By M. Christian
Okay, “love and lust” ... well, let’s take the last one first.
I’m lucky, I guess, that I don’t have a lot of sexual baggage. My parents had more than their fair share of faults … okay, a LOT more than their fair share of faults … but at least they spared me from the sexual guilt and religious shame a lot of other folks seem to have been saddled with.
Because of that lack of sexual Samsonite, I’ve always been very much in touch with my erotic identity: in short I know what I like and that’s okay with me. In many ways, especially considering the tiny corner of literature I’ve found myself working in, I’m a very simple sexual critter. Sure, I might write about queer bondage, lesbian domination, and all kinds of outrageous and outré fetishes and kinks for the straight folks, but when I turn off my versificator (look it up, it’s from Orwell’s 1984), switch off the lights, and head home, it’s to simple and sweet sexual fun.
Not that I’m dull, you understand. It’s just that compared to my writing life, my nighttime antics might disappoint the two people who read my erotic stories. No whips, no chains, no safe words, no leather, no latex, no appliances, no lingerie (at least not for me), no feathers, no personas, no spikes, no pudding … no kidding.
Sure, I have a few interesting quirks. Part of the reason I think I sympathize so much with queer life is that while I’m comfortably heterosexual, the object of my desire is not exactly common.
In short, I like chubby girls. Not that they’re the only kind of women I like, the only kind of girl who can get me excited, but I do have a preference for a zaftig partner. Okay, that’s not the same as being gay or lesbian but when steaming-with-testosterone-straight-guys happen to walk into my life, and sex comes up, I feel very much like I might as well be gay.
In some ways I wish I did feel shame or guilt about my sexual side, instead of that touch of isolation. Many of my friends with sexual suitcases seem to use it somehow to spice up their erotic antics.
If there’s a darkness to my erotic self, it’s that it didn’t come to life until very late in my life. I lost my virginity to a prostitute (in London of all places) when I was 23 but didn’t have my first true girlfriend until I was almost 28. Luckily I’ve made up for lost time since then. With my ex-wife, I dipped my toes into all kinds of very kinky pools, which gave me some details to add to my smut writing, and also reinforced that while I’ve tried my hand (and other body parts) at cross- dressing, bondage, piercing, polyamory, S/M, BD, D&S, and all kinds of other pervy acronyms, I’m still basically happy with earnest, passionate, heterosexual sex.
So that’s lust. “What about love?” you may ask. Well, here’s where it’s different for me. I love my mother; love my father’s memory; love my brother; I thought I loved my ex-wife; and I absolutely, positively, totally love Jill -- the lady I’ve waited all my life for. I’ve cried for love, ached for love, done stupid things for love – the usual orchestra of emotion that comes when you care deeply, passionately, about someone.
But then there’s the difference, the thing that’s made pretty much all of my life emotionally painful. See, I love a lot of people – friends, lovers, partners, even fellow writers (if you can believe that) -- but there’s someone I can’t seem to love; someone I’ve known for close to 50 years, someone I blame for everything bad that’s ever happened to me, someone I curse with keeping me from success and true happiness, someone I wish would just go away.
His name is Chris. He’s me.
The clinical term is chronic depression but what it means to me is while I have no problem telling a roomful of people, or a blog full of readers, that I like to fool around with BBWs, that I’ve worn frilly pink dresses, gone to sex parties, had my back cut with a scalpel, performed in porn films, and written a lot of very strange erotic stories; that I love my lady, Jill, with all my heart; that I adore my brother, Sam; cherish my mother; and that I’ll go way out of my way to help people who have been kind to me; I’ve never loved myself.
I have meds, I’ve gone to therapy, I’ve talked it over with doctors and even discussed it with religious folks (I’m an atheist) but so far nothing’s worked. No matter how many times I hear it from other people I still don’t feel anything but pain and sadness when I think about myself.
Maybe because there’s no darkness in my sexual side, there
has to be more than a little shade in love, especially in self-love.
But, as I said, so far nothing’s worked – the emphasis is on “so far.” Despite the pain, the leaden weight of low self-worth, I keep trying to get through the depression. I have wonderful people in my life who are there for me, and who hold my hand and whisper the magic words of “It’ll be okay.” I have a few bright lights that shine through the murk of being a struggling writer – which is (sarcasm) the perfect avocation for a depressive.
Some day, I hope, I’ll be able to put out a hand and have it taken by that person I feel is to blame for everything bad that’s ever happened to me, the person I'm convinced that no one can ever love, the one nobody respects, that one nobody wants. Some day, I hope, I’ll be able to say that I love Chris -- that I love myself.
Wish me luck.
M.Christian is an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 300 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites. He is the editor of 20 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, and others. He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, Licks & Promises, and Filthy; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, and Painted Doll.