Monday, October 31, 2016

Come as You Aren’t. Or Are. Or Both. Or Neither.

Sacchi Green

I seem to be starting out on the stodgy side for an erotica writer this time, but I’m under a good deal of stress, so I’ll just dive in and warm up as I go along.

Costumes, especially at this time of year, have taken on a meaning similar to disguises, although the term still appears now and then in its older form referring simply to what one is wearing, an outfit, an ensemble, the clothing one has chosen to wear. That use has become somewhat antiquated and formal, used more for such concepts as “National Costumes” in the context of international beauty pageants, and even there the costumes reflect historical themes rather than showing what people in each country wear today.

But even when “costume” just refers to the articles of clothing you put together to achieve a certain effect, there’s sometimes a sense of being in disguise, presenting yourself to the world in a way that you want to be seen, whether or not that’s the way you see yourself in private. Or maybe because it is the way you see yourself in private, but want to be sure others see you that way, too. Costumes can reveal who you are, or who you aren’t but wish you were.

Costume isn’t just a matter of clothing. Make-up and hair styling are important elements, too. And when it comes to disguises for Halloween--hey, it's halloween today!--lor masquerade parties (or conventions with cosplay), cultural icons influence the choices of identities. Characters from stories, comics, movies, history, politics, or communal fantasies can be chosen to express yourself in ways that you can’t in daily life. What you choose can say something about your inner life, or just reflect what commercial costumes are for sale and what movie characters are most famous in any given year.

Most little girls go through a Disney princess phase, and boys like to be superheroes or anything scary, but there’s been some controversy about so much clichéd gendering of  commercial costumes. Girls can be firefighters and policewomen, but commercial costumes for those kinds of characters are geared for (one hopes) women, not girls, with the emphasis on “sexy” firefighters and policewomen, etc. Even traditionally female roles like nurses and witches are sexed up, although witches can also be outrageously ugly. Post-princess girls may like scary costumes, and these days are more likely to be zombies than witches, which is fine, But never mind about the commercial costumes. And never mind my bitching about sexy costumes. Letting your bad sexy self loose is great, for adults.

The best costumes are the ones you put together yourself, or with help. My granddaughter went through the princess phase and came out the other side, and last year, when she was nine, she chose to be a character from several Terry Pratchett books. The fact that none of her friends and schoolmates were likely to recognize a Nac Mac Feagle (with blue skin and Scottish kilt and sword), especially one five feet three inches tall rather than the six inch high rapscallions in the books (yes, at 10 years old she’s as tall as I am already), didn’t bother her a bit. She had a great time. This year she’s inhabiting the character of an elven sorceress, and she totally rocks the long hooded robe with embroidered runes.

I don’t remember much about my ow long-past Halloween costumes—I think I was a playing card one year. The costumes I do remember are the ones I wore in junior high when our energetic music teacher had us perform Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. I was Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, and Pitti Sing in The Mikado (a flaming example of cultural appropriation, I realize now, of course, but great fun, and I’m glad we didn’t know that then.) We even had stage make-up applied by someone who knew what they were doing, which was the only time I enjoyed wearing make-up. I never did know what I was doing when I tried it myself, and I didn’t much care.

There are other kinds of costumes, though, that aren’t as dependent on clothing or make-up, although a certain degree of attention must be paid. There are personae one can put on like a costume. As a writer, sometimes I feel as though the characters I create are costumes my mind puts on. Often I don’t even know where they come from; they’re certainly not based on me, and only occasionally on people I know, but somewhere over the years I’ve read, seen, experienced, imagined enough to build characters I want to present to the world, not as manifestations of myself, real or imagined, but as inhabitants of my mind.

In a comment on an earlier post here on this topic I mentioned something about doing erotica readings in public, and putting on a persona rather like a costume. That persona doesn’t conform precisely to any of my characters. I couldn’t pull that off. Instead, I play the role of a confident, no-holds-barred writer, a conduit for my characters, bringing them to life not only with words but with the tones and modulations of my voice according to the way I intend my character to sound, the rhythms of the prose that make hearing it a slightly different experience than reading it. At least I hope so. If you’re nervous about reading in public, just remember that you’re channeling your characters, and they deserve to be heard.  It helps not to be embarrassed by speaking “dirty” words and conveying explicitly sexy images, but all that takes is practice. I get an extra charge out of it, in fact, since the potential downside of my, shall we say, advanced age, adds a certain shock value to my reading. Once in a while there’s an audible, communal gasp from the audience the first time I get to an especially raunchy bit. By then I’m immersed in my character’s persona, so I hope the shock part doesn’t detract from what she’s saying and thinking and feeling, but I do enjoy it anyway. I guess the young will always think they’ve invented sex, but I do my part to disabuse them of that notion.

I said above that I’ve been under stress for a while, which will continue, and reminds me of another kind of “costume,” although using that term is a stretch. In a way it’s a mental costume, an expression your face puts on when you have to play the role, more than a role, of being calm, competent, empathetic, reassuring, and above all responsible. Because I’m the responsible one, responsible for someone who has had a long, long, good life, deserves the best care, and has been remarkably healthy, but is not healthy now. There have been other times when this seemed to be the case and then things improved, as they may this time, but there has still been a slow decline, as there must be. I think my dad will need to move in with me when he’s discharged from hospital care. It would help if my shallow well hadn’t run dry in the drought we’ve been having, and it will be a few weeks before a well driller can come to drill a deeper one, so we’re living, shall we say, rustically. At least here are places I can go to fill jugs with water, so far, but many wells in the area are feeling the strain and all the local towns are under water restrictions.

