by Amanda Earl
Here are a few taboo tales that have tickled my fancy, my
imagination and my neurons, and at the same time, have made me think about the
world, our desires, and our fears. What these stories have in common is that
they represent unspoken fantasies: being Daddy's little girl, the desire to be
dominated and used, the fantasy of being taken without permission in a public
I have to begin with Anaïs Nin's "Little Birds
the first story in the collection of the same name (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
New York and London, 1979). Today a lot of what Nin wrote would be taboo and
her books would be banned for writing about sex with underage characters, bestiality,
non consensual sex, incest etc. Of
course she had a lot of trouble getting her work published in her day and had
to start her own publishing firm in order to ensure that the work was read. Will there ever be a time when people understand
that fiction is not reality and that the exploration of the forbidden and the
unspoken is a reason why art in any form exists? If so, I'd like to time travel
The first story in this collection, "Little
Birds," is about a man who owns parrots. He uses these parrots as a way to
entice young girls into his apartment. He is a timid man. He exposes
himself. They run away. It is a careful
story, told in a very restrained way. There is a subtle eroticism in the
indirectness of the tale. There is no use of graphic language. He exposes
himself at urinals. He is very tentative. He is not a character we can admire.
This isn't a perfect world and the situation is not ideal.
In this story and much of her erotic fiction, Nin reminds me
of the power of subtlety in a story. Just a few details, descriptions of the
birds, the blonde hair of the young girl, his kimono, make this story
fascinating, exotic, disturbing. In her work Nin portrays a world where sexual
dysfunction is common. The characters are not exemplary, but their acts and
desires represent the spectrum of human sexuality, whether we want to admit it
or not. There are many other stories I return to in this collection, a first
edition given to me by a friend I have long since lost touch with. I wonder if
it would please him that his gift continues to provoke and intrigue me.
Next is Anne Tourney's "Come for Me, Dark Man" in
the anthology "Sacred Exchange
" edited by Lisabet Sarai and S.F.
Mayfair (Blue Moon Books, New York, 2003). This opening story concerns a widow,
a woman living alone near the railroad tracks. She is seduced by degrees…first
by the sound of the tracks, then the music of the blues and then the dark
stranger who enters her home. Her subsequent fantasies drive her mad with
desire. She allows this stranger, a freight hopper, into her home, is mastered
by him and then haunted by him and his music. It undoes her and changes her.
This is such a sensual and arousing story. It is intricately woven. I am left
with the image of the woman clad only in a dress, no underwear, sitting on the
ground above her clothes line where the stranger first encounters her, another
image of him in her kitchen, undoing his belt, pushing her down to suck his
cock, the woman on the train on the floor, his boot moving over her body,
almost crushing her hand, then slipping between her legs. And ultimately the
music of the blues which undoes her.
"Flannel Nightgowns and White Cotton Panties" by
Patrick Califia has been anthologized a few times, one of which is in the
edited by N.T. Morely, where stories appear either in
"Master: 30 Spanking Tales from the Top" or "Slave: 30 Stinging
Tales from the Bottom" (The Berkley Publishing Group, New York, 2004).
This story is the quintessential Daddy/little girl tale about a submissive's
journey and what her master figures out she needs in order to let go control.
In this story Califia leads us slowly and carefully into the
scenario. He ensures we know that the submissive is a grown woman not related
in any way to her master, and that this is a scene her master is playing out
for her. But what a scene it is: a young girl's bedroom, a "simple flannel
nightgown, red hearts on a white background," fuzzy slippers, daddy on the
couch watching porn in his robe, a cigarette smoldering in the ash tray. This
is a hot, hot, hot story.
It is a story that has taught me a lot about pacing and the
slow seduction of the reader into a taboo scenario. I have a tendency to jump
in very quickly when I write. This story reminds me to slow down, to tantalize
and to lure the reader. A reader needs to be seduced like a lover, led gently
into the exploration and fulfilment of unspoken fantasies.
Pat Califia is the editor of an anthology entitled
"Doing It For Daddy
" (Alyson Books, Los Angeles, New York, 1994). In
the introduction, Califia talks about the importance of writing about adult
sexuality in all its baffling diversity. He makes a point of explaining that
the book is not advocating incest, but rather is an exploration of why such
stories arouse. I have two favourites in this collection: "Family
Man" by Jay Shaffer about a gay son who seduces his father, a farmer on
the farm. And "Our Father" by Derek Adams about a young man with a
hard on for the local priest. These are both well-told and arousing stories. In
"Family Man" what sticks in my mind is the scene where father and son
hug, the father pissing: "Hot spurts shot onto my meat. He grunted with
each one. I rubbed his back. I grabbed his ass." The way their hard cocks
hang as they walk to the barn where they will fuck. It's a very masculine
story. The way the son comes upon his father out by the fence. Their cigars,
their beards. It's a phallic, vivid scene.
