Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Smells of the Time

by Jean Roberta

Here is the description of a historical novel that I picked up several years ago from the ever-changing pile of used books in the hallway of the English Department. All of us who teach there leave our leftovers out for anyone to take.

Perfume, the Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind (Random House, 2001).

In the slums of 18th-century Paris a baby is born and abandoned, passed over to monks as a charity case. But the monks can find no one to care for the child-he is too demanding, and he doesn't smell the way a baby should smell. In fact, he has no scent at all. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille clings to life with an iron will, growing into a dark and sinister young man who, although he has no scent of his own, possesses an incomparable sense of smell. Never having known human kindness, Grenouille lives only to decipher the odors around him, the complex swirl of smells-ashes and leather, rancid cheese and fresh-baked bread-that is Paris. He apprentices himself to a perfumer, and quickly masters the ancient art of mixing flowers, herbs, and oils. Then one day he catches a faint whiff of something so exquisite he is determined to capture it. Obsessed, Grenouille follows the scent until he locates its source-a beautiful young virgin on the brink of womanhood. As his demented quest to create the "ultimate perfume" leads him to murder, we are caught up in a rising storm of terror until his final triumph explodes in all of its horrifying consequences. Told with dazzling narrative brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of unnatural passion and sensual depravity.

I was not impressed that, as usual, the supposedly fascinating anti-hero finds a reason to kill young women. What did they expect, smelling like flowers in a time and a place where that was certainly not the norm?

I put the dog-eared paperback in the hallway again, and it disappeared soon afterward. The book itself had been circulating long enough to acquire a faint smell.

Beau Brummel, a real-life English dandy of about the same period, apparently bragged that he didn’t have to wear perfume, like everyone else at the Court of King George, because he bathed every day. He was considered a fanatic.

This all brings me to my own history. I wasn’t alive in the 1700s, but nonetheless, I remember an Age of Smell. All the adults I knew were smokers, and the smell of stale smoke permeated their clothes and their houses, including the ones where I lived with my parents. In a time when most houses had bathtubs but no showers, I was expected to take a bath once a week. That was probably enough for me before I reached puberty, but I had the impression that adults didn’t see a need to bathe more often than that. After all, they had aftershave, perfume, various skin and hair products to mask their body odor. All this stuff mixed into a complicated aroma.

Apparently no one was allergic to anything in the 1950s and 60s. Little bottles of cologne were popular holiday and birthday gifts even for girls, and all the women I knew trailed sweet (usually cloying) smells behind them.

I felt somewhat like the speaker of the following poem by a popular American poet with a name that sounded like a joke, William Carlos Williams. (He died in 1963.)


Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed
nose of mine! what will you not be smelling?
What tactless asses we are, you and I, boney nose,
always indiscriminate, always unashamed,
and now it is the souring flowers of the bedraggled
poplars: a festering pulp on the wet earth
beneath them. With what deep thirst
we quicken our desires
to that rank odor of a passing springtime!
Can you not be decent? Can you not reserve your ardors
for something less unlovely? What girl will care
for us, do you think, if we continue in these ways?
Must you taste everything? Must you know everything?
Must you have a part in everything?

Well, duh. Noses smell because it’s their job.

By the time I came out as a lesbian in the 1980s, the smell of the masses seemed to have receded. When apartment-hunting, I noticed that washrooms in newer buildings often contained utilitarian showers, but no bathtubs. It seemed as if there had been a quiet revolution in cleanliness. Even relatively poor, single adults had the means to shower every day, and my first woman lover was shocked that I didn’t. I smelled the coffee, so to speak, and joined the trend.

I was delighted to learn that pussy (or cunt, snatch, whatever word seemed both acceptable and sexy in the moment) always has a certain bouquet, even when its owner is squeaky-clean. Arousal intensifies the scent.

Maybe it’s because I came from an era when I couldn’t afford to be too sensitive to the smells of other bodies that I never smelled a pussy I didn’t like. I did notice, however, that no two smelled exactly alike.

Xena, as I’ll call her, had the most unusual smell and taste of any woman I had met so far. She tasted sweet, and the scent between her legs was like a preview of the dessert to come. Her body, at least, seemed healthy and innocent, even though she drank like a fish and had an alarming temper.

When she left me for a woman I had introduced her to, I felt both disappointed and humiliated. Under those feelings, like a subtle smell, I felt relief and hope, as though I had been spared to enjoy my own (and my young daughter’s) company until I could find someone more compatible with us both.

Years later, I read that body fluids that smell and taste sweet are a bad sign, much like sweetness in tofu that has been left out of the fridge too long. (It’s made from beans. They’re not supposed to smell like fruit.) The sweetness I smelled and tasted inside Xena was probably the sign of a blood sugar imbalance.

Yoy. While too many of the gay men I knew were picking up HIV in the 1980s, the dykes were suffering the consequences of uncontrolled drinking: weight gain, diabetes, serious injuries (in some cases, death) from vehicle accidents on ice in a prairie winter.

I’ve heard that Xena is still alive in another town, though I haven’t seen her for years. I hope her health is good, especially since it would now be completely inappropriate for me to check out her most intimate smell, knowing more than I did when we were an item.

