D. L. King

Posted in Writers with tags on May 1, 2010 by donnageorgestorey

Naked on the Page

This is me.  It’s a bit of me, in any case.  It’s a piece of my tattoo.  I was told, when I was contemplating getting one, people become addicted to them and once you get one, you’ll want more.  I love my tattoo and the experience of having it done was—interesting.   I have just the one.  Not because of the pain but, because I always wanted a tattoo.  That’s me.

Like I said, the pain was interesting, but I’m not a masochist.  If you’ve read my stories, you’ve probably figured that out.

The tattoo’s been a part of me for seven or eight years now.  It took a long time to decide to do it.  And then it took a long time to figure out what I wanted to have indelibly etched into my skin.  It took no time to decide where it should be placed—somewhere people wouldn’t see it, just in case.  It’s really beautiful.  Now I kind of want to show it off but even I seldom get to see it.  Pity.

My boyfriend gets to see it.  I think it shocked him, the first time he saw it.  I think his initial attitude was, “What’s a nice girl like you doing with a tattoo?”  Now he knows I’m not really a nice girl.  (But then, if you’ve read my stories, you’ve probably figured that out.)  Now he really likes, perhaps even loves, my tattoo.

Now, don’t think you know me just because you know about my ink.  Here’s another picture.

This is my toy cabinet.  The picture reminds me of a great, if slightly chilly day and a particularly memorable Brooklyn salon. Looking at it makes me want to get back into hosting the salons again this summer.  And, no, the toy cabinet has nothing to do with Brooklyn writers salons.  And yes, these are really my toys—at least some of them.  The rest have other hiding places around the bedroom.

The shelves were awfully neat when this picture was taken, but my house is a wreck right now.  I just looked at the toy cabinet again and it’s not nearly so pristine.  However, seeing the Electrolube gives me ideas…

Yes, I like to play.  I like my sex on the kinky side.  I’m bossy and I like to be in charge but I’m also gentle and kind.  Yes, I can raise welts while being gentle and kind.  I suppose the bottom line is that I like to make people happy.  So just give me the right people and I’ll make them happy—with a paddle or a book.

Does any of this tell you who I am?  The truth is, I’m nobody and I’m everybody.  I’m not particularly exciting; I’m just me.  You’d pass me by if you saw me on the street.  You wouldn’t give me a second look if I stood next to you on the train.  And while I put pieces of myself into everything I write, it’s the story you’ll remember, not the writer.

This is where I work.  It probably says the most about me.

D. L. King is a smut-writing New Yorker. She is the editor of The Sweetest Kiss and Where the Girls Are, Cleis Press, and Spank! from Logical LustShe is also the publisher and editor of the book review site, Erotica Revealed. Her short stories can be found in anthologies such as The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Please, Ma’am, Sweet Love, Girl Crazy, Broadly Bound, Frenzy, Yes, Sir and Yes, Ma’am among othersShe is the author of two femdom novels. Find out more at her blog: http://www.dlkingerotica.blogspot.com or at her website, http://www.dlkingerotica.com.

M. Christian

Posted in Writers with tags on April 24, 2010 by neve black

He And I

I know that’s me.  I remember that afternoon: a house in the Sunset District of San Francisco with an intimate playroom in the basement, owned by a friend, since passed away.  The woman was my wife, now ex-wife.

I remember Michael Rosen, the magnificent photographer who took the shot, saying “Open your eyes” over and over again.  I remember she was almost standing on her head, laying backwards on a GYN table with her ass raised high.  I remember the shot took a long time — so long my hand began to cramp.  I remember the day Michael’s sent us a copy of his magnificent book Sexual Art with the photo published in it.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  They say that pictures don’t lie.  They say ‘photographic evidence.’  I don’t know why ‘they’ are, but when I look at that picture I wonder about what’s real and not real, about who that man really is.

He: so assured, so strong, so magnetic.  He looks like he always has that twinkle in his eye, always has that smile on his face.  The kind of guy you know, absolutely know, sings through life, dances through his days.