In "Our Father," there are striking and beautiful
descriptions of the priest as seen through the eyes of the adoring young man,
the communion scene: the boy kneeling down and taking the blood and body of
Christ from the priest, into his mouth from the priest's hand. Shivers. The
boy's pent up desire and frustration throughout the story and finally the scene
in the shower: soap and sex. Such a sexy story and so well told.
In "Best Bondage Erotica
," edited by Alison Tyler
(Cleis Press, 2003), there is a story with an image that recurs in my mind
often: pieces of fruit splayed out on a bare and vulnerable back. The story is
Helena Settimana's story "Six Persimmons." In this well-written and
beautifully sensuous tale, a girl is taken back to a man's apartment in Tokyo.
He is described as ferocious. He bites her nipples, his teeth tear her lips. He
is direct. He cuts her clothes off with a large hunting knife. He ties her down
and tells her about the fruit in the bowl, six persimmons, all of different
He tells her that "Like a woman, they are not good
enough to eat unless prepared and ripened properly." He describes each
one, its spice, its flavour. It's exotic and dripping with sensuality. He uses
the hunting knife to cut pieces, eats them from her body and takes the final
piece and inserts it inside her. The way
the author describes the fruit, its texture, its scent and her body. Just so
incredibly beautiful. The whole story is very lyrical in its descriptions, full
of memorable imagery. There's this interesting juxtaposition of brutality and
sensuality that works so well in this story.
In the same anthology is a story by renowned and prolific
writer and editor, Mitzi Szereto entitled "Melinda." It echoes
Georges Bataille's "The Story of the Eye" in its theme of corruption
of innocence. The main character, Melinda, is bored at a Christmas party in
London. She encounters two beautiful strangers, a man and a woman, ends up
taking a cab back to their apartment with them and being used for their
pleasure, which involves nipple clamps, bondage, a dildo up the ass, her first
time performing oral sex on a woman. There's a delightful twist at the end. She
is persuaded and lured and tied down and not really forced, but not able to say
no to their abuse of her. For me, the most compelling D/s stories include incremental
surrender and adamant or categorical persuasion.
I would be remiss when talking about my favourite erotic
short fiction if I didn't mention Remittance Girl. Her body of work is chock
full of memorable imagery, voices, and fine writing. One of the early stories I
loved by Remittance Girl was "Penny Red," a sensuous story of the beginning of a sexual relationship of two young women
who are best friends and have their first experience of same sex encounters
with each other. The main character and narrator has this matter-of-fact way of
speaking that I find very refreshing.
The image of their first kiss and the
drowsy-drunk appearance of the friend after…so sexy and perfectly described. The
scene at the beach where the act takes place was sexy and lyrical. The
description of how the main character looks at her friend with fresh eyes, the
eyes of a lover, when she realizes her feelings is dead on. I like it that the
main character is surprised by her friend's sudden forthrightness and
initiative. They go into the water. Such beautiful and sensuous descriptions of
their bodies and the sea. The ending is bittersweet. The story also appears in
"Coming Together Presents Remittance Girl
," an excellent collection
with proceeds going to free speech through the ACLU.
I think once again of "Little Birds," the short fiction
collection by Anaïs Nin. There's a story called "The Woman on the
Dunes" about a man who finds a woman on the beach. She tells him the story
of going to see a man being hanged. She is wearing a skirt which buttons up at
the side. There is a crowd waiting to see the man die. A man comes up behind
her and gropes her. He ends up turning her skirt to the back, opening the
buttons enough so that his penis can enter her. He fucks her while the man is being
hanged. It is an extremely erotic scene that fucks up the mind for all kinds of
reasons. And isn't that what erotica does best, after all, fuck up the mind?
I could go on and on discussing my favourite erotic short
stories. The part that lingers for me, that arouses me more than once is
usually always an image: a dark man coming for a woman on a train, the sound of
the blues in the background, six glistening open pieces of fruit on a woman's body, a man pissing
against a fence post with his cock hanging out while his son looks on with
lust, a boy kneeling in desire for a priest and taking communion from his hand.
I remember again and I shiver.