It’s probably just as well that I enjoyed any womanly smell that wasn’t downright rancid.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Scent of My Woman #lesbian #erotica

I'm going to tell you an aromatic story, but before I do I want you to know I'll be announcing big news on October 1st. Be the first to find out by signing up to my newsletter:

...and now this...

Scent of My Woman
by Giselle Renarde

She knew I’d get antsy without her, but my Monique is a clever woman. While packing her suitcase for the Ottawa conference, she dug out one of those lacy white old-lady hankies from her sock drawer and sprayed it with perfume.

“To help you remember me,” she said.

I sniffed it before her signature scent had dissipated, and my throat burned.

“But this only smells like your perfume,” I told her. My throat was on fire. “It doesn’t smell like you.”

She raised an eyebrow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

My eyes were watering, and I sputtered but I managed to speak. “You don’t smell exclusively like your perfume. You smell like your makeup and your shampoo and the oils of your skin. It’s a combination of scents that all come together to create Fragrance de Monique.”

“Fine.” She plucked the hanky from my hand and ran it through her dark hair, down her jaw line and her neck. Pulling up her satin camisole, she used her chin to hold the hemline against her neck while she swept the square of lacy fabric between those big breasts. I knew my mouth would blissfully visit and revisit them until her departure.

Then it was down, down her belly, never ceasing until she’d reached my other favourite site. Monique shoved the hanky between her thighs, out of view, and rubbed. I watched her smooth forearm moving gently where it disappeared inside the satin bottoms that matched her camisole. Her hand became a rocking bulge inside those satin pants, urging her forward as she leaned her ass against the bed.

Mesmerized and utterly aroused, I bowed to her tits until my mouth met that tender flesh. Her nipples were dark, hard buds that tickled my tongue. I traced one before moving to the next. I barely touched her with my hands, except to rest the tips of my fingers against her sides. Her skin felt smoother than butter. The thought of Monique coated in a thick drizzle of the stuff made me moan. I sucked her harder, persuading more of that big brown breast into my mouth. Her body was my altar and she was my idol.

I knew her eyes were closed now. I could hear her panting above me, like a puppy begging for treats. The scent of Monique’s cunt pervaded, though it mingled proudly with her perfume.

Despite the throb of my pussy against my plain white cotton panties, I didn’t reach down. I didn’t feel for the wetness building up inside my body and ready to lubricate the friction between my fingers and clit.

Tonight was all about my girl, her pleasure. I wanted her to remember who she'd be coming home to. When she returned, it would be to the greatest of sensual delights.

She got quiet when she came.

Monique had always been that way, at least for as long as I’d known her. Her whimpers grew softer and softer the more her body trembled, until I couldn’t hear her anymore. I licked her tits, even as they bounced and heaved and got away from me. My tongue chased those gorgeous nipples, capturing one, capturing the other, sucking until it hurt and she pushed my head away.

Leaning against the dresser, I watched Monique tremble. Her chemise fluttered to cover her belly when she threw her head back. Though her shoulders moved up and down and her chest expanded with each breath, she made no noise that I could hear. Her hand was still in her pants when she looked up at me and smiled sheepishly.

“There,” she said, bringing the lace hanky from between her thighs. “Now it smells like all of me.”

Monique left Wednesday night. Thursday morning, I was already craving her presence the way I crave chocolate and potato chips. I’d slept with her hanky underneath my pillow. Before getting out of bed, I set Monique’s white lace like a shroud over my face and breathed deep the scent. My whole body trembled with momentary renewal.

She was there with me, floating on the air in my lungs. My body was rendered orgasmic by her scent, and I caressed my breasts with the fragrant fabric. That hanky was Monique’s smooth hands tracing down my belly and rattling my thighs.

“Monique,” I whimpered as her aromatic tongue licked my pussy. “I miss you.”

I rubbed the scent of her cunt against mine. My clit was engorged after a night spent breathing in Monique’s strange perfumes, and it protruded rudely, deliberately, from between my pussy lips. The hanky had been dry, but now it was wet with the very idea of being with her again. Fragrant juices soaked my inner thighs, and the slickness nearly pushed me over the edge.

My fingers took over, and they showed no mercy. They wanted to get me off. How could I refuse? My hips bucked to meet my hand as I swept Monique’s hanky across my belly, my breasts, and finally over my face. My whole system was shocked by the strength of her aroma hidden in that innocent fabric. Monique was right there inside it, and that made me feel a little less lonely.

Alarm sounded, coffee perked, toast popped. Time to face the day alone. When I stepped into the office that morning, Sid made his usual pass by my desk and asked, “What’s that perfume you’re wearing?”

Without even looking at him, I said, “Fragrance de Monique.”