I: They say that depression is the feeling of being worthless, not valued, ignored, dismissed.  That’s wrong, though.  Depression is actually the absolute, certain knowledge – unshakable – that you’re worthless, not worth paying attention to, are constantly dismissed.  I don’t have good days and bad days, I have bad days and awful days.  Been that way all my life.  It’ a constant struggle.  I’m depressed right now and I was depressed when that picture was taken.

He: a sexual adventurer, an erotic extremist, a howling-boy, a roaring-man, a pierced and tattooed kinky contortionist.

I: I lost my virginity at 22 to a prostitute in London.  I didn’t have sex again until I was 27.  I was married soon after which is when I began to play in the kinky pool: tried bondage, cutting, polyamory, caning, marched in the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay/Transgendered parade, edited a newsletter for an alternative sexuality organization, got some piercings (only my ear and navel) and a pair of tattoos.  Yes, I’ve done all that, plus many other things, but the simple, honest truth is that I’m sexually pretty simple.  I like big beautiful girls – and all I like to do is be with one who wants to be with me.

He: frozen, trapped, in time.  He will always be in his early thirties.  He will always have that body  He will always have all that hair.

I: the big five-oh just hit me … a little over a week ago, actually.  The hair is gone, now I keep it cut very short.  The beard comes and goes – mostly goes — depending on what I’m doing and how diligent I am about shaving.  For the first time in my life I’m beginning to feel … old, and I hate it.  I’ve always pushed myself, have constantly driven myself to do as much as possible and now … now I’m facing the fact that I can’t do things like I used to.

But, you know, looking at the smile on his face, the glee that’s there in that photograph, I wonder if it isn’t a good thing that he’s out there – and that he and I are connected.  I don’t feel it most of the time but sometimes, when the mood is right, when the stars are aligned, I actually see myself in him – and hope that what other people see in that photograph isn’t just a flash of light in the past but is, instead, a frozen part of myself … a part that will always be within me.


M. Christian
began his career in erotica, writing under his pseudonym, “M.Christian.” He has established himself as a very prolific, and chameleonic, author specializing in literary erotica, but he’s also been widely published in other genres, which is where he wishes to focus his career going forward. M. Chrisitan’s erotica stories have appeared in every “best” anthology series including Best American Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, 200 other anthologies and magazines –- he’s been published as four best-selling collections: Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy.

He is also an accomplished anthologist, having edited more than 20 books such as The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowski); and Amazons, Confessions, and Garden of the Perverse (with Sage Vivant). He has recently expanded into mystery, horror, and humor with the novels Running Dry (Alyson Books, 2006), The Very Bloody Marys (Haworth, 2007), The Painted Doll (Lethe, 2007), Me2 (Alyson, 2008), and Brushes. He has worked with many publishers including Carol & Graf, Orion UK, Robinson UK, Avalon, Thunders Mouth, Haworth Books, Alyson Books, and many, many others. His author’s site is at http://zobop.blogspot.com/with links to all my publications.

Erobintica

Posted in Writers with tags on April 17, 2010 by neve black

Fuck Shame

First I cranked the heat up and let the room warm up. Sixty-five degrees is not conducive to disrobing. Yeah, I knew that I didn’t have to literally get naked to participate here at F-Stop. But the Naked I within me wanted to. Why?

Because it scared me.

Because for most of my life I’ve been ashamed of my body.

Because I could hear loud and clear all the reasons why not to.

Because I’m slowly becoming more comfortable in my own skin.

Because I can think of all the reasons why I should.

Because it’s a transgressive act.

Because it scares me.

Fear and shame are like that gooey substance they use in mousetraps. You know the stuff. I’ve used those traps in the attic. I’d know when a mouse stepped on one. Because usually they didn’t jump in with all four feet. Nope. Maybe just one foot. Mice aren’t stupid. As they’d try to get away (usually successfully too), I’d hear the clapclapclap of the little cardboard tray banging across the plywood above me. If I went up to check, I’d find the trap wedged against the wall where the little critter was able to break free. Struggle is good. The few mice that were caught, I always felt like they probably just gave up and gave in to the goo.

