories are intended, at least I think so, as satires of the erotica genre. As pure story craft they are howlingly funny.

The title “The Fermata” comes from a musical term, which is a moment of suspension or silence in a piece of music, a kind of pause that intensifies the action. You also see this in plotted action stories where the hero and his companions maybe sit solemnly around a campfire contemplating the meaning of life or Something Really Deep and enjoying each others soon to be tragically ended company right before all hell breaks loose. It’s a basic element of pacing so as not to exhaust the audience with non-stop head bashing.

In the novel the narrator has the unexplained and mysterious ability to pause time, to actually make it stop. He’s not sure what to do with this ability. He occasionally writes erotic short stories and places them in purses and glove compartments where pretty women will discover them. In this scene he has written a long and gorgeously silly and intricate tale whose narrative acrobatics include public masturbation, a three way between a mature woman and a borderline underage couple, a man in UPS truck, a plumber, a custom made shower head attachment converted into a sex toy, a gardener riding on a lawn mower and a retired woman burying her dildo collection in the flower garden. In this passage I love the playful way he uses language, amping up the hyperbole to purple heights and making up descriptive non-existant words. And of course – squick:

. . . I really have to go,” said Sylvie. “I’m not kidding.”

“I know you do. Squat down just like you were and suck that cock, I’ll spray you clean. Pull up on your cheeks so I can see. Push and let it go.”

Sylvie took up her cock-sucking squat. She started sucking more Kevin-dick, but faster than before. She pulled one of her cheeks open – her asshole looked exactly the same – tiny, sexy. Then suddenly her piss gushed out everywhere.

“Ah! That’s it,” said Marion frigging her clit. “Show me how you let it all go. Release it. That’s it. Let it all go. Feel it relax.” Marion whisked the linen napkin out from under her toys and held it at the ready. “Let that lovely butt open right up for me.”

Sylvie made a moan of warning. Her asshole domed out into a doughnut shape and began to open.

“Good!” said Marion, “Now stop. Tighten back up on it.”

Sylvie made a straining sound. Her hips rocked. Her asshole slowly closed.

Marion was frigging faster now. She let the spray drive into Sylvie’s ass. “That’s right, honey,” she coached, “ Keep sucking that dick. I know you need to let it out. Push on it.”

“It’s really going to come out this time,” said Sylvie somewhat frantically. “I can’t hold it.”

“I know you can’t hold it. I just want to see your ass open one more time. Its so sexy to see it open up. Let it go. Push now. Give it to us. Come on, push.”

Sylvie moaned again. Her asshole domed and opened wider, and a big dark hard dick shape began to push its way straight out. Marion held the napkin underneath. “Oh yeah, keep pushing baby. Push it all out.” She felt the weight drop in her hand and immediately folded the napkin over it and sprayed Sylvie clean. “Now we’re ready! We’re ready to fuck, kids. Come on, Sylvie get on your hands and knees over me. Open that cunt for Kevin’s cock. I want to see Kevin’s hard dick up your cunt while I pinch your nipples. Come on, I want to see some good hard fucking.”

But Sylvie didn’t obey immediately. She had rights now. She was free to do anything she wanted. Boldly she lifted one of Marion’s juggy tits, and bent to slap it around with her tongue. Then, bringing her blond cunt-site close, she brushed Marion’s nipple-tit over her neglected clit. “Could you hold those tits tight and point them right at my pussy?” she requested with the zeal of a convert. “I think I’ve got a little pee left over for them.”

Sylvie pushed and let a brief spurt spray over Marion’s mildly surprised breasts. “Let me hose it off,” she said and she took the showerhead from Marion and sprayed her mentor off.

“See?” said Marion, recovering quickly. “You can do anything now.”

“Yeah, and now I’m ready for some cock. I need to be fucked good, Kev. Give it to me good.”

From “The Fermata” by Nicholson Baker

I admit when I read this passage, I found myself squirming. And keep in mind, this is just a small fragment of a very long erotic story, written at least partly as a big joke on erotica. But the story as a whole is so good, I loved this scene along with the rest of it and even found it a bit of a turn on. Amazing.