Giselle Renarde is an award-winning queer Canadian writer. Nominated Toronto’s Best Author in NOW Magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards, her fiction has appeared in well over 100 short story anthologies, including prestigious collections and Lambda Award-winners. Giselle's juicy novels include Anonymous, Nanny State, Cherry, Seven Kisses, and The Other Side of Ruth.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hound Dog Part 3: "Samson and Delilah": A story of olfactory pleasures

Lila, short for DeLilah, could tell almost to the hour when she was ovulating because she was even now experiencing something scientists, specifically male scientists, said wasn't possible.  Alone among primates, the female of the species Homo Sapiens was not supposed to experience estrus.  Women did not just go into maniacal sexual frenzy like your average chimpanzee.  Except, thought Lila, some of us.  Or something like it.
 She sat on the sofa in front of the television, in a loose Guns n Roses T shirt and jeans cut off right up to her butt.  She was vaguely watching Modern Family, irritable, bloated and daydreaming about penises.  If it were confined only to the penises of the male of the non-estrus species Homo sapiens, she might have a found a grain of normality, something she might tell herself was healthy goddess life energy - but this.  Damn.  It was humiliating.  She wanted to rub up against a tree.
Everything looked like a penis.  Everything was a penis. Popsicles. Bed posts.  Mop handles.  Toilet plunger handles.  Gear shifts.  She imagined Sophia Veraguas with a penis.  She imagined threesomes with each of the gay guys on the show.
 Samson somberly came into the room, sniffing the air.  The sable colored Great Dane was the great love of her first and so far only client.  Samson was the size of a small pony and totally the wrong dog for an urban brownstone condo.  He was intelligent and bored with the attitude of a spoiled aristocrat.  He sniffed the corners of the room where she had touched, the refrigerator, the furniture, licking his face and looking longingly out the bay window.  Finally, he positioned himself in front the 64 inch flat screen obliterating the view completely.
"Move," she growled.
Samson growled back. 
She gave up and reached for her purse.  She took out a bottle of cherry red nail polish and methodically began painting her toenails.  Samson watched her, bored, sniffing the air.  He ambled over, looking her in the eye defiantly, and sniffed her feet.  Watch it, dog."  She said.  "You'll get yourself high on that shit."
She was horny. 
Just plain horny as a toad.
Ready to fuck somebody up, down and sideways.  Fat guys, skinny guys, winners, losers, it didn’t matter.  Hey, even Samson had a great looking dick. For a dog.  Hung like a horse.  When dogs got their doggy boners, didn't some tiny little red thing pop out?  Was that like a little doggy clitoris?
"Doggy?", she whispered.  "Doggy want a boner?"
No,no,no,no.  I’ll be one of those weird human beings who gets referred to a sex therapist after they turn up in emergency with a dead gerbil up their ass, or a sawed off bed post up their twat.  Just stop.
Must have Cheetos.
Little yellow dick shaped cheesy goodness.
She stood up and went to her client's well-furnished kitchen.  She had hoped to have a kitchen like this herself someday.  Now she felt depressed as well as horny.
She had been a neighborhood baby sitter in high school, a kind of lost ritual for girl at her modest level of society.  She had been a chunky, bookish, small town southern girl, what Hannibal Lecter would have called a "rube".  She had grown up nervous, shy, and inept around boys.   Oddly, this made her more desirable to guys hunting for an easy and grateful lay.  That had made her turn tough and confident, shoving them off her belly like a wrestler, punching one stubborn guy in the balls to get her point across.  Over time, she refused to be pathetic.  Or to lie still.
She opened the fridge and it was full of thick erect phalluses.  Cucumbers.   Thick carrots.  Suggestively shaped kefir bottles.  Rows of artisan bratwurst, thickly veined and tied off with weird dangly little foreskins.
Fuck me, Lila, whispered the bratwurst.  You know you want to.
She closed the door, breathing hard.
Cheetos.  They might fuck with your health but not your head.
She opened the fridge.  She stared at a particularly dark, hand tied bratwurst with visions of Barrack Obama.
C’mon girl, her friend Moira's voice whispered in her head.  Even rich country club pricks like these don't keep Cheetos in the refrigerator.
But I'm here, said the bratwurst.  I want to be inside you.  Now.  Spread your legs, let me in.  So thick.  So cool and dreamy, between your legs. Or in your ass. In.  Out.  In.  Out.  The meat slides in.  The meat slides out.  The meat slides in. I'm so meaty for you. Take me. Fuck me, Lila. Who's gonna know? Stuff me right up your gorgeous southern cunt. 
Cheetos? She whimpered.  Please God.
She closed the door.  Her panties felt a spot of wetness. She stepped her legs apart.  This was getting insane.
"Help yourself to anything," said her client, Mrs. Carmody, her first and only client.  The one she would rely on for ecstatic future references.  They never really meant it, but it was part of the baby sitter ritual, even when it was a dog.  She began opening the cabinets, hunting.  A bag of Cheetos, a lil' ol bag of lil’ ol’ Cheetos, the opium of the Proletariat, would be forgiven, surely even by the wealthy donor class.  She sighed. 
There would be no Cheetos tonight.
She felt the weight of cultural reality sink on her, crushing her hopes.  She had been defeated by yoga.  This client, yoga slimmed, Avocado toasted, Mediterranean dieted, with her righteously organic fair trade Shiraz, her body carefully crafted to elicit the maximum male gaze, a woman like that doesn't go around scarfing fistfuls of Cheetos like a peasant.  Under employed, horny losers eat Cheetos.  Like me, she thought.
There - there on the lower shelf of one promising cabinet among a variety of artisan pickles in faux mason jars, was a plastic jar of good old Biscoff spread.  Chunky style.  How the hell did that get here?  Waiting for her, of course. Oh, Biscoff will do.  And it won't try to fuck me after dinner.
She skipped the bread and hunted in the drawer for a spoon. 

