Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Night at the Writers Group

Last night at my writers group, waiting for that potluck dinner bell, somehow the topic turned to nude beaches.  A question of beauty.  Faye told a funny story about a couple of gay friends who had gone to the nude beach and sunned themselves for the first time.  One of them apparently hadn't thought the thing through and sunburned his dick.  They discovered this when they tried to make love.  KY Jelly doesn't fix everything.  Where was this beach, I asked.  In Georgia?  Here in the Bible Belt?  No, Florida.  Florida?  Oh, oh well.  Yes of course.  It would have to be Florida, or course, of course.
I mentioned that I wouldn’t mind spending time at a nude beach, not simply out of voyeurism, though that too, but because Nudity has a new interest to me.  Since I am temporarily living alone I spend a lot of my time walking around the house naked just because I can.  I have learned to wear an apron when I fry things, much the same way the gay guy learned not to sub burn his dick. 
“No,” she said.  “The problem with nude beaches is that I don’t want to see unlovely bodies.  I only want to see beauty.”
“You mean you only want to see beautiful people?”
“I want to see beautiful men and beautiful women celebrating their beauty.  I don’t want to see old ladies with boobs hanging to their knees and wrinkles.”
“Well,” I said, “I'm not that young at all, though so far I've managed to take care of myself.  I don't make any claims to beauty.  But the funny thing is, my ideas about beauty have changed a lot as I've gotten older.  Sex, beauty, my idea of what is erotic.  It's all different now.  You get older, your hormones are different (all the ladies nodded and rolled their eyes) and what you think is erotic or sexy, that changes too.”
“Tell me you don't think young women are beautiful,” said Faye, who was by no means young herself.
“I do, of course they are, but they're not interesting.”
Adult drinks, the ones held in ladies’ hands, paused in the air.
“Young women are sort of, I don’t know – green.  Unripe.  Unsweet.  I don’t see beauty as being so All That at my age, what I want to see is what is interesting. I want to see a woman whose body looks interesting.  A woman who herself is interesting.  Does this woman look like she would be an interesting lover? Do you know the Could You Would You game?”
Faye shook her head.  I indulged that male pleasure of having all the eyes of the women at the table suddenly on me.  I let the moment hang a little.
“Everybody plays this game.  Men and women.  You look around the room wherever you are and you look at the people and you see someone, maybe for you, a man, and you ask this - in a perfect world, maybe a parallel universe, if you could fuck that person and totally get away with it, would you?  Not like, I'm married, or maybe diseases or anything no, or Jesus doesn’t like that, but just you're in paradise and can do anything you want just because you ant it.
“Like in a dream!” said someone.
“Like a dream.  Just fuck him because you want to.  Wham.  Like that.  You play that game?
She nodded.
“Everybody plays that game,” I said, “So when I play that game, I'm not looking for the most beautiful young thing in the room.  I'm looking for a full grown woman who looks a little crazy and intense.  Yoko Ono.  Zelda to Fitzgerald.  Someone interesting.  Maybe a little scary.  I try to imagine what she’s like.  That's how I've changed.  Women think when they get older they're not beautiful anymore, but what they don’t know is that men's ideas of what beautiful looks like changes when you change.
“But interesting doesn't mean beautiful,” said Faye.
“Serena Williams isn’t beautiful,” I said, “But those thighs. Oh my God.  There isn’t a man, gay or straight, who wouldn’t love to go down on her just once and feel his skull squeezed hard between those amazing thighs.”
Some of the women looked shocked and it dawns on me that I’m going too far.
“I think smart men are sexy,” said one of the other women.  “These days it’s so hard to find a smart man who is in touch with his feelings.  A smart man in touch with his feelings is incredibly sexy no matter what he looks like.” 
“What about this,” I said, plunging ahead, pouring a sober slug of ginger ale in my plastic cup.  “What if you were going to make love with a man for the first time, and instead of him trying to prove to you what a great stud he is, he says ‘you can use my body to explore yourself.  Use my male body to explore your desires freely.  Any crazy thing you ever wanted to do with a man and were afraid to ask, now you can do it with me.  Explore your desires through me.’  Wouldn't that be good?  Even if he’s not young, and just sort of okay looking?  Wouldn’t you like that?”
A woman picked up a napkin and pretended to fan herself.
“Some men think like that too.  You think they don’t?  You ever see this movie - Take This Waltz?”
Everyone draws a blank, they haven’t heard of it. 
“It’s about marriage and relationships,” I said, “Sort of a really good chick flick.  There's this scene, after all these women have finished a swimming class, because one of the women peed in the pool, really, and these women are all in the common shower room and they're all full frontal naked and they're all talking about marriage and what's good and bad about it.  But these are real women.  None of these are professional beauties.  Black.  White.  Korean maybe.  A couple of them of chunky.  One of them's pretty old.  Body hair.  You know?  Lumpy knees. Scars. Tits pointing down.  Everything.  And I just thought they were incredibly sexy. They were so real. I'd have been happy to do any of them - could you would you – damn if I wouldn’t. I wanted to walk across the room and lick my tongue up the TV screen.  Uhhhmmmmm.”
“And you're the guy here in the group who write porno stories? said Rhonda, a younger woman with nerd eyeglasses and hospital scrubs.
“Not so porno,” I said. “Maybe that's why I don't have more readers, cause I don’t.  I could write porn.  Porn is easy to write, it's just formula and what I write isn't easy for me.  I don't go for a story unless it has soul.  See - porn and horror have similar narrative roots.  They are absolutely the oldest forms of all fiction.  You think cave men guys didn't sit around the cave fire waving their dicks at each other, telling stories about what great cocksmen they are and all the women they fucked and how they nailed them?  Guys don’t ever change. Not in a million years.  Or the shaman telling ghost stories to scare everybody at night?  Sex stories and horror stories work when you care about the people getting screwed or beheaded or whatever.  You have to care.  Or at least I do, some people don't.  I need to care.  Bad sex can be way more interesting than good sex.  I want to know what people think about when a man can’t get it up no matter how he tries, or a woman is worried if he’ll like her body. I'd rather read a real girls diary telling how she lost her virginity than any porn story any day.  That's sexy to me.  I think so anyway.”
Elle comes into the room tinkling a little hand bell.  "Food’s ready.  Come and get it.  Use the paper plates, I’m not washing dishes tonight." 
Faye stood and grabbed my arm.  “We're not done,” she said.  “Sit next to me.”