The other squick I have, and some people here will have difficulty with my saying this, is gay sex. In my own defense, I’m a good liberal, I’m in favor of gay rights and all the correct things but I’m just solidly heterosexual in my imagination, and let’s face it, imagination is what we’re talking about. I like women. Big women, big ass, big breasted women with big hairy pussies and big loud voices. Big, gorgeously fuckable floozies. Don’t wash, Josephine! I’m coming! Gay men? Go in peace brother, but just not with me.

Now having said all that, one of the finest pieces of erotic writing I have ever come across was a graphic, chapter spanning depiction of an act of homosexual intercourse written by, of all people, the great James Baldwin.

Baldwin emerged in the ‘50s with about every cultural strike against him a man could have and simply defied everybody. He was black. In your face black. He was flamingly gay, openly and in your face gay. He wrote openly about gay men, and as far as he was concerned if you didn’t like it, it was your own problem. This is a fragment from a much longer scene in his novel “Just Above My Head”:

“. . . He put his hands at Arthur’s waist, pulled his shorts down, got them past one foot, Arthur’s prick rose.

Crunch stroked it and grinned. "That’s enough progress for now,” he said, and he put his rigid sex against Arthur’s, and then they simply lay there, simply holding onto each other, unable to make another move. They really did not know where another move might carry them. Arthur was afraid in one way, and Crunch in another. It was also as though they had expended so much energy to arrive at this moment that they had to fall out and catch their breath. This moment was almost enough. But it was only a moment; the train was boarded, the engine ready to roll. They held onto each other. this might be the beginning; it might be the beginning of the end. The great train was boarded, the engine pulsing, the doors slamming shut behind them, the train would soon be moving, the journey had begun. They might lose each other on this journey, nothing could be hidden on this journey. They might look at each other miles from now, when the train had stopped in some unimaginable place, and wish never to see each other again. They might be ashamed, they might be debased. They might be forever lost. “

From "Just Above My Head" by James Baldwin

It’s a funny thing, but when you read it, being gay seems incidental. What’s happening to them, the wonder and fear of new love is simply universal, gay or straight. And of course what happens explicitly enough in the next few paragraphs is universal too. Let’s face it, fine writing is where you find it. Even squicky stuff can be beautiful when its created by loving hands. The Nicholson Baker story as a whole is just good word-smithing up and down, its funny and it works for me, poop scene and all. The Baldwin piece is dead serious, but its so honest and so filled with humanity and the author loves these two men who are lost in each other so much, it just wins me over. I can read either of those squicky scenes and tell myself – damn! I wish I’d written that.

C. Sanchez-Garcia

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Squick That Destroyed Planet Earth

I have to confess: I picked this topic based on a desire to read what came of said topic, and didn't actually think about what I was going to write. I'm writing this, and still don't know what I'm going to write about.

Of course, I have the usual squicks. You know the ones. They get trotted out by nearly every publisher, no matter how much hardcore they publish. And I agree for the most part, because I don't want to read about someone having sex with a dead person. All I can think when such a subject comes up is:

a) Zombie sex. Zombie sex in which the zombie suddenly rears up and, like, bites the face off whoever's stupid enough to bonk it. And then the bonker turns into a zombie, and turns another person into a zombie, and then suddenly I'm reading the novel version of 28 Days Later and I have to get Murdock to come rescue me in his helicopter because I'm scared. I have a very logical, practical relationship with zombie mythology. You can't just have sex with a zombie and come away zombie free, ok? You've just caused the end of the world because you wanted to shove your cock in a pickled, possibly rotting vagina. Congrats.

Then there's:

b) If it's just a dead body, wouldn't it be cold and...dry? That sounds very, very unappealing. I don't want to have cold, dry sex. For a start, it would chafe. And then we're getting into a whole "well, use lube" area and ugh. No. No.

Okay, so that's number one on the list of usual publisher no-nos. Necrophilia. What else is there?