She took the Biscoff and the spoon and sank onto the sofa, sprawled, splayed her legs wide wallowing and resigned to a kind of blissful, trailer trash sluttiness.  She unscrewed the jar and put her nose in, breathing the homey, grandma scent of cinnamon and spice and everything nice. The smell of airline cookies, she thought.  If this were mine, which it isn't, I'd stir a big gob of honey in it, and maybe bananas and gobble it down.  But that would be too much.  I might be allowed, low rent as I am, to steal a little from the jar, as long as no one finds my personal germs in there, but mixing it with honey would be an act of defiance.  A revolutionary overstepping of boundaries.  Yes, I put honey in your Biscoff, motherfucker, up against the wall Imperialist oppressor of the working class.
Samson was coming over, his nose raised alertly.  He moved boldly between her splayed thighs, his nose searching.
"You gotta be kidding me," she said.  "Peanut butter?  Really?"  Before she could jerk her hand away, his tongue, a long rough tongue, was all over her spoon.
Shit.  Dog cooties. Someone had told her once, feeding chocolate to a dog would kill it.  What would Biscoff do?
Samson didn't seem to care.  He placed a fore paw on the sofa which sagged deep under his weight, tipping her into him.  He sniffed her.  He sniffed her breasts, licked her face.  Sniffed her face.  She pushed him gently away and he snorted, which she had never heard a dog do.  He hiked up and smelled her ear and for a moment she felt terrified and thrilled as if a bear had broken into her camping tent looking for food.
Samson got down and sniffed her thigh.  Then her inner thigh.  Then -
She tried to close her legs, but his nose was already in there, sniffing at the crotch of her cut off shorts.  Pressing his nose against her.  Getting it in there.
“Okay - okay!  Wrong species, if only you were a guy.”  She pushed him back by the shoulders.  He moved down and looked her eye to eye beseechingly.
Would she get a chance like this again?  But was this pathetic or what?  But still.  Yes, she thought.  No one knows if you don't tell 'em so.  C'mere baby.
She unfastened the brass button of the cut off jeans and pulled them off, dropped them to the floor.  Her worn pink panties felt the breeze against the now much larger wet spot there.  Samson shoved his face eagerly between her legs, licking at the wetness, spreading it.  "Samson," she moaned.  "You got talent."
She put a finger in the Biscoff jar, looked around guiltily, listened for the door, nothing, and lifted a gob onto her finger tip.  "Chunky style," she whispered to Samson who lifted his head to notice.  "Wait for it."  She pulled back the edge of her panties, exposing her wet vulva and smeared the brown goo all around her clitoris and glistening lips.  "There you go, boy.  Help yourself."
Samson's tongue sent electric shocks through her.  He was perfect.  He was ravenous in a way men never were.  This was news.  This was a discovery.  She put another gob there.
Goddamn, he was really getting to her. 
From the fridge, the Viennese Bratwurst, crafted by meticulous Germans called her name.  She staggered up, ignoring the dog and went to the kitchen.  "Fuck it," she said out loud.  "I mean, just fuck it.  A girl’s gotta have it too."  The bratwurst in the fridge was even bigger now than she remembered it.  Surely this was fate.  She thought of her fantasy lover “Big Boy”, a big German lug, a strong ass that went halfway up his back, and Olympic thighs that could crack walnuts.  Laying on a bed with his thick bratwurst standing up.  Look at me, Fraulein, he said.  Look at me.
She Removed the plastic wrapping carefully, untangling it, not tearing it, if she put it back just like it was, she might get away with hiding this little affair. 
If the sausage didn't survive what was to come, She could always say Samson was hungry.  It would show caring and enterprise.
She sat back on the sofa, slipped off her panties and stuffed them under a sofa cushion.  She spread her legs and daintily slipped the bratwurst in.  For a moment the cold meat touching her swollen clit made her jump.  And then it turned her on. Cold, like being fucked by vampire might be.  She moved it in deeper, first an inch, then two inches until she felt it tapping at her G spot.  Not too far in, she didn't want this thing coming apart in her cunt. 
She squeezed her thighs together gently around the slick meat and   .  .  . moved it.  Let it move her.  Like sawing a bow across a viola string, sending vibrations through her very loins.  C’mon, big boy.  You want it, big boy?  You want it?  You like it like this?  You like it.  You want it.  C’mon Big Boy, fuck like you want it.  Fuck like you mean it, Big Boy, fuck like you mean it, goddamn you, move your ass. C’mon Big Boy.  Don’t come till I tell you.  Don't you come. Don’t you dare come.  Just do me Do me do me.
And then Samson was there.
"No!" she said sharply.  But Samson was there, and he had smelled the meat.  "Not yours!" she said, holding it behind her back.
But Samson didn’t want the sausage.
He wanted her.
He rammed his nose between her legs, inhaling the meaty grease and the smell of a female in deep heat.
He licked.  He nosed and nuzzled and licked.  And the more he licked, the more she felt the lightning bursting in her loins.  She bent forward, scratching and tugging at the Dane's shoulders.  "You fuck," she husked.  "You big sexy pussy licking fuck."
She came hard in the dog’s face which drove him wild.  She saw squirming stars and for a moment the room seemed to turn gray in rhythm to the hard throbbing of release.  As she tightened her body against his muzzle, the dog whined and withdrew, but it was enough.  She held out the sausage. He seized it in his mouth and moved away to gobble it on the carpet.  She sat breathing hard.  "There’s a good boy," she whispered.  “who’s a good boy . . . you’re a good boy.”
"Is that my sausage?" said a voice behind her.
Mrs. Carmody stood by the sofa with a Christian Dior trench coat on her arm.
Lila looked around wildly for her clothes.  Fuck no.  Busted.
"It’s not what it looks like," she said and then realized her confession, being exactly what it looked like.
"I'm glad to see you two getting along so well," said Mrs Carmody.
Samson finished the bratwurst, licked his face and came over.  He put his huge head on Lila's knee.
"Well, look at you two," said Mrs. Carmody. 
"I'm sorry – it’ll never happen – "
"Are you available next week?"
"I have to be in the Hampton's next week for five days.  I'll pay you triple.  Would that do?"
"I think. I guess.  Okay. Sure.  Definitely."
"You know, he doesn't really like people.  You're the sixth dog sitter I've had and they were all terrified of him.  But you seem to have hit it off on a, uh, rather deep level."  She smiled.  "I will definitely recommend you."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Scent of Nostalgia – or boiled cabbage