  1. I've always found there are things to enjoy about most women. Beauty ( by way of association) includes youth. But the real aphrodisiacs are enthusiasm, an inquisitive nature, and desire for fulfillment no matter the age. For myself, the hottest thing about a woman is if she feels a desire for me.

    1. For women, too, the hottest thing about a man (or alternative prospective fuck buddy) can be how much she feels desired. But women do have a sort of filtering system that shuts out the appeal of stalkers or skanky leches who don't desire her for anything other than a few minutes of impersonal rutting. Although in certain moods she might go there, too...

    2. I think at any age we all want to feel desired. I think when we no longer feel anyone's eyes on us that's when people start to let themselves go. Sometimes the nicest thing you can do for someone is to lust after them.


  2. Women are told constantly how unattractive they are when they get older. Trophy wives take their place, and they have to fight to be seen at all. The only other time I felt so invisible in public was when I was pregnant all 4 times. Even though it's proof positive that someone had sex with you, men ignore you then, just as they ignore me now. I like to amuse myself in public, wondering how long any of them could last if I applied my formidable, honed fellatio skills on them, or any of the dozens of other things I've learned over the years. That always makes me smile.

    I once had a young man (he was in his 20s, I was in my 40s) apologize to me for looking at my tits, which I had on display with a braless tank top with a shelf bra. I like to go braless whenever I can, and in the summer I indulge it shows off my tattoos. He said he felt guilty getting a boner because I was as old as his mother. I told him he'd given me a huge compliment, and not to spoil it by apologizing.

