Archive for March, 2010

Ashley Lister

Posted in Writers with tags on March 28, 2010 by donnageorgestorey

Betty & I

We went to one of those swingers’ parties,
Me and my blow-up doll: Betty.
She wanted to add a new kink to our lives.
I just went there to get sweaty.

Our relationship was at a low point.
And it had been that way for a bit.
But I still tried to treat her with flowers or clothes.
Or a bicycle puncture repair kit.

Yet for months my Betty had been silent.
And our love life had skidded off track.
I didn’t know if Betty had stopped loving me.
Or was just missing the string from her back.

I pumped her up full before leaving.
She looked as good as it claimed on her box.
I adorned her in lingerie, perfumes and makeup.
And then I put on some clean socks.

We looked perfectly suited together
We each were the cream of the crop
But that didn’t stop people from laughing
As we waited beside the bus stop.

I should really have waited to inflate her
Onlookers can say horrid stuff
But we were both going off to a sex party
And I didn’t want to arrive out of puff.

So we stood and endured the torment:
“You sicko!”  “You effing buffoon!”
“You pervert!”  You wanker!  You dirty old git!”
“Don’t you know she’s a bloody balloon?”

When the bus came I grinned at the driver.
But I could tell that he wanted to tease.
I held up my hand, gave him the right change,
And said, “Two, to the sex party, please.”
Which was how we ended up at the party
And Betty seemed glad we were there
She looked radiant in her new lingerie
And her hundred percent nylon hair.

When the hostess sidled between us
She caught Betty’s leg with her fag.
And, although she said sorry profusely,
My Betty soon started to sag.

The air hissed from her like flatulence
And may I just say at this juncture
It’s hard to deny that you’ve farted
And explain that your date’s got a puncture.

I called for some help but got laughter
Everyone thought I was having a jape
As I stood holding up my poor Betty
And screaming for some sticky tape.

Looking back on that time is a milestone
As the air gushed from Betty’s right knee.
But it did bring a new and clean meaning
To the phrase: she went down on me.

I took hold of her leg with my fingers
Around the burn hole I gave her a pinch
And while it stopped air from escaping
She still lacked the right pounds per square inch.

Deflated, we both left the party
And I vowed I would never return
We expected a night of fresh frolics and fun
But all Betty got was a burn.

Betty and I have now parted
And my love life has hit a new low
But I won’t try those personal ads or blind dates
What do you think me?  An effing weirdo?

**********

My name is Ashley Lister.  I’ve written a handful of pseudonymously published erotic fiction titles (well, two dozen novels, but who’s counting?).  I’ve written several short stories and a couple of non-fiction titles exploring the UK’s alternative sex culture.  Currently I teach modules on fiction writing and poetry writing at degree level.  And I’m the author the poem “Betty & I.”

On the surface “Betty & I” can be read as a whimsical exercise in the absurd.  A lonely man takes his blow-up doll to a swingers’ party.  It’s a silly idea.  But the poem also explores loneliness, as well as the inscrutable societal rules that reinforce loneliness with particular regards to maintaining and enjoying sexual relationships.

The unnamed narrator begins the poem in a parody of a conventional relationship, where he is involved with a blow-up doll.  The blow-up doll is an icon of female sexual oppression.  The blow-up doll represents the apex of misogyny: it’s a three-dimensional image of crude feminine sexuality, commodifiable as a mass-produced tool for male mass-consumption; comprising of an ostensibly attractive surface with nothing substantial – literally nothing but air – beneath that surface.

But the focus of the poem lies with the lonely and dysfunctional, unnamed narrator.  We understand he’s lonely because he’s presented to us in a relationship with a blow-up doll.  In the real world that would be called ‘not having a relationship.’  We understand he’s dysfunctional because his relationship with this inanimate object is proving unsatisfactory and it is suggested they are struggling to stay together.  As a solution to this dilemma of loneliness and dysfunctionality, the narrator elects to explore alternative-sexual culture.

I write erotic fiction to explore these taboos, and to pursue the prospect of sexual variety and experimentation within fictional relationships.  I research and write sexual non-fiction to discover and share the experiences of others who have tried to expand their boundaries and their knowledge and experience of sex.

We live in a world where sex remains a taboo subject.  Admittedly, the taboo against sex and the discussion of sex is not as strong now as it was during the Victorian era.  But it’s still true to say that, for the majority of us, our knowledge of sex comes from our own limited experiences.