Ah, the power of scent, of aroma, of a heady, remembered fragrance to transport us to another time and place….

Of all the senses, smell is perhaps the most under-rated but without doubt one of the most evocative, a fact not lost on the majority of erotica writers. Of course, when writing a sexy scene, we mention the way things look, and of course the way they feel. Sound, perhaps, apart from a spot of honest-to-goodness dirty talk, is not always the most erotic of sensations and is one I tend to think best left to the reader’s imagination. But the heady, musky fragrances, tangy flavours and salty tastes of body fluids exuded in the throes of delicious lust, now all of those roll freely from the pen to help build the moment.

And we smutty authors are not the only ones to recognize the commercial value of olfactory pleasures. How many of us, when trying to sell our house, would not resort to introducing the scent of freshly brewed coffee or even more alluring, new baked bread? Not many of us, I reckon. And why not? All’s fair in love and real estate. Supermarkets do exactly the same thing, pumping the homely, comforting odours of wholesome baked goods into the aisles to get us to park our trolleys and buy squishy bread, still warm from the ovens. And it works. We are led by our noses, first to the muffin counter, then to the checkout.

I can, occasionally, resist the bread counter, but my Waterloo is always the curry department. A few free samples, and I’m lost. I wheel my trolley out of there laden with enough pastes and sauces to feed a third world country. It’s fatal.

A while ago I had occasion to visit a prison. Not the usual, I-know-someone-who’s-inside sort of visit, but really in there, looking round the cells, chatting to prisoners - only those considered safe for the likes of me to associate with, naturally. Not the axe-murderers or violent thugs. I found myself enjoying a cup of tea and a chocolate hob-nob in a cell with a rather pleasant teenage drug-dealer… but I digress. Our little delegation wandered around, checking out the social facilities, the gym, the chapel, and we found ourselves in the exercise yard which just happened to be adjacent to the kitchen. "School dinners", my teenage dealer friend had called the yard. “It’s just like being in in the school hall. I used to like my school dinners, they were free.”

He was absolutely right. The smell of boiled cabbage wafted through the vents from the kitchens and pervaded the yard and it transported me right back to my own school days. I didn’t get free meals – my parents could afford to pay – but the rest was the same. For those few moments, it was as though I was really back there, queuing up for meat pie, mash and whatever vegetable they had on that day, though they all tasted the same. I could hear the chatter of other girls in the queue (I went to an all-girls school, which might be the subject of another post some day), and the clatter of utensils as two hundred hungry mouths wrapped themselves round that day’s offering. The food at my school was hot, it was tasty, and it was really rather nice. The lunchtime meal was a social experience because we were allocated tables to sit at and deliberately made to eat with girls from other classes and years who we would never otherwise meet. Most tables had a member of staff on too, and their role was to teach us good table manners and to be nice to each other. In general, it all worked and was a pleasant enough interlude, and the entire experience smelled of cabbage.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Faded Plaid Flannel (#FlashFiction #chemistry #olfactory)

Flannel image

By Lisabet Sarai

He’d left it behind when he moved out. Guess the old bathrobe became too ratty even for his casual tastes. She can’t look at it without seeing his wiry frame wrapped in the faded plaid flannel, crouched over his poetry at the kitchen table. Vodka on one side, smoldering cigarette on the other, close enough to touch, a million miles away.

She holds it to her face, breathing him in, sweat and tobacco, and underneath, that elusive musk that first hooked her. Addictive, intoxicating—in an instant she’s drunk with the astounding lust that first drew them together. Eyes closed, she relives their ecstatic frenzy, the clarity of pure connection. In bed they were one body, obscene and holy. She never cared what they did; every carnal act felt like a sacrament. The loss of him, of that glory, is a vast, black, aching wound in her chest.

He’d felt it, too. Inhaling her female perfume, he lost himself, drowned in her lushness. Scary. One reason— along with his wanderlust—that he’s gone.

Chemistry’s not the same as compatibility.