Non-con. Now, non-con is a strange one, for me. I cannot bear to read about a woman actually getting raped, obviously. I don't ever want to read that. If that's the kink we're talking about, it goes straight to number two on my list of kinks I can't even stand in the same room as. I'm not even sure if it counts as a kink, to be honest. But I can appreciate a story if it's about rape fantasy. And as I know many publishers will accept rape fantasies and even dubious consent, but not non-con, I think that shows a clear distinction between kinky, and maybe just...disturbed.

Though rape fantasy will still tread the line between kink and squick, for me. It has to be done very, very carefully. I don't want a moment where I'm thinking: she is not enjoying this. Erotica will always be, first and foremost for me, about a woman enjoying herself. Take that away and I'm not so much squicked as mad as all hell and not about to take it, anymore.

And then, on a lighter note, there's bestiality.

I don't get along with bestiality for one reason, really. The animal can't consent. I know that probably sounds weird, and maybe the animal doesn't really know what you're doing anyway. But I know what you're doing, and I don't like it. All I can usually think when reading some random bestiality story I wasn't expecting when I dug it up on Literotica is:

Jeez, that poor donkey. What did it ever do to you, mate?

So that's bestiality. And then there are things like golden showers, which I can sometimes take- because of course a lot of this depends on the skill of the writer. Rape fantasies and golden showers and hell, even zombie sex can be great, in the hands of someone who really knows what they're doing. I've read good golden shower stories.

But scat...yeah, I do have a bit of trouble with scat. Mainly because, well...the word poo makes me laugh. Poo makes me think of the playground, when Digger Johnson would find a dog turd and chase everyone around with it on a stick. His name's obviously not really Digger Johnson, BTW. I just thought a name like that would illustrate my childish relationship with doo-doo nicely.

Can't find that erotic. I'd burst out laughing if someone crapped on a glass table above me. I'd be laughing before we even got to that point, and laughing at erotica, more than being squicked by it, kills it stone dead.

But there's one...yeah there's one that squicks me above all the others. One of the big guns, though maybe not quite as big as the one I won't even mention because it goes beyond squick and into the realms of actual judgement from me.

No- this one won't get judgement from me. In fact, none of them will- apart from That One, and maybe some of the more disturbing rape happy stuff. I mean, everyone's got some strange kink. Or at least, some kink that's strange to somebody else. Me? I flip my kink over a severely repressed guy getting humiliated. I am the opposite of Kathleen, on that score (one of the reasons I love the world of the erotic, right there. How different people are!).

But there's one that doesn't just make me laugh, or feel vaguely grossed out, or offended on behalf of a donkey, or concerned about zombies or wondering whether or not she's really enjoying it. There's one that makes me actively cringe inside- that true squicky feeling that heralds the limits of your kink.


I can't.

He's your brother. Noooooooooo! Stop. Oh God, oh God. Now I'm picturing my brother's face.

*blanks out, briefly*

Please don't ever make me go through that again. Please. My shudder just destroyed downtown Tokyo, like a mad vibrating Godzilla. Never again. Sorry. Never.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Whoa, Nelly!

Note: I wrote this, almost trashed it, and then decided to go ahead and let you see it. This might be an uncomfortable read. It wasn't all that fun to write.

About seven years ago, I stumbled upon the Erotica Readers and Writers Association website and their wonderful writer’s lists. I can’t remember what drew me to it, but within weeks, I submitted a story to their workshopping list, Storytime.  While the community is generous with help and overall very friendly (to this day, it remains the best writer’s list on the internet in any genre) I was a bit surprised at some of the reactions to my story. I thought fans of erotica would be open-minded.

*rueful chuckle*

The story wasn’t terribly graphic. Just a little masturbation. What the readers objected to was the kink and the sexuality. It’s my fault as a writer that I wasn’t able to connect the readers emotionally to the fetish element. It wasn’t a mainstream kink with recognizable trope - no black leather, no submission, no spanking – so it was a hard sell to begin with. My main character got off on the sight of a woman’s calves positioned just so. But the obscurity of the kink (some readers called it creepy) and my inability to help readers identify with it on some level wasn’t what brought out the terse critiques. You see, my main character was female. People were horrified that I’d tricked them into reading a lesbian story when I failed to post flashing red warnings at the beginning of the story.