Sex, like poetry and fiction, is a solipsistic practice: it’s something that we all experience on our own.  It’s true a reader can share a book with the person they love.  A couple can read the words to each other or sit down together and listen at a poetry reading or to an audio book.  But, ultimately, we all experience poetry and fiction on our own.   In the same fashion, we all experience our responses to sex on our own.  And the worry as to whether or not our responses are the correct ones is what invariably reinforces each individual’s loneliness.

The concept behind “Betty & I” is that the reader can laugh at the absurdity of the narrator’s situation as he attempts to forge a comparatively conventional solution to a mystifying and seemingly irresoluble relationship problem.  The reality is that the reader can empathise with the narrator’s plight because, to some extent, we’re all struggling to find a conventional solution to our own mystifying and seemingly irresoluble problems.

Ashley Lister is a UK author of fiction and non-fiction.  When he’s not writing he’s either teaching Creative Writing or working on performance poetry.

Jeremy Edwards

Posted in Writers with tags on March 21, 2010 by donnageorgestorey

Hot Shiver of Exposure

From Placeholder to Face-Holder

When I began writing erotica, my pragmatically motivated decision to use a pen name seemed to provide an opaque boundary between the sexual personality revealed in my stories and the private person residing within the four walls of my body. The erotica would stand alone, to be appreciated (or not) by those who encountered it; the name was a mere byline, a label by which to identify a specific body of work . . . a cataloging convenience that meant nothing outside the context of that body of work.

Granted, I had chosen a pseudonym that I could identify with—it wasn’t quite as if I’d decided to write as “Anonymous Author 23661”—but, incredibly, it didn’t occur to me that I would truly inhabit my new name. I saw the pen name as a placeholder, as something like a post-office box. I wasn’t pretending to be somebody else, but I was presenting myself as nobody in particular. “Jeremy Edwards” was only a literary voice (with a few relevant credentials in tow, along with the requisite business and social skills).

But the inevitable interaction with others—editors, fellow writers, readers—soon had me actually existing, even flourishing, under the pseudonym. I’m happy to say that both friendships and professional relationships quickly blossomed, and before long I found myself living much of my life as Jeremy Edwards—showing big parts of my personality, having earnest conversations, sharing jokes and quirks, and becoming truly close to some of my erotica colleagues.

Still, for my first three years as a published erotica author, I thought it prudent to avoid showing my face publicly on the Web. It was during that time that I posed for the original seminaked JE photo, the one that lives on my blog. Part of why I did that was because I wasn’t going to reveal my face: if I couldn’t offer a glimpse of my smile, at least I could offer a playful shot of my limbs and torso (plus props).

Though my brand of exhibitionism usually has more to do with performing than undressing, I’ve never been shy about my body. (If you don’t see me on the nude beaches, that’s due to my tendency to chilliness—along with an untested theory that I would develop socially unacceptable erections in such a setting.) So I was happy to strip, in an appropriate context. In fact, I quite liked the idea. And with my face out of frame, I didn’t even really feel “exposed.”

Then came the day we decided that I could—and should—lift the ban on showing myself from the neck up. And so now Jeremy not only made his rounds with my personality and my body . . . but also with my face.

And now when he posed half naked, I looked the viewer in the eye.

Underwear and Underbelly

As erotica writers, we all know that the things we write about are not necessarily things we personally fantasize about. Not necessarily. But I’m the kind of writer who does, as a rule, write about things that turn him on. So when I write, for example, yet another sensuous scene of a woman peeing herself into an erotic frenzy, I am indeed exposing my sexual underbelly.

Exposure.

The photo that accompanies this essay, from my 2009 session with Mayumi Yoshimaru, is one that I decided not to use on my website. Somehow it looks “nakeder” to me than the nakedest image I do use on my site, from the same session—though technically there is less exposed flesh here than in the other one, where I reprised the socks-and-boxer-briefs fashion statement of my headless blog pic.

Whereas the Jeremy underwear photos read to me like a writer who has stripped to be fun and flirty—with a safe artistic buffer erected between subject and viewer—the pose, facial expression, and composition in the shot I now offer here say “exposed” to me. I look, though cheerful as ever, vulnerable and revealed. It feels as if I’m closer to the viewer, the light and shadow of my nude torso, shoulders, and upper arms begging for your attention . . . and the face that of a man who’s perhaps a tad nervous that he’ll pop a boner outside the women’s restroom at the beach.