She stuffs the rag between her thighs. Eventually the flannel will smell only of her.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Lack of Packing

My family moved around a fair bit as I grew up. From a satellite city of Melbourne, to the mid-west suburbs of the same city. Across to Perth for a short while and back again. Up and out to the west of Sydney to build our "forever home"—a mud brick house on a small acreage block in order to be self-sufficient. Forever apparently lasts seven years.
As a young man, once I'd left the family home, I still moved around a fair bit. Probably five or six times with my wife (even before she was my wife).
Where we live now, though, we've lived since early 2002. Not only is this by far the longest time I've spent living in one place, it's also one of the smallest places I've lived ('s technically one of the largest places I've lived, city-wise).
The trouble with this is, I've never really learned what it means to stay put. When your life revolves around moving every few years, you tend to fall back on those moments as your "shedding" times. You're forced to evaluate every single item by whether it's worth the effort of wrapping, packing, transporting, unpacking, unwrapping and re-locating.
We've now lived in this teeny house for 15 and a bit years, during which we've accumulated a silly amount of stuff, including more family members. Our eldest son has spent every birthday from his third onward in this house. Our youngest was born while we lived here. The place is chock full o' memories.
And because we haven't moved in so long, it's chock full o' all kinds of nothingnesses. That state of being has made me realise something: our house is our packed suitcase.
It was only through thinking on this blog topic and forming some ideas that I came upon the truth. We're still living as if we're going to move soon. We don't have enough storage for all our things, but that hasn't made us commit to getting more storage, nor to getting fewer things. We simply assemble rough piles to be dealt with later. My belief is, that particular "later" is, subconsciously, existing in our minds as "when we move".
Our suburb is booming, which is awesome for our property value. So far, we're not being crowded out, and given we live within 10km of both the CBD of Brisbane AND the international airport, our house and our street are really rather quiet.
But while we absolutely adore where we live, it must be said that we do actually have a contingency plan. And it's rather similar to something I mentioned earlier.
While we don't wish to build a mud brick house (but wouldn't totally rule it out!), we're hankering for a life where dealing with tons of people is far more optional than it currently is. There are obstacles, of earnings are far too small to give my wife the option of quitting her job for one thing. Our special man has support workers and services he deals with which can't follow us on a move to a block of land out west (or whatever direction). Our youngest has only ever been at the one school and we don't wish to change that.
These are, however, only obstacles. Not roadblocks. Mrs Willsin always says she's happy to sell the house, as long as she can take our kitchen and gardens with us when we move. It's rather odd that we've put much more of a stamp on the outside of our house than we have on the inside.
So as soon as we can (which might be two years, it might be twenty), we're planning to pack every suitcase we have (and every garden bed, apparently) and escape the city. To live a life that's at least partially self-sufficient. Indulge our green thumbs and bonk in the afternoon sunlight.
You know...the important things.


Speaking of "chock-full", I have a story in a bundle which is releasing really soon! It's on pre-order now for 99¢ (RRP is $2.99) and it features all kinds of hot things from naughty folks. My story, "Living A Lie", is my first published MM romance. For full details, feel free to head on over to my personal blog, Willsin's World, to see a list of stories and authors, plus a blurb and excerpt from my naughty tale.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Packing a Suitcase Literally

Hi everyone!

Sorry to have been absent lately. I've missed you all!

The fact is, I've been literally packing and unpacking a suitcase(or suitcases). I had the chance to live in Denmark for a while this year, and it was as amazing as one might imagine. However, moving in and out was stressful, and moving back to the US has, frankly, made me sad.

One thing about packing and unpacking a lot is it's quite freeing. One realizes how little one actually needs. Of course, it doesn't work that way forever. Every time I've stayed in one place, I've slowly built up more and more necessary objects.

That said, my heart's a bit broken about what I couldn't pack. I feel like I left a lot of me there. It was the happiest and best I've felt in quite a while, and I'm sorry to have left it.

Anyway, this isn't a really proper post but I wanted to appear and say hello (please don't kick me out for absenteeism, friends!).

More soon, I hope, and a better (and sexier?) post for next time!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017


by Daddy X

The life I’ve been granted should ideally accomplish what was intended. My last post expounded on a basic philosophy exemplified by Clarence “Pine Top” Smith’s quote: “Use what you got, 'cause that’s all you get.” 

When I was a teenager, well before I had sex, I used to carry the ubiquitous condom to dry up in my wallet just to— be prepared— as the Boy Scouts say. It wasn’t until I actually began having sex that I realized the rubbers no longer lasted. I’d buy a 3-pack and they’d be gone that night. Wheeee!

Same with packing a suitcase. I tend to travel with lots of stuff because I wouldn’t want to miss out on any unexpected pleasure. So typical baggage would include a bathing suit, tent, fishing rods & tackle box, fishing hat, nice hat, camera, dress clothes, funky clothes, weed, magnifying glass, loupe and whatever else the destination might possibly call for.

I believe I was bestowed with an enhanced capacity for pleasure. My suitcase runneth over, so to speak. There are so many people who don’t seem to have that capacity, always looking for the down side. Consequently, they tend to lead sad lives.

It’s understood that our individual histories have a lot to do with difference in perspective, but my life hasn’t been a bowl of cherries either. In OGG posts over the years, I’ve mentioned the scars of illness that both Momma X and I have had to endure. She was sick for over a decade early on in her life, and some things never truly resolve, though they do become bearable. My problems came later in the form of cancer and subsequent liver transplant, followed by a triple bypass several years later. Just mentioning these things so the rest of this doesn’t sound overly lucky or privileged. I have the responsibility to use what I got these past 13 years because a young person died while I, the recipient of his liver, have the opportunity to go on living.