    Why is it that men are allowed to be sexy into their 80s and beyond, but women "top out" in their fifties? Because men can still produce a child? Give me a break! Sex is fun at any age, and certainly no less so than when I was worried about getting pregnant. Now that I don't have that worry anymore, as long as the tube of lube holds out, so can I!!

    And Garce, you've talked about your interest in interesting women before. You're the man we all dream of meeting, if we're not happily involved with someone. Well, you, along with Daddy X, Spencer, and the other guys here. Men who can talk about feelings and give insight into how/what they think about sex? I'm listening...

    1. Tattoos? Hmm. I'll have to revise my image of you, Fiona!

    2. I got my first one, a small flower on my right breast, when I was in college in the 70s and the only women who had them were Cher and hookers. It was to be a memento of my wild youth, to carry into old age. 20 years later, to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, I got my husband's name in a heart tattooed on my upper thigh. I planned the next one on the drive home. I did that for a few years, calling it my mid-life crisis, while I was in my early 40s. Husband once asked me, "If I let you keep getting tattoos..." I interrupted him, "Excuse me, LET me? It's my body and if I want to cover every inch of it, it's none of your damn business." He grimaced and said, "Okay then, if I don't say anything about your getting so much ink, promise you won't leave me for 2 hot, young men in a convertible?" I smiled and nodded and he's never complained since then.

      I have 10 right now, but some have been worked on twice. Most recent was a tribute to my late Mom, that finally allowed me to stop crying daily, a year after she passed away. A columnist I admire once said that tattoos can be the "outward manifestation of a prayer." And that's what all of mine are--deeply meaningful to me, they express what's important to me: husband, kids, family, along with the added bonus of seeming rebellious, since most women my age still don't have much ink. I enjoy seeing opprobrium or disapproval on the face of people looking at me when I'm wearing revealing clothing. Otherwise I'm a boring, happily-married older woman who works way too many hours for too little money, and whose kids tease her for having taught them the world revolves around sex...which I still believe.

    3. Hi Fiona!

      I guess it all depends on how we're wired, but i still find mature women the sexiest. But that's me. The last story I sold to Mammoth was "Soul Naked" about a much younger man involved with a much older woman. Now Mammoth is gone. That's so sad. The world is changing too fast. Sorry too I missed that braless tank top.


  3. This is maybe the clearest statement I've ever read from you of who you are and why you write erotica. I love it.

    I agree, also -- it's unusual, distinctive, slightly used people who attract my attention, not the perfect tens. They're boring -- both men and women.

  4. Hi Lisabet!

    My argument exactly . . . .


  5. Not quite sure if Fiona's take on older men and sex is totally right. As one of those, I find I need to be careful when glomming on women. Many people are disgusted by what they perceive as a 'dirty old man' eyeing up someone younger than they. I certainly don't want to embarrass anybody or creep them out. So I try to stay surreptitious about it. That said, a craggy look can be quite attractive on a man, not so much for women.

    1. Momma X's favorite is "Put your tongue back in your mouth," as she takes me by the ear.

  6. Serious thought: I'm troubled by the way this conversation seems to accept that beauty and youth are connected. Do they have to be? I feel like one way of making the argument that seems to be running through this, Garce, would be to say it's mistaken to equate the two. The thing you're calling "interesting" might be "beautiful," no? Especially if we let go of that false equation of youth and beauty? I would argue that the idea that men can be attractive when old but women can't is plain sexism, and that this thing that's being called interesting is actually beauty, hidden from us by societal cues we've learned. Of course, this isn't to say young people can't be beautiful, too. I just think it's a much more interesting (beautiful) world when we separate age from beauty.

    Funny thought: I so feel you on the apron. I have definitely learned the hard way that I should at least put an apron on when cooking--doing it totally naked is far too risky. :)


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