Lesson learned.  Even erotica writers have limits. I have several, so I understand.

Humiliation is my biggest squick. It’s a personal thing, which I'll elaborate on later. When I was finally old enough to stay up at night to watch TV before bedtime, I would grow increasingly queasy during the sitcoms. Everyone else loved those shows, so I thought I could learn to love them too. Sometimes, I paced the room until I was ordered to leave. Other times, I left on my own. I had no problems with dramas. It took me several years to realize that most humor on sitcoms was about humiliation, and I couldn’t bear to watch that happen to another person. Once I figured that out, I rarely forced myself to watch comedies.  If I see humiliation in an erotic story, that same queasiness creeps up on me. Guessing from how often I see it, some people find humiliation powerfully sexy. Nothing kills my libido faster.

So I suppose the question is: can I write it? Yes, but carefully, and not comfortably.  I’ve written only one story that featured humiliation as an erotic element. When the characters in this continuation of my Chaos Magic series (written as Jay Lygon) first met, Sam told his Sir, Hector, that being spanked in public was his biggest fantasy and deepest fear. Fans of Chaos Magic know that humiliation was a hard limit for Sam. In the third book, it tears them apart (for a while). But their relationship is always evolving. At the point where this story takes place, five years into their relationship, Hector knows that Sam wants to push that limit and can handle the situation.  The difference is consent, and control.

Here's your red flashing light– this is gay BDSM with humiliation, domestic discipline, age play, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and a filthy public restroom, just in case any of that squicks you out.

Released this week

Hector shoved me into the bathroom. Overhead, insects fluttered around bare florescent bulbs. The place stank of stale toilet water and piss. There were five stalls without doors against one wall and three rusty sinks on the other. The grungy floor probably hadn't been cleaned since the rest stop was built.

For a moment, I hoped that Hector would take me into one of the stalls, but he said, "Put your hands on the sink. Boy."

Trembling, I bent down to grip the rust-stained sink. It jutted from the wall at waist height, so I had to bend way over to hold onto it. I couldn't bear to meet my eyes in the cheap mirror over the sink.

"Open your mouth."

Thanks the Gods that Hector unwrapped a bar of soap he’d brought from home rather than using the pink powdery stuff in the dispenser on the wall.

"You know better than to swear, Boy," he said.

One of the truckers came into the bathroom. He paused by the door to watch Hector push the bar of soap into my mouth. A tight grin spread over his lips. Heat spread across my face. Another man came in to watch my punishment.

"Keep that soap in your mouth, Boy."

As soon as there was a small crowd, Hector stepped back. He reached for my jeans, unbuttoned the fly, and yanked them down to my knees. My bared butt brought a murmur of appreciation from the gathered truckers. I closed my eyes and swallowed hard. That was a mistake. The soap coated my mouth.

I heard Hector undo his belt buckle and slide it out of his pant loops. He knew how much I loved to be whipped with that belt.

Freed from my pants, my cock brushed against the sink.

"You're a spoiled brat, and I've had enough of your lip today, Boy. It's time I taught you a lesson." Hector gripped my hair and forced me to turn my head toward the door. "Open your eyes, and don't you dare close them."

Some of the truckers gripped their cocks through their jeans. Rest stops were legendary for roadside sex, but I bet they'd never seen a boy get his ass whipped there before. Lust rolled off them in heady waves. The humiliation was almost more than I could bear. My legs trembled.

Hector leaned close to my ear. "Let me know if this is too much for you," he whispered.

One part of me wanted to turn around and bury my face against his chest. He'd stop immediately, wrap those big arms around me, and take me away from the scene. There was no getting out of the punishment, but he'd finish it somewhere private and safe if I couldn't handle my shame. Another part of me was so fucking turned on that I couldn't bear the idea of stopping, no matter how red my face was. It was up to me.