My approach to good food and drink is legendary among our friends. Once I’ve tasted a dish, I can identify the ingredients and how they were prepared. I’ve managed to not become terribly overweight, but do have to keep that aspect in mind. In one way or another we can use up those pleasure chips.

I used to be lots more fun. Sometimes too much fun. I liked booze. I liked the effect. I had a better time when I had a drink. Maybe I had an even better time than that—on two drinks. Not so with ten drinks. Or fourteen. A hard lesson to learn. That damn law of diminishing returns shows its ugly side with drugs too. Hence the liver transplant. No more drinking now. I’ve used up all my booze/hard drug chips.

Perhaps I’m afflicted by a version of Stendhal’s syndrome. I am physically affected by artistic form, depth and color. No, I’m not talking about erections per se, but it’s all part of the package. Or maybe part of the baggage?

At the supermarket, gym (Stairmaster) or on the street, there’ll be beautiful women to observe. At this age, I can find positive physical attributes in most women, so my observations aren’t necessarily any sort of quantification, but a too-late realization that there are admirable qualities in most women. This goes for inanimate objects too. I’m constantly breaking down landscapes, trees, clouds and buildings to their linear essentials, creating abstract visuals in my mind. Not the kind of guy likely to get bored.

I seem to enjoy trips to museums a whole lot more than most, though I do tire faster because after a while, the emotions evoked by art have a draining affect. Then my back starts to ache.

But the syndrome has served me well in the art and antiques trade. They say I have a “good eye.” It’s actually a passion. A passion I’m eternally grateful for. I see form in objects others don’t. I consciously recognize effects of art that function subliminally for most people.

I’ve always loved sex, another thing we’re meant to enjoy. I think I’ve enjoyed it more than most, at least still thinking about it at 73 frikkin’ years old. I know people who gave up the practice in their 30’s and 40’s, apparently happy about the outcome. What a waste.

Perhaps writing erotica has served to enhance and prolong that enjoyment for me, even though completing actual sex with another person is no longer an option.

In other words, I was born with a suitcase stuffed with a huge capacity for pleasure. Too many women, too much booze, too many beautiful things to see.

 Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Zen and the Art of Holiday Packing

Even as you read this I’m fresh back from a fortnight in Italy and busy unpacking my bulging case. The kitchen is dotted with piles of laundry, every flat surface littered with stuff to be put back in its right place.

A suitcase compresses all your essentials into one small space, temporarily, then sort of explodes. It disgorges all your worldly possessions in a formless heap which takes ages to disperse. I spend days after a holiday putting my life back to rights, but this is nothing compared to the time my SO spends packing his case.

It always seems to me that once you start your packing, life descends into chaos. Suddenly there are things I can’t use, things that must be ‘put away’ for the holiday. I have favourite clothes that mustn’t be dirtied because there may not be time to wash them before we go. Toiletries need to be planned, lined up and counted. The suitcase with its huge, yawning mouth, ever hungry, lurks on the landing, smacking its lips. It devours all my precious and useful bits and pieces not to be seen again until I arrive safely at wherever.

Given all the above, all my instincts scream that the suitcases should be left in the loft and the packing should be delayed until the last sensible moment. Obviously not the last minute, that’s just poor planning, but a ‘just in time’ policy seems to be called for.

My husband disagrees. He starts weeks before, thinking about his holiday wardrobe, gathering the stuff he wants to take and putting it aside, nice and safe and ready. He’ll ask me what shampoo I want to take, and of course I have no idea. We’re not leaving for a fortnight. Do I have a new toothbrush? I shrug. What about towels, for the beach or pool? More blank looks from me.

There is also, I gather, a correct way to actually place the items in the case. Towels go on the bottom, along with anything heavy. I can’t see the logic. Airport baggage handlers are no respecters of top and bottom, my case is as likely to find itself upside down as not. But this whole thing has become an industry. There are books written on the optimum approach to packing, folding, what to take, how to maximise space and minimize weight. It’s a science, or a dark art, and one which my husband understands and I just plain don’t.

We always fall out in the run-up to a holiday because our approaches are incompatible. He insists on getting everything ready well in advance and complains that I’m leaving all the work to him. He’s right, I am, because as far as I’m concerned that’s next week’s job and we all ought to concentrate on what matters now. Important matters, such as pre-scheduling Oh Get a Grip posts, for example.

He also has a near-obsessive fear of missing the plane. I agree, that would be a disaster, but traffic is what it is and as long as we set off in reasonable time what more can we do? We can set off even earlier, that’s what. The result? We spend literally hours perched on plastic airport chairs waiting for check in to open. By the time those suitcases trundle off on their little conveyor belt on their mysterious journey into the bowels of the airport I’m heartily sick of the sight of them.

My husband is a planner. As well as his meticulous and organized approach to preparation for the break, he likes to have the entire holiday mapped out, a timetable agreed for the various outings and activities. He’ll pre-book tickets (a thrifty habit, I know, but I can’t bring myself to want to think so far ahead), and he always has a healthy pile of Euros stashed weeks ahead. Given the recent nosedive in the conversion rate since Brexit I suppose that’s also a prudent move but I’m not going to say so. It’ll only encourage him to more and greater feats of forward planning.

