Sunday, September 4, 2011

An Obsession with Self Disclosure

By Lisabet Sarai

I remember when I first heard about blogs (or "web logs", as they were initially titled). That was back in the dark ages - maybe 2001 or 2002. (The word "blog" actually dates from 1997, according to Wikipedia, but I wasn't on the bleeding edge of popular Internet phenomena despite working in the computer industry.) Of course, people had been putting up personal web pages long prior to that time. I'd always found it surprising that they were so eager to share their private selves - their thoughts, their words, their photos - with billions of strangers.

When I learned about the existence of blogs, essentially on-line journals where people chronicled their daily thoughts and activities, I shook my head. What an absurd obsession with self-disclosure! Why would anyone believe that their posts would be of interest to someone else? And how could they expose such personal information to essentially everyone? I shook my head. I'd never become such an "escribitionist" (as some bloggers styled themselves).

Never say never. Fast forward a decade or so and here I am, offering the world my most private thoughts, experiences and fantasies on a weekly basis - sharing things that my own family doesn't know about.

Of course, I hide behind my literary identity here at the Grip. Still, the intensity and dubious social acceptability of what I share here occasionally gives me the shivers.

So for this week, Garce has thrown out tri-partite challenge, as a stimulus to writing. I'll quote it here because otherwise the posts this week might not make sense.

In her craft book "How to Write a Dirty Story" by Susie Bright (the best craft book on this subject i have yet found), Bright has an exercise which yielded a story for me and I invite you here to try one or all three.

1. Explain a sexual fantasy about an experience in the real world you would jump on in an instant if it were offered to you, no questions asked. Something you would have no reservations about actually doing.

2. Explain an experience you would like to have but only under certain conditions, otherwise not. Under those conditions you'd definitely give yourself to it, otherwise not.

3. Explain a fantasy you'd love to do in your imagination, something that excites you but you'd never in a million years do it in the real world, because its impossible to perform or too squicky to endure. But something that excites you to imagine.

The first two items on this list struck me as too easy. I mine my plausible fantasies for narrative material every time I sit down to write.

The third one, though, gave me pause. I have a couple of candidates. The most extreme I'd never share, not even with you, my dedicated readers. One fantasy does definitely fit the bill, though, while at the same time being sufficiently common that (I hope) it won't outrage our average visitor.

I often fantasize about participating in a gang-bang. Not just any gang-bang, though, but one with a strong BDSM component. My dom acts as the organizer and ring master, offering me to all comers (no pun intended) and inviting them to use and abuse me as they will. Usually I'm bent at the waist and shackled in a manner that displays my rear to the crowd. Sometimes I'm even on a stage. In ones and twos, the men take what they wish from me. They penetrate their orifice of choice. They spank or whip my conveniently presented ass. They spray me with their ejaculate, or force me to swallow it. I take a half dozen of them - a dozen. I'm battered and sore, but still they come. Meanwhile, my master stands by to keep me safe, whispering in my ear what a filthy slut I am. He tells me how much he enjoys watching me service the lust of so many men, knowing as he does that I belong to him alone.

He takes me last of all, when I'm stretched, soaked and spent. I'm teetering on the edge of unconsciousness, totally exhausted, yet his entrance revives me and wrings one last orgasm (or maybe the first) from my broken body. Then he gathers me in his arms and takes me away, to clean me, tend to my wounds, put me to bed.

I thought about casting this fantasy into narrative. I'm sure that's what Garce had in mind. But I just regaled you with an extreme BDSM scene a few weeks ago, and although the details of this scenario are different, the emotions are much the same. In any case, while I can imagine that I just might go through with the cutting and scarification I described in my post "Blood Bond", I'd never play this scene.

There are many reasons why I'll never realize this fantasy:

1. Although I might enjoy the notion of being fucked raw, the reality is far less pleasant. My vaginal tissues have always been tender, and they've become more fragile as I've aged.

2. Experience has taught me that I don't generally enjoy fucking strangers. The emotional connection in sex is far more important to me than the physical sensations, and that's missing when I don't know the guy from Adam. Of course, a gang bang should have nothing to do with my pleasure, but if I didn't find it exciting, why would I ever want to go through with it?

3. In reality, my master wouldn't enjoy this scene at all. He's actually very shy and also somewhat homophobic. There's a slight possibility that he might like to offer me to a close friend, but strangers? It would never happen, even if I were certain that it was what I wanted. (I should say that the fantasy of a gang bang that doesn't include his participation and orchestration doesn't interest me at all. Go figure.)

He sometimes reads this blog, although he's a private enough person that he'd never comment. He probably feels something similar to what I did when I first encountered blogs: perplexity at my motives, amazement at the depth and breadth of what I'm willing to share, maybe some sense of smug superiority that he'd never sink to this level of obsessive self-disclosure.

I wonder at it myself. I doubt that it helps sell my books. There's something cathartic about baring your soul to a (hopefully) sympathetic audience. I'm always embarrassed, though, when I write a post like this -- as well as a bit worried that I've finally gone too far.

But I keep doing it.


  1. Woooo! That was pretty strong stuff as far as i'm concerned. Definately "excribitionistic". (I think I've found a new computer password).

    Yeah, isn;t it funny how people- including us - can just come out with stuff in a public forum that we would never in a million years confess to anybody? There's somethin gdefinately going on there.