It’s okay. I can go with the flow (or lack thereof.) And I can put on the responsible face, even a somewhat happy one, and take him to doctor after doctor and make sure he and the doctors understand each other. I know his medical history better than he does at this point—it’s not easy being ninety-six years old, and it won’t get any easier. But I’ll count our blessings, and play whatever role I have to, and even, maybe, do it well enough that it doesn’t even feel like a costume any more.                  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Coming Soon – "Playing House"

That's right, I finally have another book getting ready to leap forth into the great unknown. It's only been ten months... *cough*

Now, what does a new release have to do with costumes? Why, just that my two main characters actually met at a Christmas party, where one of them was dressed in a rather unflattering way. Since I rarely post any excerpts, and since this one actually fits the theme, I figured I'd have at it!

So here's a little snippet from early on in "Playing House". As with all my Willsin works, my heroine is delightfully curvy, with the kind of wide hips that could see a man through a hurricane, and the kind of smart mouth that could pin him to the wall. The difference with this story is it's more of a romantic comedy. It's just one with the bedroom door wide open.

(Incidentally, I'm straight and married and all that, but if Daniel, the cover model down there, were to ask... well, who knows what I might end up doing...)

* * * *

He flashed that annoyingly beautiful smile at me again and I couldn't stop myself from smiling back. Why did he have to be so damn personable and attractive? My brain was ordering me to reject him, but the rest of my body had other ideas. Stupid, treacherous hormones!
Toni and I sat on the sofa across from him, setting ourselves up like job interviewers. Mark bent and picked up the teapot.
“Lucy, you take yours with a dash of milk and a drizzle of honey, right?”
“Th–that’s right.” Again I glanced at Toni. I still hadn’t worked out her agenda, but it was clear that, in her head, this was a done deal.
He filled my cup to exactly three-quarters and then turned to Toni. “White with two?”
She nodded and he prepared hers, then sat back down.
“Aren't you having any, Mark?” I asked.
“Oh, no. I'm a coffee drinker. Never developed a taste for tea.”
For some reason that felt like a strike against him. I'd never taken to coffee, either the taste or the smell. But if he moved in he'd be filling the house with the pungent aroma of brewing beans. On the other hand, if it masked the smell of sweaty gym socks, then perhaps it was something I could live with.
He ran a hand back through his hair as he put one leg up over the other. It almost seemed he was part of the furniture. “Yeah, I worked my way through college as a barista. I even thought about giving away the studies and buying a little place of my own.”
“Why didn’t you?” That interested me more than a little, since essentially I’d done the same thing, only with books instead of beans.
Mark shrugged, with his eyebrows as much as his shoulders. “Practicality, I guess. There’s a zillion cafés out there, all fighting for a limited number of customers. Until the zombie apocalypse hits, people are always gonna need IT experts.”
Toni chugged half her tea and put her cup down, looking from Mark to me and back again. “Look, let's cut the crap, okay? Luce, you need someone to move in ASAP. Mark needs somewhere to live, like, yesterday. I know you guys have only just met, but I've known you both for years. You'll suit each other. Trust me.”
“That's not strictly true.”
I glanced over at Mark. “Sorry?”
“We have met before.”
I shook my head. “No. No, we haven't.” I knew that for sure, simply because if we had, he’d have featured in every erotic dream I’d had from that moment on.
“I'm not surprised you don't remember. It was at our work Halloween party last year. You went with Toni, because Robert couldn’t make it. You were dressed in black and you must have dyed your hair for the occasion. That’s why I thought you were a brunette.”
Scanning my brain, I strove to recall the night in question. I suddenly cringed as it came back to me. It happened to have been exactly one month since I'd sent Cameron packing. Pretty much my only memory of the evening was how quickly the vodka in my glass kept evaporating. “Oh, god. That’s right. I didn't hurl on your shoes or anything, did I?”
“No, you weren’t that drunk.”
“Huh. We must have met early in the evening then.”
“Yeah, we did. But I meant you wouldn't remember because I was in costume. Frankenstein's monster. It was pretty lame, but I don't usually go to those things. I didn’t really have the hang of it.”
“That was you?” I'd been halfway down that slippery slope of sweet, sweet alcohol at the time. “Did...we talk at all?” I bit my lip, hoping I hadn’t embarrassed myself.
He chuckled lightly. “Yep. You said my costume was probably an improvement on my real face.”
“Oh, god.” I hid behind my hands, peeking through my fingers at Toni who could barely contain her giggling. “I didn't really say that, did I?”
She just shrugged. “I don't know. I was racing you to the bottom of the bottle. Plus I believe I spent most of the night sexting Robert from one of the private offices. But given what was happening in your life at that point, then yeah. It sounds like the kind of thing you'd say.”
Then my memory clicked. That’s why his scent had seemed familiar as he’d walked in. There had been a hint of bourbon on his breath that night, but his blend of cologne and detergent had squirreled into my subconscious. I remembered, though, that it was the rich masculine tang of a healthy young man that had really shaken me. That must have been why I'd insulted him. I’d been scared of how delicious he’d smelled, and how warm it made me feel. 

* * * *

This story is in the late stages of editing now, and hopefully I'll have it out before November leaves us. My main stumbling block is that it's soooooo long (I love telling people that). It's at around 70,000 words now, which might come back a little with these final edits, but of course, it's also entirely possible it will grow a tad. I'll definitely keep folks appraised of release dates, too. I'm putting together an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) group as well, which is all kind of grown up and mature. And totally unlike me!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Taboo Trick or Two

a post by Giselle Renarde

Last October I teamed up with my sock puppet partner in crime, the extraordinary Lexi Wood, to create a pair of taboo tales featuring girls in Halloween costumes. Chloe dresses as a schoolgirl. Anisha's a bumblebee.
The girls start the night together in Lexi's story, Trick or Brat, but when Chloe has to take her little cousin trick-or-treating Anisha's fed up and they set off on their own Halloween adventures. Chloe's got an uncle she never really noticed until she sees him dressed as a vampire. He's Chloe's uncle by marriage, not by blood... and now that he's divorced from her aunt not even by marriage. Which makes him fair game, right?