And an even bigger red flashing warning over the rest of this post if the reality of emotional abuse is more than you can bear. I wouldn't blame you for escaping. I sure as fuck wished I could have.

My mother loved to humiliate her children. I can still picture that sadistic smile on her face as she made us stand before her coffee klatch while she told ‘cute little stories’ about us until her guests grew uncomfortably quiet and started casting horrified glances at each other or making excuses to leave. For years, I thought they were disgusted by me. Not one of them ever tried to make her stop though.

If writing is the best revenge, then I suppose my blow for justice is putting the power to halt the torment into the sub’s hands in Brat. If only I’d had that much control over my fate, instead staring at my shoes and praying so hard that my knuckles turned white. Please, god, just please, open up the ground below my feet and let me fall into the burning core of the earth, even if it’s hell and I have to spend eternity there, please god, shove your fist into my chest and squeeze my heart until it stops beating, please god, please, if you love me, let me die, so I don’t have to hear my mother’s laughter another second. Amen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Squick City

By Lisabet Sarai

When it comes to perverse sex, I'm pretty broad minded. There isn't much that I wouldn't consider, at least in a literary or fantasy context. (The real world is something else. It has been a while since I've had the chance to test my actual physical or psychological limits.)

I've written enemas and golden showers (my editor made me excise the latter) and yes, it turned me on. I find incest, especially among siblings, embarrassingly hot. Necrophilia? Well, let's just say I can see the appeal, at least in a fantasy role play like Kathleen's story “Chill”. Bestiality? How can anyone who's ever been licked by a cat or admired a stallion not consider the erotic possibilities? I've never written a BDSM story about knife play, but I've read a few that made me shiver with arousal. (Tess Danesi's “Lessons Slow and Painful” in Fast Girls is the most recent example that comes to mind.)

Eating come? Sure, why not? Rimming? Thrilling, in the right circumstances. Diapers? I've written that into at least one story (“Poker Night”, in my Rough Caress collection). There's a scene in Ruby's Rules where a character gets fucked with a champagne bottle and another featuring clothespins on the labia.

There is one kink, though, that I can't imagine writing, because it scares me silly, despite the fact that I gather it's fairly popular. I'm referring to “breath play”, otherwise known as erotic asphyxiation. In case this isn't familiar to some readers, breath play is basically getting off by being strangled, smothered, or otherwise deprived of oxygen.

I found in my research that there are physiological reasons why hypoxia (the shortage of oxygen) is pleasurable. Supposedly, being deprived of oxygen produces a giddy, hyper-lucid or hallucinogenic state that greatly intensifies the experience of orgasm. According to some sources, the resulting state of bliss is as addictive as cocaine.

Sorry, but I'll choose other methods for my hallucinations.

In the context of a BDSM relationship, breath control obviously carries an emotional charge as well as possibly involving physical pleasure. The sub is literally offering her life to the dominant. I can understand the excitement of that level of trust, intellectually, but I still can't imagine ever be willing to participate in a breath control scene—even though it would pain me to refuse anything to my Master. It's so far outside my comfort zone that I don't think I could even write about it, at least not convincingly.

Yet some authors do. Rachel Kramer Bussel's story “Your Hand on My Neck”, in her acclaimed anthology Please, Sir, is about erotic asphyxiation. Rachel's an accomplished writer with a definitely kinky bent, and I usually resonate with her tales, but this one left me cold. I found it disturbing as opposed to arousing.

And yet...part of me hates to accept that there's anything I couldn't eroticize, if I tried. When I saw Charlotte's topic for the week, I was tempted to push myself and try to write a short piece focused on this, my most serious squick. (Actually, it goes beyond “squick”, which seems to have the connotation of disgust. My reactions to the suggestion are closer to terror.)

Then I thought about all the other stories on my mental list, waiting to be written. Better I should devote my scarce writing time to something more appealing – like gang bangs or face sitting, suspension or branding.

Everybody's got limits, right?