    But this whole genre we attempt to write in is like that. More than any other. That's why its so dangerous, why its so hard for writers to be associated with it. I've often said we're the punk rockers of literature. Its like everytime we sit down to the keyboard our hair turns purple and arranges itself in a spiky mohawk and we find odd pieces of jewelry piercing our face everywhere.

    Its just who we are.


  2. Hi, Garce,

    I like your image! Wonder how I'd look with purple hair.

    Seriously, though - I'm more open than many people about sex, but I can't completely understand the attraction of sharing these things with strangers. It's something of a compulsion.

    Of course, on the Grip, I'm writing for you others, as much as for the public. This is a sort of publicly visible conversation among us six.

  3. I don't think you went too far. Whilst I haven't admitted to such a fantasy on my blog, it doesn't mean I haven't had that fantasy, the details of which (if I *did* have such a fantasy) are remarkably similar.

    There is a strong chance that there are one or two women out there who may also have had that fantasy but have yet to admit it also...

  4. Exactly my thoughts! While my mind might yearn for an extremely physical bout of sex, my body would not be happy with anything too strenuous. When watching a porn movie I often think how sore those women must be! That kind of thinking takes away from the fantasy, which is,I suppose, one of the reasons we love to read fiction.

  5. Just so you do know, this blog has generated a lot of purchases by me at least. More importantly, I've been happy with my purchases. There's a lot of bad writing out there under the heading of erotica, or even pornography; so reading excellent work within the genre is finding that moment of stillness in the middle of a street market where you watch the frogs squirm while biting into a crispy fried leg floating in the bowl of vermicelli flooded with fish sauce.

    More than recommendations which resulted in purchases, I appreciate the writing and the provoked thoughts of the entries themselves. I've appreciated the fact that the stories have a standard higher than figuring the accuracy of 38DDDDDDDDD cup sizes (oo! did my 'D' key get stuck? whoopsie! Are you sure you don't enjoy the extra letters?), or introduce us to a character with greater subtlety than the firm ass in the mirror review which is promptly followed by, "What a fine ass I have!"

    At times I've despaired, wondering what it was I found so attractive about erotic writing, and then I run across another fabulous writer I've never read. And so I do appreciate you opening your thoughts to faceless Public. I, for one, have found these entries worth reading and the recommendations worth spending money on.

  6. From what I know of the male psyche, most of them do NOT want to share their woman! Maybe it's evolutionary, or maybe it's because it's so hard (pun intended) for them to get one to agree to monogamous, that once you do, they get feral about sharing. That's why I find it so hard to enjoy menage seems so antithetical to everything I know about men.

    And since so many women are squeamish (after years of hearing women "like that" being denigrated with nasty names) about having and enjoying sex with strangers, it's not something most women would welcome either.

    Perhaps that's why it's such a hot genre right now...but not for me. I don't spend much time fantasizing about group sex because while anonymous sex with strangers can be fun, indeed I used to call it "rec-sex", short for "recreational", since it had no other purpose, the best sex is with one other person who knows all of your hot buttons because you've shown him how to use them.

    To my brother and his wife, that's what makes me so "hopelessly vanilla" as a writer. But having spent years in college acting like the heroine of my latest book, "Two For Tuesday", I'm well aware that most men don't care if you are enjoying yourself or not as long as they are...and that got old and boring really quickly!

  7. Lisabet, While I don't think you've gone too far, I do think you've looked carefully at something that women do. Perhaps men don't, I don't really know. But we seem to have fantasies that are so far outside what we want to actually do, that it's difficult to admit them. But that is what makes a good fantasy. You can choose the parts you like and ignore the sand in your cracks and the sweat dripping off your nose and just how awful your hair might look in such a situation.

    Looking into what turns us on, what inspires us sexually, is a different thing than just writing about sex. It requires a writer to look inside and not flinch. Bravo.

  8. Wow! Lots of great comments have accumulated while I was away working in the "real" world!

    Vesta -

    The funny thing is that it's not all that difficult to reveal these fantasies. In fact, I think it gets easier the longer I blog. It's almost as though I've become somewhat habituated.

    Very strange.

  9. Hi, Naomi,

    I find most porn to be so far from reality that I wouldn't even think about the physical experience of the characters. They might be CG artificial creations (and in fact, I don't doubt that soon they will be).

    I try not to think about the physical realities, in general - especially now that I'm passed menopause, it's too depressing!

  10. Hello, Nettie,

    Thank you so much for your comments and your enthusiasm. As all of us at the Grip will I'm sure tell you, writing and publishing, especially in a socially-marginal area like erotica, is a lonely, frustrating business. We all wonder whether we're crying in the wilderness - whether anyone actually reads our work or buys our books. A word from a reader like you means the world!

    Please come back and share your thoughts with us. Don't stay "faceless"!

  11. Hello, Fiona,

    I love this:

    "the best sex is with one other person who knows all of your hot buttons because you've shown him how to use them."

    I think I agree. Occasionally you'll have a real mental and emotional connection with someone you've just met, and that's exciting - but very rare.

  12. Hello, Nan,

    Thank you!

    I think men have extreme fantasies as well, that they'd rarely admit. But men talk less about sex in public, I think. Maybe they have some conversations with other men in private, but you know, I suspect that they tend to keep their most cherished fantasies truly secret.

    Except, of course, for men who write erotica!


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