In my story Shaking Up This Costume Party, we follow Anisha to a frat party where she's fending off dudes. Anisha's not interested in dudes. She's interested in Chloe. In fact, the only reason she agreed to go to a frat party in the first place was that Chloe wanted to come. And while she's sitting on the stairs, who should waltz through the door but Anisha's father... and his girlfriend! Daddy Dearest has been lying to this much younger woman, telling her he was divorced. Nope. Not the case. Well, the frat guys chase Daddy away, but Anisha takes it upon herself to console his young girlfriend. And, of course, one thing leads to another...

I'm telling you all this because I'm a generous individual and I'm giving away both these stories FREE at Smashwords right now in an ebook called A Taboo Trick or Two. Call it a Halloween treat!

Here's how it all begins:

Anisha smacked Chloe’s ass and said, “You can’t wear a thong with that skirt!”

“Why not?” Chloe asked as she pulled up the zipper.

“Because! People will see your ass!”

“Yeah,” Chloe shot back. “That’s kind of the point.”

Anisha rolled her eyes.

“What would even be the point of going to a big college costume party if I didn’t show off my ass to cute older guys?”

“Whatever. You’re a freak.” Anisha pulled on the set of wings she’d made out of coat hangers and white nylons, then sprinkled with sparkles that were now getting all over Chloe’s bedroom carpet. “Anyway, your costume sucks.”

“You’re one to talk,” Chloe said, collapsing on her bed. “Who ever heard of a sexy bumblebee?”

“I wanted wings,” Anisha said, defensively.

“So be a butterfly… or an angel! Nobody’s gonna hit on a girl with alien antennas.”

“Nobody’s gonna hit on a chick in a schoolgirl uniform, except skeevy guys at the mall.”

Chloe stood up and brushed errant sparkles from her skirt. “It’s called hiding in plain sight.”

Anisha glanced at Chloe in the mirror, then went back to tracing a thick load of liquid liner around her eyes.

Chloe moved a bit to the side to get a better look at herself in her best friend’s uniform.

They’d been neighbours since they were babies, but Anisha went to the Catholic school down the street while Chloe attended the public one. She’d always been jealous of the uniform. Especially when she saw the way guys looked at Anisha’s long, limber legs in this school-sanctioned short skirt and knee socks. It’s not like Anisha was any hotter than Chloe. They were at least as hot as each other. But the navy blue plaid skirt and the fitted white top gave Anisha that edge. Guys went for her every time.

“What do you mean about hiding in plain sight?” Anisha finally asked.

“I mean we’re going to a college party, right?”

“Yeah.” Anisha traced a thick coat of gloss across her bee-stung lips. “So do you really want to stand out as a high school girl? You know what they think of us. They’re too afraid we’re lying when we say we’re eighteen.”

“Even though we totally are,” Chloe added.

Anisha gave her a look in the mirror. “Well, this year we finally are.”

“Right, so that’s why I’m wearing your Catholic school uniform as a costume.”

“I don’t get it!” Anisha whined.

Chloe bumped Anisha’s hip and took over her spot by the mirror. “Because who is the least likely person to wear a schoolgirl uniform as a costume?”

“My dad?” Anisha asked.

“Yeah right,” Chloe laughed. “He’d be the first.”

Anisha smacked her ass. “Just tell me! I’m sick of guessing.”

Chloe rolled her eyes. “A high school girl, stupid! Because a high school girl would want to look older!”

“Ohhh, and a college girl would want to look younger!”

“Exactly! Man, you’re slow.” Chloe picked up Anisha’s lip gloss. “Can I try this?”

“Go for it.”

Chloe dragged the brush across her lips. “Eep! It tickles.”

Anisha lifted Chloe’s skirt and fluttered her fingers down the gusset of her thong. “Bet that tickles too.”

Chloe kicked her. “Lezperv!”

“Boycrazy.” Anisha spanked her and let go of the skirt so it fluttered down on Chloe’s bare ass. “Are you gonna hook up at this party?”

“God, I hope so! My pussy hasn’t had a cock in it since…”

“Yesterday?” Anisha asked.

Chloe winked at her in the mirror and Anisha fell back on the bed, laughing.

As an added bit of trivia, I'll tell you I named my story Shaking Up This Costume Party after a line in the song More Like You by a Toronto indie band called Brave Shores:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Who Goes There?

I’m sitting in the coffee shop looking at the people around me.  The girl at the table across from me, is a painfully beautiful Asian girl, clearly American in every way, tastefully dressed.  I can’t help but glance at her.  Its hard to take my eyes off her.  She keeps glancing up at the moment our eyes meet.  A woman my own age might be intrigued by this.  But clearly this is a girl who gets hit on a lot.  

Beauty for some women is almost a burden, almost a handicap.  Beauty that is so extreme it defines you to the world and the men in that world.  There are women whose breasts are so outstanding, that even dressed no man can see beyond them to the woman within, anymore than they can peek over a mountain range.

I sip my coffee.  I don’t  sense any annoyance from her but suddenly she packs up her books and notepad.  She’s not finished, she simply moves to the other side of the coffee shop.  While admiring her, and expecting nothing from her I have clearly creeped her out.  I am now a creep.  I am now what a creep looks like.

Yesterday I was at my church, sometimes I’m on stage giving the service, sometimes I’m in the audience.  This time I’m a greeter which is something in-between.  I meet people as they come in the door wish them well, hand them a little service program and keep the traffic moving.  These are my people.  What the Buddhists call a “Sangha”.  They are vital to my existence.  When I was a lonely, dark and solitary person, a few years ago, I was more creative.  But sometimes teetered on the brink of some impending madness.  Life is better now.  But I don’t write as much, and ideas are hard to come by. But I have people in my world.  Some of them I’m close to. To be healthy and long lived, I must love.  I must have people who will allow and even welcome me to love them.  To them I am a good a man.  Certainly not a creep.  