Sitting in my bathrobe, trying to get up the nerve to start the photo session for this post, I could tell that I was having a wee bit of PTSD. My husband was patient with me. Yeah, I have a history – experienced stuff that I would not wish on anyone. I’ve had a lot of toxic shame to pull away from. I’m still picking it from my skin. But that’s not what this is about. This is about getting to a place where the fear and shame are not strong enough to hold me in place anymore.

I’m fifty-two years old. This body has birthed three children; two girls now in their twenties and a teenage son, who was born at home weighing ten pounds. My breasts have fed children for a combined total of close to ten years. There is plenty of sagging and stretch marks. If not for the wonders of woven cloth, I could give the Venus of Willendorf a serious run for her money. Our bodies are wondrous. Why should we be ashamed?

Because just about everything we’ve ever heard our entire lives has told us that we should be. Afraid. Ashamed. Of who we are, what we are.

I removed the robe and lay down on the bed. My husband was probably as nervous as I was. He admitted that he’d never taken pictures of a naked woman before. I’m sure many people, even some friends, would think what we were doing was dreadful. All this should be “private.” I had a phone conversation with my sister once and listened to her rant on about how awful it was that anyone would think about putting naked pictures of themselves on the internet. Needless to say, she doesn’t know about Erobintica. Bodies should be private. Sex should be private. That’s what we’ve been told. Shame on you.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life being afraid and ashamed of who I am inside. Sure that if I let anyone see that me, they would be horrified. They’d reject and desert me. I’d end up alone and unloved. My thoughts? Shameful. My desires? Shameful. My predilections? Shameful. And definitely something to be afraid of. And that has carried over into my writing, both poetry and prose. I’d write things that I wouldn’t show to anyone. Even worse, I’d be afraid to write what I wanted to write, even if I told myself not another soul would ever see it. Sometimes I wrote it anyway, too often, sadly, I did not.

Shame eats away at you, like dry rot. When you stop yourself from writing what you want to, from maybe even thinking about writing what you want to, creativity can grind to a halt. Somehow I’ve managed to begin to pull away from the trap. Not sure how. I’ll probably spend the rest of my life pondering that – and writing those ponderings down.

As the photos were taken, I became more at ease. No, I didn’t do the model thing, but I found that it wasn’t as scary as I’d thought it would be. We had the lights pretty low. Too low it turned out. We had to retake the photos another night. Plus I noticed that I still had sock lines because I’d forgotten to take them off beforehand. Yeah, I was worried about sock lines! When I looked at the photos, I expected to feel some “ick – is that me?” But I didn’t. I’m no beauty. And as I just typed that, I paused. Because there it is. That shame. Still. It’s not gone. Maybe it never will be.

Humans are complex creatures. I like complex. I like messy. Always have.  Nothing’s more unsatisfying than an ending tied up neatly with a bow. Writers who revel in the erotic, are ones who venture into territory that makes many people uncomfortable. But we’re right there, looking closely at what makes others squirm. I like that.

One of my favorite lines is from Joni Mitchell’s song Case of You: “I’m frightened by the devil/and I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid.” One of the first poems I wrote was titled “Magnets” – about being equally attracted and repelled. That’s been me and sex, in a nutshell. It’s scared me, but it has an incredibly strong pull. That’s why I know I’ll spend the rest of my life writing about it. It’s funny, sometimes I wonder if people think this is a “phase” I’m going through. And once it’s run its course I’ll turn to other more socially acceptable writing. Maybe a cookbook? Or at least happy poems that rhyme. Maybe, but I’m pretty sure the rich, naughty stuff is here to stay.

Spine

Fingertips trace a line  

slow soft nape of neck

to hard tip of tailbone

message travels

at the speed

of impulse

breath catches

follicles tighten

toes flex

Oh, I still get afraid. Often, actually. I’ll do something daring, then spring back like a bungee jumper. I’ll be brave, then become a frightened child again. But I can’t stop pushing.  I’ll probably do the recoil thing after this post goes up. Why?

Because … how dare I bare my body and soul in this manner?

I’ve come to believe that it is the shame we drape over ourselves that causes more damage than that which causes the shame in the first place. So, fuck shame.