Now I have a novel on the market, and I feel as exposed as this photo. More exposed, actually. Imagine this shot without the jeans, socks, and briefs. (Or, if you prefer, don’t.) The hat stays on—as I said, I’m prone to chilliness.

This time, I’m not simply a wedge of content in a book bearing an editor’s name; this time, the product is, in its entirety, composed of me. An assortment of my erotic sensibilities has been packaged and framed for display. There’s even a picture of me (fully clothed) inside the back cover, smiling proudly at you as you exit, staffing a lonely reception line in the paperback equivalent of a fluorescent-lit foyer: I hope you enjoyed my one-man show.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, just long enough to feel the hot shiver of exposure—knowing I’m out there somewhere in literary form, with a deep-dish slice of my soul revealed. It’s a little scary.

My world is very quiet at 3 a.m. Even the bloodstream buzzing of my afternoon coffee and my evening glass of wine have gone still. And there’s an illusion that I could pick up the sound of a distant reader’s satisfaction, the way a shortwave operator might pick up Reykjavík.

I go back to sleep with a naked ear cocked.

The libidinous fiction of Jeremy Edwards has been widely published online, as well as in over forty anthologies. His work was selected for The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, vols. 7, 8, and 9; he has read at New York’s In the Flesh and Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon; and he has been featured in the literary showcase of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. Jeremy’s first erotic novel is Rock My Socks Off (Xcite Books). Readers can drop in on him unannounced (and thereby catch him in his underwear) at www.jeremyedwardserotica.com .

A Neve Black Confession:Writing is something I must do, but film does me

Posted in Writers on March 14, 2010 by neve black

I’m a writer without question; a writer through and through. Writing makes my heart sing. Writing is my first love.

Because this is the forum to expose truths, I have a confession to share with all of you: I’ve been cheating on writing with film for years. And as cliché as it may sound, I couldn’t help myself. I was enamored with the visual eye candy; the music; the acting; the big screen; the overall cinematic experience of slipping into a dark theater and stepping away from the bang and clatter of the real world….all of it is so incredibly sexy and romantic to me.

I had such a good time cheating the first time that I went back for more. Before too long I realized I had fooled around and fell in love with film. And as romantic as film can be, I was someone else’s someone. I was living with writing. I love writing very deeply and I love my life with writing too, thus I knew I would never completely leave writing for film. Writing gets me and I get writing. Writing and me have been together for so long that we’d be lost without each other, but I also knew there was something that fascinated me about film – film fulfilled a need within me and before meeting film, I didn’t know I was missing it.

I felt horrible for cheating on writing. Time and time again I tried to walk away from film; feeling guilty and shameless for cheating, and knowing that no good could come from my double life. I didn’t want to hurt writing, so I would stay away from film; vowing to never do that again, and then I would remember a little detail about film, like film’s sweet perfume – fresh, hot buttered popcorn and before I knew it, there I was sitting in a dark theater with film once again.  So you see, film taunted me; teasing me and reeling me in until I’d succumb to film’s captivating ways and sneak off to my local art house theater so I could secretly meet my naughty mistress.

I was of course addicted. Addicted to film.

Writing suspected something was going on too, but I denied my affair. I told writing the suspicions were all in writing’s head. 

 I know. I know. Shameful.

As my relationship with film grew deeper, film began to get restless - film wanted more of me. I felt pulled in two directions – how could I choose? I finally came to realize that I would have to bite the bullet and confess to writing that I had been sneaking around with another lover. And to be honest it was painful for me to continue to do this to writing – I have such deep respect for writing.

 So one day, I poured myself a rather tall glass of tequila; licked the salt and bit the lime and came clean about my long-term love affair with film. I didn’t know what to expect – dishes breaking, slamming doors, stomping around, yelling…crying?

Writing was its ever typical self: silent and pondering the information…finally, writing spoke. Surprisingly, writing admitted to also having an attraction for film. How could I have not seen that? I’d been so selfish; so consumed with my own needs that I wasn’t tuned into writing. Writing understood my desire and said that if film would agree to it, writing would be up for a threesome, with one caveat: as long as I spent quality time with writing and we shared special moments that didn’t include film.