At home I’m watching TV, in my familiar and sloppy element.  Inwardly I’m scolding myself for not reading, but the TV shows are just too good these days.  I am a man of the house.

All of these personas that I put on are me.  And who is the real me?

If I speak to individuals in my church, one on one over coffee, I feel free hearted, filled with conversation.  If I speak in front of the congregation, even though I know each person in the group, there is some part of me that doesn’t know who I am, who I should be.  What persona to put on and then later take off.  Then I become this very awkward person.   I think this may be the secret source of stage fright.  One on one we know who we are.  In front of several people, even people we know well, we don’t know what persona to put on.  Like one of those dreams where you give a speech and look down and realize you’re naked.  We are naked because we have no persona to put on and button down and offer as our best selves to an audience where each person knows us differently.

I saw an episode of Black Mirror recently, where a woman’s lover was killed in an accident.  A technology service recreated an authentic android of him, based on his Internet persona, the amassed algorithms of all he ever did in his life time online.  He had never indulged in pornographic web sites, so his new artificial persona had no sexual prowess or expression of passion.  He was unconditionally nice and sweet tempered under all circumstances.  He drove her crazy, and not in a good way.  In the end she stashed him in the attic.  With the best face he could put on he was ultimately a creep because he had no dark side.

Who am I then?  Who are you?

What we think of as ourselves, what we offer to the world, is only a small piece of a large bandwidth of existence, of consciousness.  We put on personas for the moment and the audience as easily as clothes.  Most of who we are and what we communicate is out of the reach of our conscious experience.  When we converse, most of the conversation is taking place non-verbally.  We come away from a casual conversation with a stranger, hankering with mysterious lust.  Or feeling shut off from people, despite smiles and clever jokes, without knowing why.  There are personas we project to others for their interpretation, like invisible costumes, writ large for others, but transparent to ourselves.  Who are these versions of myself, the creep at the coffee shop, the friend at the church door, the solitary writer and which one is closest to person that I know?  And then there are the layers of ourselves, the woundedness, the accumulated brokenness that others can perceive in us, maybe therapists, that is out of the reach of our awareness.  We cannot see our own face directly.  Others can.  They see us directly in ways we can't, and may perceive us in ways we can't.  I find that scary.  If the ego survives death, which one of these personas wins the lottery of identity?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Halloween Treat

I’m not your average gay.

I don’t know the first thing about fashion or home design.  I have this almost-paralyzing fear of drag queens.  I can’t dance.  And I don’t like halloween.

Halloween is often referred to as “Gay Christmas” because, apparently, all the gays like to dress up as slutty as possible and grind it out on the dance floor.  (My dislike of Halloween is due to my dislike of anything scary or gory — for me, the Bowser levels in Super Mario Brothers games are a little too tense.  I’m a through-and-through wimp.  My dislike doesn't have to do with being slutty and grinding it on the dance floor — I like that part!)

However, despite my dislike of Halloween, I do like looking at pictures of gay guys in Halloween costumes.  And in the gay world, a “halloween costume” is little more than a jockstrap.  Andrew Christian, a men’s underwear company that largely targets gay men, has been promoting their “Halloween costumes” lately, which are basically either pairs of underwear with MASTER and SLAVE stamped on them, or a jockstrap that resembles a spider web over the ass.

I realize this isn’t the exclusive realm of gay men.  Women often dress up provocatively on Halloween.  However, I think gay men sometimes take it to the next level.

Today’s post is basically a collection of some of the hottest costumes I found on Google.  It’s some much-needed eye candy.  :)

Let’s start off a little more tasteful here, with some super sexy (but fully clothed) costumes that I found on Google that caught my attention:

And, now, it’s time for the good stuff — the real gay Halloween:

I may not go trick-or-treating -- but these guys are definitely a treat for me!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dressing Up

black widow
Lisabet as the Black Widow

By Lisabet Sarai

I've always loved Halloween. When I was a kid, I would count the days until October 31st. It wasn't the candy that I craved; it was the costumes. I adored dressing up and becoming somebody else. As soon as the magical night was over, I'd already be planning what I'd be the next Halloween.

In more than half a century, I haven't changed. I'm still excited by the opportunity to discard my rather ordinary self for one night and become someone else: someone exotic and beautiful, seductive and powerful, maybe a bit dangerous. As an adult, I've always loved to create costumes that were a bit risqué. The irresistible and insatiable black widow spider. The kinky demoness. The naughty harem girl. On All Hallows Eve, the inhibitions come down when the pumpkins light up. 
Creature of the night

In preparation for this October 31st, I thought I'd exhume some of my old costume photos from the crypt and share them with you. I have to admit that I rarely looked as ravishing and sexy as I felt, but who cares? On Halloween, it's imagination that counts.

Harem girl and her Sheik

My characters reflect my love of costumes. Here’s a snippet from my Halloween short, Rendezvous. Rebecca, the heroine, is a lot like me. She views Halloween as a chance to escape, to dress up and magically transform herself into someone else. She's heartbroken when Halloween finds her stranded by a breakdown at a seedy motel a hundred miles from her best friend's party. Little does she know that she's about to experience some genuine enchantment—to be seduced by someone more powerful, and perhaps more dangerous, then she'd ever dreamed.

The costume worked its magic. I was astonished at how regal I looked, and how desirable. The bodice pinched my waist to tiny dimensions, and forced my breasts upwards. The square-cut neckline drew attention to my swelling flesh, barely hiding my nipples. In fact, they were not hidden at all. Though I'd lined the top with muslin as the pattern specified, the tight nubs were clearly visible through several layers of fabric.