“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”  ~ Audre Lorde

Though it was almost twenty years ago that Robin penned her first bit of erotica, it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that Erobintica ventured out into the world. She took on that nickname (given by a friend), started a blog (by the same name), sent out that old story (revised of course) and got it published in Coming Together: Al Fresco, sent out others (most rejected), slowly showing more and more of her whole self to the world. It’s been a trip and a half. With no regrets. Robin also writes and publishes poetry and essays and is at work on a novel. She is not afraid to eat crow.

Thom Gautier

Posted in Writers with tags on April 11, 2010 by donnageorgestorey

Life in the Penthouse

April 1983

I was fifteen. I am fifteen. It was spring. It is spring. Before targeting the mission as my own, I’d begged and bribed older boys to buy Penthouse magazine for me, without success. Now, my impending purchase feels like the wait before a bank heist. A sophomore, I’ve spent the long day in school, my cock hard with innocent anticipation.

I get off the crowded bus miles away from my own neighborhood, and stroll into the shop, pretend to browse music and sports magazines and then stare down at the two stacks of thick magazines.

One stack is Playboy: bleach blondes with beaming smiles. Playboy seems somehow “acceptable” or “safe” porn, vaguely Hollywood, somehow false.

The other stack is Penthouse. Even from its covers, Penthouse seemed like High Culture, featuring sophisticated models decked out in European-style boudoirs. Or posed unadorned, hippy-like, nude, gazing over flower fields.

This month’s issue, May 1983, features a cover model––whose name I came to know––is Linda Kenton. She’s a Grace Kelly ringer––blonde coif, a red dress pulled back, a long leg lifted, a shoeless foot raised, a backward glance. As I bring the magazine up to the counter, my young hands tremble self-consciously. My schoolbag heavy at my side, I am fired up by a vague knowledge that a new kind of homework awaits, and I hand over rumpled dollars and take my change, still shaking. The store owner feels like a co-conspirator.

Safely at home I peel open the magazine like it is a sacred and forbidden text.  The pictorial inside knocks me backwards on my bed. I feel flush. It’s not just the female nudity that draws me in. I shiver, sensing an erotic danger even in simple details. Close eyelids and smoky eyeliner. Or a woman’s knowing glance over a teacup. The path of sunlight from a window to a flowerpot to a naked arm to her nose. What a lithe limb encased in black hosiery looks like peeking from under a tulle dress. I am turned on by these simplest details and by the electric force of her finger posed there, pressed between her parted legs. She invites me to do likewise, and these are my first truly deliberate acts of self-pleasuring, confused strokes, a crazed sensation like swimming without knowing what “water” is.  The magazine opened on my bed, for the first time, I willfully bring myself to orgasm.

December 1986

It is years later and, my Penthouse fat Holiday issue is confiscated by household authorities. What if my much younger siblings had found it? I am grilled by my father.  Compliant but outraged, a day or two later, I head to the newsagent to buy that very same fat, hefty Holiday issue again. I stand at the counter. The store’s register is unmanned. I wait. No one appears. I wait some more, growing bitterly aware that I already paid my hard earned cash for this very issue a week before, before the “authorities” snatched it from me. So without a second thought, I walk out of the store without paying, the free issue under my arm. Free. I am sure I came more than once that afternoon.

January 1988

Coming off a bad run of luck the previous year—I have just turned twenty. Already I am feeling a tad old to be doing this. I double park in the frigid cold and run in to buy Penthouse from the local shop. The annual Pet of the Year issue is just out.  Her name is “Patty Mullen.” When I take “her” home, her beauty bowls me over. An auburn haired woman posed in streaming sunlight, her head crowned with a fedora. The pictorial informs me she is a local gal (“how far a drive is Staten Island from my house,” I wonder?). For the first time, a Penthouse model is exactly my age. Her taste is eclectic and impeccable. She loves “scallops and white wine and chocolate, Woody Allen and white Harley Davidson’s.”  She wears ruffled Queens Anne lace and hooded blouses. Her smiling green eyes burn through me. Patty Mullen is a great omen. The new year turns out to be an annus mirabilis.

October 1990
Away at grad school, exiled in God’s country, I receive an unexpected care package from home. My current girlfriend has shipped me my Penthouse stash.  She enjoyed perusing my back issues. She included a note saying which issue was her favorite. On top of the magazines, she has left a pair of her black lace panties.