Italy is gorgeous and I know we’ll have a fabulous time, but a part of me is looking forward to it all being over. By the time you read this, it will be. Travel broadens the mind and we can all do with a bit of that, but holidays are hard work. I think I’m going to need a lie down in a darkened room to get over it all.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Baggage Claim

Sacchi Green

Baggage. Luggage. Not much difference. Baggage would seem to refer to what you pack things in for travel, or possibly what you put into those bags-of-many-terms. Luggage is more evocative of what you have to lug around when you travel. Suitcases and portmanteaux suggest carefully folded formal or business garb. Steamer trunks (now archaic) indicate the same careful packing of a much larger wardrobe. Valises and satchels (also archaic) wouldn’t hold as much, while carry-alls and duffle bags of any size would hold whatever you could stuff into them, with no promise at all of neatness.

But there’s more to some of the various types of luggage than how well they serve for travel.

Carpet Bags (a type of valise presumably made of heavy carpet material, often with designs woven into them, possibly made from actual cut-up carpets) were the quick pick of Northern entrepreneurs (generally con-men) invading the defeated Southern states after the Civil War, looking for whatever economic or political swindles they could finagle. I don’t know whether they were all scoundrels, but the term “Carpet-bagger” certainly inferred that, and even now you might see it used when someone runs for office in a state where they don’t actually live, or have only moved to recently for that purpose.

I don’t know whether the French still use the term portmanteaux for the things they pack their clothes in, but the word has another, rather literary application: “a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (such as smog from smoke and fog.)” I can only guess that this use stretches the French meaning of "port" as “carry” to indicate a word that carries meanings from two words packed together into one. The English carry-all would serve just as well, or better, but it doesn’t have the elegance or panache of portmanteau.

Duffle bags are called by several other names now, but to me they have a military aura because I remember my dad’s big khaki bag from WWII. In Britain as far back as WWI the same things were called kit bags, leading to the wartime song, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag/And smile, smile, smile.”

And that brings me in my meandering way to what I really intended to write about. The intangible things that we pack up in our metaphorical old kit bags, the memories, traumas, misunderstandings, mistakes, guilt, phobias…all those influences that we bring with us from our pasts and call, sometimes, baggage, even though luggage might be the more logical term since we can’t avoid lugging them around. We tend not to include the good times in our concept of baggage, probably because those memories don’t weigh us down the way the bad and sad times do.

In fiction as in real life our psychological baggage plays a big part. A writer friend just went through a break-up with the third person she’s dated seriously since the death of her partner of twenty years, and now she attributes all of the relationship failures to the baggage she carries. That may well be true. I hope she does find happiness again. In fiction, though—romance, I’m looking straight at you--I wish authors wouldn’t rely so heavily on this trope. I also wish that they wouldn’t splatter their book’s blurbs so recklessly with question marks. “Will she ever overcome her tragic past?” “Will so-and-so and so-and-so be able to forget their ingrained fears and find happiness together?” Really, have any of you ever read a book with that kind of blurb where the answer turned out to be “no”?

We erotica authors aren’t quite as dependent on this means of dragging out the tension before the inevitable clinch, but we still need to approximate some level of realism in our characters’ relationships, and recognizing the baggage they carry is important to making those characters multi-dimensional and understanding their needs and actions.

Recognizing our own baggage is even more important. Everything we write comes from inside our minds, no matter how it gets there. We need a certain kind of empathy for our characters, whether its details come to us through personal experience, travel, observation, persuasive reading, or dozens of ways we can’t quite identify. I think of all these things we draw on for our writing as baggage of sorts, even the relatively happy bits. Maybe those especially. Some ideas we pack neatly, as in a suitcase, for instance items we research and study carefully in order to draw on them at will. More are crammed haphazardly into amorphous duffle bags and only retrieved by accident, or triggered by ideas that wander by, or certain sights, or scents. Sometimes I’m astounded by the bits of information and details that seem to come from nowhere and slide neatly into place in a story that I hadn’t realized needed them. They’re not coming from nowhere, they’re coming from some niche in my mind where they were stuffed away carelessly and forgotten until, suddenly, they were retrieved. Yes, my mind is an old duffle bag crammed full of random bits and pieces.

The ideas and information we accumulate from actual travel tend to fall into the suitcase category, willingly preserved mental souvenirs more valuable than most of the tangible artifacts we pack in among our shirts and underwear. Cameron’s post about his unexpected visits to war cemeteries reminded me of this. Whether or not we ever use these exact memories in our writing, they become a vital part of who we are, how we see the world and people in it. Even when the travel isn’t very extensive, it’s valuable, shifting our outlook for a while, maybe even lifting temporarily the burden of our other baggage.

Right now I’m about to pack up a suitcase, boxes, a cooler, and various other things to take home with me from a four-day mini-vacation in New Hampshire. On the whole my every-day baggage hasn’t receded much—the guilts, responsibilities, should-haves, might-haves, fears for the future—but as always there have been moments of release, of joy, like sitting on a rock in a mountain stream watching the flow of water over a multitude of kinds and colors of stones left behind by a long-ago glacier, or taking in the vast view from the top of the highest mountain in the Northeast. I realize once again how lucky I am in my suitcase memories, and how relatively light my baggage is after all.