I cradled my breasts and used my thumbs to trace circles around those sensitive buds. With each cycle, the spring of tension in my cunt wound tighter. A light flick of my thumbnail sent electricity down my spine and triggered spasms of pleasure. I worried briefly that the juices trickling out of my cunt would spoil the satin. But after all, what did it matter? There was no one to see me tonight, no one to please but myself.

"You certainly do look sexy. Like something right out of de Sade.”

What? Who...?” I whirled around in confusion, my heart slamming against my ribs. The voice had been close, right next to my ear. Yet the room was empty, unchanged. The same rippling walls, the same thread-bare carpet, the same rusty stains on the ceiling. The rumpled bed where I'd had my tantrum. The almost-empty glass on the dresser.

Ah, the liquor. I must be more drunk than I thought. I turned back to the mirror, searching my face for signs of intoxication, and yelped as something, someone, pinched my nipples.

Hey! That hurts.” Indignation overwhelmed fear.

It does, at first. But afterwards, it changes, doesn't it? Afterwards, it feels quite delicious.” I stared at my image, mouth hanging stupidly open, as invisible hands caressed my breasts. Strong hands, gentle hands, hands that seemed to know exactly how to make me shiver with delight. “That's what most people don't understand about pain. It's the gateway to the most exquisite pleasure.”

And here’s a bit from a more recent Halloween tale, Coming in Costume, which makes the same point:

I should have realized Greg had something up his sleeve. Normally he hates big parties. His work requires him to interact with all sorts of people, but I know he finds it stressful. To relax he prefers more—how should I put it?—intimate gatherings. So I really should have understood he had some deviant plan in mind when he told me about the Halloween masquerade.

Samson-Sewell Advertising—you know, Bella, they’re one of our biggest accounts—anyway, they’re throwing a huge Halloween party. Pulling out all the stops, I gather, to impress their clients. They’ve actually hired the Roosevelt Rotunda at the Natural History Museum for the event. I’m surprised that’s even possible, but I guess money talks, and these days they’ve got plenty. Which is great for our firm, of course.”

And you’re going?” I looked up from my breakfast to scan my husband’s darkly handsome face. A half-smile played on his lips.

We’re both going. It’s next Saturday night. And they want everyone to come in costume.”
I clapped my hands in delight and his grin broadened. Greg knows how much I adore costumes and role-playing. “Oh, wonderful! Maybe we can go as a pirate and his captive! Or the sheik and the harem girl… Or how about a Roman aristocrat and his slave?”

You want everyone to know you’re my sub? My filthy, kinky, obedient slut?” He revved the motor of the vibe strapped to my clit. I moaned and clenched my muscles, struggling against orgasm. Fortunately, he released the switch before I lost control.

Greg—sir—please!” I gasped. “It’s Halloween. The one night we can be someone else!”

Sounds to me like you want to show off your true self, Bella.”

I—you know, I just like to play with those fantasies.” Rising from the table, I went to hug him, moving carefully so as not to dislodge the BenWa balls he’d slipped into my pussy before we got out of bed. “But we can wear less—um—revealing costumes if you prefer.”

He nuzzled my hair; I burrowed deeper into the warmth of his arms “I guess that might be better,” I continued, fighting to keep the disappointment out of my voice. “For your business and all.”

Leave the costumes to me.” His lips grazed mine, triggering a sweet spasm between my legs even though the vibrator was off. “You’ll be pleased, I promise. Trust me, love.”

You know I do, sir. Always.”

Greg had more than made good on his promise, dressing us as a schoolgirl and her stern professor. I loved the short, pleated skirt of green plaid and the crisp white blouse with the Peter Pan collar the minute I laid eyes on them. Matching knee socks and black Mary Janes completed the outfit. Underneath—somewhat to my surprise—Greg insisted I wear simple white cotton panties and a stretchy training bra that didn’t quite contain my woman’s breasts. I braided my hair, tying the plaits with matching Kelly green ribbons. The final look was sassy, even suggestive, but perfectly decent. Still, the way the skirt swished against the back of my thighs made me imagine, a bit wistfully, what it would be like to be bare underneath. I pushed the thought away, determined to act respectable if that was what my husband required.

As for his costume—well, it really didn’t matter what Greg wore. He always looked devastating. He’d gone for a bookish style: a white shirt with thin blue stripes open at the throat under a corduroy jacket with, believe it or not, suede elbow patches. He must have scoured the thrift stores to find that relic, but it really fit the part. A slide rule case was strapped to his belt. Glasses with dark plastic frames sat on his nose. His black locks were deliberately mussed.

His clothes didn’t really matter, though. What made his costume convincing was his serious, even severe expression—his aura of total authority. No one could look at him without immediately understanding that he was in charge.

To complete the role, he carried one of those wooden pointers that I remembered from my mother’s photos of her sixth grade classes, at least a yard long and perhaps half an inch in diameter.
That must be practically an antique,” I commented in the cab.

A classic instrument of correction,” he replied. “Passed down through the family. My father used this on my brother and me when we needed to be punished.”

Hmm. Why is it that I seem to associate Halloween and kink?

Maybe it’s because, for me, D/s partakes of the same sort of magic.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Aboveground Filth

by Jean Roberta

According to the Urban Dictionary, “splosh” as a sexual fetish means this:

Noun: a sexual/sensual food party, in which participants cover each other in foods of different tastes, textures, and temperatures. Eating the food off each other is optional. Nudity and sexual interactions often follow. Other common usages are the present verb splosh and the present participle verb form sploshing.

"We were at this sploshing party and my friend got covered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream, then they had her sit on a birthday cake! She really loved it!"

Remember my discussion of drama in my previous post on the meaning of “obscene?” Even though, it seems, I was wrong about any connection between “scene” and “obscene,” conceptions of sexual “filth” have a lot to do with what can be shown or acted-out, and what else can only be imagined--although religious authorities have tried to censor that too.