I was zealous with writing’s proposal to say the least. Suffice to say, I agreed.

As time went by, the three of us have all become quite close, so much so that the three of us have been living together under one roof for about a year now. 

So as I type this confession to you today, it’s Sunday and writing and film are frolicking together in my mind.  And it’s not just any Sunday either, because today is the day of the Oscars: the prestigious awards for the best of best in film. I can feel the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach… and tonight at my own local Oscar party, about 2500 miles east of Hollywood; I’m acting as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Once you see my Oscar outfit this year, you just might think that I was actually walking the red carpet in ostentatious Hollywood.

And in my mind I suppose I am. This year, as I walk that Hollywood red carpet I have two dates: writer on one arm and film on the other; both my lovers; my friends; my confidants at my side.

And this year, this threesome has been nominated for best screenplay….one of the best types of threesomes….

Writing is nothing new for Neve Black. She has been writing since she can remember and opted for a degree in English Literature. Between studying the classics and surfing the Southern California coastline, Neve discovered she also had affection for writing erotic literature, which she believes comes from her interest in scratching at the under-belly of society.  Neve’s novel, Sex Through the Zodiac was published in January, 2009. You can also read her erotic work in the on-line magazine, Oysters and Chocolate, and various anthologies like, Swing! Adventures in Swinging by Today’s Top Erotic Writers, Erotic Stories of Every Color, Ambrosia, Men in Shorts, and Sex and Shoes. You can contact Neve via e-mail at black.neve@gmail.com

Susan DiPlacido

Posted in Writers on March 7, 2010 by donnageorgestorey

Naked I

Susan DiPlacido

I love the idea of this project, because I’m a real big fan of naked bodies.  Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of exposing my body, not any part of it, unless it’s for the sake of immersing it in sunshine and water.  But I guess that’s revealing and exposing myself to admit that, so hopefully this qualifies.  As much as I prefer to not have my body scrutinized, I sure do enjoy objectifying others, particularly willing men.  So color me hypocrite.  Hopefully it’s a color I wear well, but if not, hey, at least I’m wearing something, and that makes me happy.

I was lucky enough to be an art student in school, and that afforded me the opportunity to be expected to gaze at and interpret the human form.  What always struck me were the details.  I’m a sucker for a man’s hands and forearms above most other things.  I have a fascination with watching tendons shift and fluctuate as veins pop and then recede.  There’s just something both sensual and sexy about that to me, and I guess that quirk/kink exposes itself in my writing often enough.

Excerpt from 24/7:

I noticed before that he’s always in some kind of motion, I imagine taming him is like pinning down mercury.

We both take long slugs off our drinks.  I light up a smoke and he does the same.  I wish I could tell what he’s thinking as he sits there smoking.  I wish I knew, because I’m not even thinking, I’m just absorbing.  I’m taking sidelong glances at him and trying to note, log and detail every nuance of him.

He’s wearing all black; black shoes, black pants, black T-shirt.  It fits his coloring well.  There’s a tiny flash of gold around the back of his neck, but it’s not a thick chain, and he keeps the front tucked under his shirt, so it’s not really ghetto.  He’s not as animated as when he sat down; either the Cuervo took the edge off, or he’s getting more comfortable with me.  But he’s still in constant, fluid motion.  His forearm is sinewy, every tendon moves as he flicks his ashes from his cigarette.  His shirt hugs him a little tight in the sleeves, not in an exaggerated International Male kind of way, but I can see that vein, that one glorious vein that travels up the front of his biceps, protruding.  Oh Madone.

BIO:
Susan DiPlacido is the author of five novels and one collection of short stories: 24/7, Trattoria, Mutual Holdings, House Money (forthcoming), Lady Luck (forthcoming),and American Cool. Trattoria was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance 2005, and her short story, “I, Candy,” won the Spirit Award at the 2005 Moondance International Film Festival. American Cool won the bronze medal in the 2008 IPPY awards and was a finalist in the 2008 Indie Book Awards.  Her fiction has appeared in Susie Bright’s Best American Erotica 2007, Maxim Jakubowski’s Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica vol. 6 and 7, Zane’s Caramel Flava, and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction.

She can be found online at susandiplacido.com and susandiplacido.blogspot.com.

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