When I first read about “splosh,” I realized that a splosh scene seems to require more than two people. To be as sploshy as possible, the scene should include an audience as well as several participants. It also seems to require the kind of room that could accommodate mud-wrestling: a place for that purpose, which is easily cleaned up, since food that isn’t eaten quickly becomes garbage. The sploshers would also need to be cleaned up later, which could be part of the fun: a group scene in the shower, then possibly the hot-tub.

I don’t really believe in a sexual subconscious which is impervious to cultural influence. Just as BDSM uses props and scenarios from disciplinary practices that were once fairly public and non-consensual (bondage and whipping in various institutions, including “mental asylums,” presumably done for the good of the victims as well as the observers), splosh has to come from somewhere in the culture at large. My guess would be that sploshing is fun because it allows adults to feel like messy kids who have escaped from their parents or nannies for the day. For a toddler, making a mess often means breaking parental rules. For an adult, having sex, especially in a public place—or representing it in publicly-available stories, films, artwork and performances--often means breaking cultural rules which are sometimes enforced by law.

There is a certain splosh tradition in comic theatre. Does anyone still remember TV programs starring the Three Stooges? They were three childlike men who were always making messes, and someone usually got a pie in the face. There is also the tradition of the “spit-take:” the reaction of someone with a mouth full of liquid to surprising news. (Example: when Sheldon Cooper on the TV show Big Bang Theory tells Penny that he and his friend Amy plan to have a baby someday so the world can benefit from their combined brilliance, Penny spews her coffee.)

While mainstream American comedy doesn’t explicitly associate making a mess with body fluids on the sheets (or wherever), there are sex-comedy traditions in other cultures. As Willsin mentioned, different cultures have different concepts of what shouldn’t be shown. The British tradition of the Christmas pantomime, advertised as “family” entertainment, usually includes double-entendres that are supposedly over the heads of children, plus a male actor in exaggerated drag, and various pratfalls.

Although I imagine real-life splosh scenes as sexual versions of pie-in-the-face comedy, when I tried writing a scene like this, I imagined a depressed person surrounded by the crumbs of take-out pizza, wearing the same clothes every day because she lacks the energy to either wash them or choose a different outfit. I imagined this person as female. Thus was born the fate-battered Ariadne, a modern-day descendant of a character in a Greek tragedy who is cast, at first against her will, in a comedy. Here is the opening scene:

"Let me in, girlfriend."

The sound of Zoe's voice assaulted Ariadne's ears where she sat in the funk of her misery. Dirty dishes covered her tables and counters, pungent clothing littered her floor. Her curtains were closed, leaving the apartment in perpetual gloom. "Go away."

"Come on, baby. I know you're not feeling good, but there is life after a breakup, you know? We've all gone through it. You need company." Silence. "Ari, come on. I don't want to stand here talking to you through the door. Do you want all your neighbors to hear this?"

A dark, swollen eye appeared at the peephole, then the thin wooden door was yanked open. Ariadne Megalopolous blocked the entrance, taking up space out of proportion to her girlish, fine-boned, high-breasted body. The smell of her sweat and her contempt for the world confronted the brisk assertiveness of her friend Zoe, who stepped back before she could stop herself.

Ariadne sneered like a damned soul, her white face framed in greasy black hair. She held onto the doorframe, slouching in a T-shirt and a pair of jeans so old and dirty that they held the shape of her ass and thighs even when she wasn't in them. Her presence was so intense that Zoe felt it in her clit.

Ariadne filled the silence. "What are you, Zoe, human Prozac? If you think you know how I'm supposed to feel, then fuck you."

For an instant, Zoe heard her say, "Fuck me." What a pleasure that would be.

“Okay, you wanta be a good Samaritan, you can come in and wash my – Jesus.” Ariadne had stepped far enough into the hallway to see Carter lurking a few feet away from Zoe.

Suzanne Carter, who preferred to be known by her last name, was wiry and wily. As an employee of Child Protection Services, she took bewildered, mistreated children away from their violent or distraught parents after warning the adults of the legal consequences of their behavior. Carter dreamed of being a secret agent for the federal government.

Carter grabbed Ariadne by the arm before she could slam the door on her two friends.

Zoe tried to soothe her with words. “Ari! We’re concerned about you. We just want to—“

“Help me get her inside,” grunted Carter.

As you might guess, Zoe and Carter (who both work as social workers, in different departments) play a good cop/bad cop routine with Ariadne, who gets cleaned up and sexually stimulated by her two friends. As you might know, the Ariadne in Greek mythology is able to find her way out of a maze with a monster in the centre by following a thread. In my story, “Ariadne’s Thread,” physical pleasure is the thread that leads Ariadne out of the maze of grief, pain, cynicism, and self-contempt. And she cleans up well.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this story is publicly available any more. It appeared first on the illustrated website “Ruthie’s Club” (now long-gone), then in my single-author collection, Each Has a Point, published by Love You Divine/Alterotica in 2011 before the company folded. When so many small companies in this business are unable to survive, who needs censorship?

Underground Filth

By Jean Roberta

OMG, I’ve been wrong for years about the original meaning of “obscene.” I used to think the concept of “obscenity” was connected with ancient Greek drama, and what could not be part of a scene, i.e. acted-out on stage. For the ancient Greeks, sex was okay (in fact, sex was hilarious, and was part of a comic tradition), but violence had to be described by a wailing chorus, not acted out. (The Big Three Greek tragedians, Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles, would have been horrified by Shakespeare’s tragedies, which all end with a corpse-strewn stage. In Shakespeare’s own time, the people in the first three rows would be sprayed with pig’s blood during the sword fights. This was part of the glamour of the theatre.)

I used to think the actual meaning of “obscene” shifted with each era and culture. I still think I was on the right general track, but I didn’t understand the root of the word until I looked it up.

“Obscene” apparently comes from two Latin words, a prefix meaning “to” or “towards,” and a root word, “caenum,” meaning filth. At one time, “obscene” apparently meant “inauspicious” or unlucky. This seems like a stretch, but there is some logic in it. If you accidentally step in dog poop or rotten food, you are definitely not lucky. The concept of filth has continued to be central in the ways the word is used. So whatever is considered dirty, literally or metaphorically, can be described as obscene.

On that note, Spouse and I used to have some obscene carpeting in our basement. In one corner, one old carpet had been placed atop another. Another side of the space was completely covered. When we first moved into our new home in December 1999, the carpets on the concrete floor made the place look cozier. I remember Spouse saying, “This looks like a room, not a basement.”

Fast-forward to October 2016, and the basement still looks like a storage space for junk, but the junk has shifted with my sporadic efforts to clean up and sort out. I have actually done a lot of work down there, but no matter how much I throw away, or load into boxes and bags and donate to a second-hand store, there is still stuff left that might be useful someday, to someone.

In my own defense, let me show you a sample of the junk: a huge amplifier in one corner, a leftover part of Older Stepson’s stash that he stored with us years ago, after he moved back to the prairies from a port city where he was a minor rock star whose girlfriend left him for the drummer, a mess worthy of Rolling Stone magazine. Since then, Stepson has regrouped, now lives with a better girlfriend and her children, but he hasn’t said anything about the amplifier. Even still, I can guess what would happen if I quietly disposed of it: a complaint that he had drawn up a will leaving all his musical equipment to his stepchildren and their descendants, and how could I (not a trained sound tech like Stepson) possibly know the diff between broken-down equipment and a collector's item?

But I digress. Months ago, I decided the carpets (at least) had to go, so I armed myself with rubber gloves, an industrial mask, and a carpet-cutting tool that looks like a scimitar. The carpets were too big for me to haul upstairs and out the door by myself, and my two stepsons’ vague offers to help didn’t have deadlines attached to them.

On Canadian Thanksgiving, our “family” (mostly the family of our friend Sue, her four grown children, their kids and Significant Others, plus whoever we knew who wasn’t otherwise committed) was invited to our house. There were two babies, two preschoolers, and approximately twenty adults in three age-groups.

As we prepared, Spouse complained that she could smell the basement, and that the vapours from below were competing obnoxiously with the aroma of roasting turkey. So I descended with my tools, and sawed away until I had strips of carpet that I carried to the wheeled garbage bins in the lane that our city government brought out a few years ago. (Most of us residents hate them, but we have to wrestle with them.)

Getting that stuff out of the house was a great relief. Pets of ours who are no longer living (as well as the current pack) had clearly enjoyed the softness of carpeting on their bums as they had peed and pooped there. Generations of flies had laid their eggs in the mess. Even though the mask made it hard for me to breathe while I was working, I think it was necessary.

Those carpets were so filthy that doing anything “obscene” on them (in the usual sense) would have been unthinkable, at least to those of us who live here.

Who would really associate sex with garbage, mess or rot? Censors would. But sex can also be associated with messes in a way that seems appealing. Stay tuned for Part Two of this post.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

How Obscenity Gave Me Comfort

By Annabeth Leong

I told you the short version of this story before, by way of introducing myself. I told you about the erotica that really matters to me, the stuff I keep on my shelves and have carried with me for years. Among that collection is Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye, an obscene little novella that’s one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read.

I bought it during a trip to San Francisco, at the historic bookstore City Lights, which incidentally happens to be the publisher of the edition as well. The back promised “a legendary shocker that uncovers the dark side of the erotic by means of forbidden, obsessive fantasies of excess and sexual extremes.” I binged and purged sexual desire at the time, going on sprees of reading the darkest stuff I could find and then repenting and getting rid of all of it. I bought the book and brought it back to the hotel room I was sharing.

One of the early scenes is of the beautiful Simone, in a black pinafore and black silk stockings and no apparent underwear, sitting in a saucer of milk for the narrator’s titillation (“Milk is for the pussy, isn’t it?” she asks).

Bataille writes:

I lay down at her feet without her stirring, and for the first time, I saw her “pink and dark” flesh cooling in the white milk. We remained motionless, on and on, both of us equally overwhelmed… Suddenly, she got up, and I saw the milk dripping down her thighs to the stockings.

Okay, that’s hot. I’m pretty sure I masturbated the first time I read those words. Pretty much every time my roommate was gone that weekend, I was sneaking pages from Story of the Eye and touching myself.

Back then, I’d been poisoned by those Victorian style narratives, the ones that suggested sex was a slippery slope of depravity. First you lost your virginity, then you got in with the wrong crowd, then you started trying perverse things like homosexuality and sadomasochism, and before you knew it, you’d plunged yourself into an unfathomable sea of madness and debauchery, never to return to respectability again.

A little always led to a lot. One depraved thing would soon lead to something more depraved. Greater sensation replaced lesser sensation. Did it give you a thrill to have your wrists tied with silken cords? Well, guess what, sweetie: soon you’ll be letting someone choke you to death while fucking you in the ass, and how’s that going to look in the papers the next morning, hmmm?

I’d had some experiences that seemed to corroborate this viewpoint. There is a trembling thrill to a first time of any sort, and as long as I was chasing those, there did seem to be no limit.

I’d had a relationship that scared me, one in which I kept getting talked into more and more things I didn’t feel sure about, one that made me feel like a toy this person was intent on breaking. Because I kept having orgasms, he told me I must like what was happening. Because, even years later, I kept having orgasms thinking about it, I thought something essential had been corrupted in me and I was forever in danger of running dark and wild to eventual ruin if I ever let myself out of my self-imposed cage.

I expected that sort of thrill from Story of the Eye. I figured it would all hit me with the dark desire to actually do all the stuff I was reading about. And things certainly escalate from that initial relative innocence, to what I can only call extreme depravity.

By the end of the book, Simone and two of her lovers are kidnapping a priest out of a confessional and raping him while strangling him to death. Simone, who appears to be completely amoral, decides she wants his eye, and she has one of her lovers run it over her body while she’s fucking the other, and eventually inserts it into herself.

I’m going to be completely honest here and say there are things about that scene that turn me on. There are also things about it that horrify me to the core. I am and always have been a hundred percent clear that I would never want to do that in real life. But I’m pretty sure I masturbated to it as well.

This is important for anyone involved with erotica, or indeed sexuality, to know: thinking and doing are different things. In the Bible, Jesus warns, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Maybe so, but I think it’s vital to distinguish between whatever that is and actually taking the action.

Story of the Eye was what showed me I did have limits. There are and were mechanisms inside myself that would stop me naturally from going forward with certain sorts of sexual depravity. For example: I don’t actually want to hurt anyone else (non-consensually). What’s more, I discovered limits in my mind (thoughts that make me uncomfortable rather than turning me on). While they go farther than the limits of my behavior, they still represent a horizon.

All that made me feel safer. It gave me comfort, and made me feel less helpless.

I think a lot of people try to shut off obscenity, as if it will necessarily have a corrupting influence. But I think it can be good to see that there is a horizon beyond which one will not sail.

I can’t tell you how good it felt to know that at least one person, Georges Bataille, could go farther in thought than I ever would. It’s a grandiose thing to think one’s own debaucheries are the most monstrous possible, but at dark times, before I knew enough about the world, I believed it.

In an afterword to Story of the Eye, Bataille has some interesting things to say about obscenity. He refers to “a profound region of my mind, where certain images coincide, the elementary ones, the completely obscene ones, i.e., the most scandalous, precisely those on which the conscious floats indefinitely, unable to endure them without an explosion or aberration.” Later he calls this the “breaking point of the conscious or, if you will, the favorite place of sexual deviation.”

It really interests me to think of obscenity as the “breaking point of the conscious.” That explains why we all have different definitions of what it is, and it also describes its value. I think, if one can bear to, it’s a good thing to find one’s own breaking points and probe their nature. It helps to know what it’s like at the edges of oneself, to feel defined by those spots, exhilarated by them if that’s what happens, and ultimately less vulnerable from the knowing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


 by Daddy X

It isn’t difficult to write a story that would be deemed obscene. Whether romance or erotica, we’re bound to offend someone. There are those who think sex shouldn’t be written about at all. Or taught about, or explained, or talked about or thought about. Or indulged in any way simply for pleasure. There are people who believe sex is for procreation only and that we should repress or at least be ashamed of our natural urges. That we should believe a perfect God, in creating His masterpiece, made something unacceptable to do with His alleged masterpiece. Something to be covered up. An embarrassment. Hence the fig leaf in the garden. We have to wonder if sexuality was God’s intention or a grave mistake. Is this God a sadistic trickster? Either that or a ham-fisted fuck-up.

In parts of the world, it has become tradition to mutilate the female body to mold basic humanity into something perceived more acceptable—and then presented as dogma. Like their all-powerful, all-knowing God couldn’t quite get it right.

Of course, the woman is then relegated to an incidental means, a subordinate receptacle for male desire and vehicle of reproduction— an unfeeling, ignored, debased partner in an act that should ideally be reciprocal. Revile a woman’s gratification. Make female orgasm impossible. That’s the real obscenity. How male dominated religion and custom has bastardized our natural way of being.

Okay. Sorry. Got a little carried away ranty. That last bit wasn’t going to be part of this post. But what’s been said should be said more often, at least until this line of thinking evolves into regretful history. So it stays in. The recent backslide toward more fundamentalist (read fabricated, coerced, unrealistic, unsubstantiated) thinking could set humankind back ages.


Whew! Got that out. After that diversion, let’s move on to the original gist of this post. Obscenity. How writers shape the acceptable from the unacceptable. Which is a big part of what authors do, whether we write about sex, murder, kidnapping, cowboys, aliens, vampires or corporate raiders. Bad guys and good guys. And women of all persuasions.

In fact, I often use such criteria when assessing elements of an erotic book: Did it accomplish the job the author intended, even if I am not personally aroused by the sex? (boner?) How close would this come to a mainstream work meant for the erotica-novice? (Eeek!) Could this pass in ‘mixed’ company? (Whatever that means any more, but we’re talking sheer numbers here. Readers.). Could this piece convert a prude to a devotee? Does it arouse while it informs?

Of course we’re not attempting to change any of the constipated minds referred to in the beginning of this post. But what about mainstream, intellegent folk? Can ordinary readers’ preconceptions be manipulated if not fundamentally changed by our delivery?

Why did “Shades” do so well? Did it dumb down or simplify a phenomenon? Did it expose to fresh air a lifestyle that’s historically been kept behind doors, giving it a shot at a breath of life?  Would the kink hold its appeal for a large swath of the population? Even without the cultural forces lined up against it? Rebelling against convention has its own seductions.

Did “Shades” represent the real deal? What percentage of readers were convinced? Did it minimize the authenticity of those in the lifestyle?

Finally, how did James accomplish what she did literarily? Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t read much of “Shades”. Didn’t hold my interest. Didn’t seem genuine, almost written for young adults. But, as one of the editors at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, I’ve read a fair amount of erotica. Perhaps to uninitiated readers, what I find arousing would put others running from the room.

Still and all, James sold a lot of books. Was it a case of the content having universal appeal? Timing? Some have suggested the success was due only to James’ promotional prowess.

Or did she shape the prose of the story, a perceived obscenity, rendering it acceptable to a greater reading public?  

Could be the answer to popularity is—whether or not we are able to make the ‘obscene’ not so.

It is, at least, an admirable goal.