January 1994

I am happily engaged. My girlfriend and I are enjoying a prolific sex life, and yet I find myself home alone, midwinter, and bored. In our gentrified neighborhood’s magazine shop, I scope out Penthouse, like old times. The cover model’s name is Sasha Vinni. Eyes like ink, dark, deep as a Russian novel. And a body out of Ovid’s poetry. Sasha, extolling her Russian upbringing, Sasha strolling among an island’s yew trees and kicking in its foamy shore. Sasha seated in sunlight, Sasha hugging her black stocking legs, the trim of her stockings graced by tiny white bows. Sah-sha.

June 1998

I woke up fifteen hours earlier in Prague. Now I am back in New York. Things at home have been stale. If it’s not over between us now it will be soon enough. Everyone knows the unspoken and slow fade-out of a relationship. It happens.  Jet-lagged, horny, I pull off the highway and stop at the newsagent on the way back to the ‘burbs from the airport. I recall it is the same store where I’d shoplifted that issue some twelve years earlier. This time I wait patiently and pay for Penthouse––I’m a good bourgeois boy by now––and taking the magazine under my arm, I actually don’t expect much from it. The few issues I’ve bought in the 1990s are thinner than they used to be, both in content and in quality.  The couple’s pictorials, once a voyeuristic favorite, have become a parade of silicone boobs and steroid biceps and all-too-graphic anatomical close-ups.

Yet that jet-lagged afternoon at home, I am wowed by that month’s model. Kelly Havel. Talk about sexual healing! Unlike my girlfriend at the time, Kelly actually smiles, laughs. An authentic laughter. Her eyes suggest a compelling mix of self-conscious giddiness and a grown-up playfulness. Her black gown is stunning. Her breasts are small, natural. Her ass is small, full. Her legs are long. Her lips against her own lips on the mirror glass. Her tight blouse is painted with Asian flourishes. A dragon. Fire. Tongue. Flame. Relief.

Epilogue: March 2010

Penthouse back then, was not porn as it is in 2010. Those were hard copies, indeed. I don’t regret a minute of it. Or a dollar of it. Lost and found gazing at the pages of Penthouse, I was somehow included and excluded from sex.

I savored that contradiction.

My memories are like those of someone who lived in an Eastern Bloc country, waiting for the trucks to deliver the latest issue to the local pick up point, then smuggling this underground magazine from one location to another. I even persuaded myself that it wasn’t porn, but high art. I treated the issue with delicacy. I stored the magazines safely and variously. I smelled and touched the glossy pages. I studied the pictorials’ foregrounds and backgrounds. I envied those coupling couples, and I was struck dumb by the transgressive photos of threesomes. I knew each of the photographers by name and by their styles. I read subtexts and stories into the settings. If Penthouse’s photographers aspired to be like painters like Renoir and Klimt, they also knew porn was part irony, and even camp. I was disappointed when the magazine punctured my dream-world of sex with nude photo spreads of “real” celebrities: Madonna, Vanessa Williams, Gennifer Flowers. Once or twice, I actually bought an issue for the articles and interviews. Andy Warhol and Pete Townshend and Martin Scorsese. In more literary moods, I often got off to the (always fake) Forum letters.

Secure, alone in my room with the latest issue, I was not put upon by social expectations: teachers, parents, friends, siblings. In Penthouse, I didn’t have to think about “my future” or “responsibilities.”  I got off in the company of beautiful, silent strangers. Their allure was so vivid that I can recall their first names as if they are ex’s of mine, which, in a way, they are. Linda, Patty, Sasha, Kelly. These were women who seemed beyond men: worldly, artistic, independent. Penthouse-living women. That was part of founder Bob Guccione’s goal, his magazine’s sweet illusion. I have often wondered what became of these women in “real” life.

Real-life: how irrelevant is that phrase, especially when applied to the pursuit of pleasure. I think sex is forever intertwined with the unreal, the tangible mirage.

Playing among those phantasms in Penthouse and finding my pleasure between what could be and what is, I gave as much as I got.

While Thom Gautier no longer buys Penthouse magazine, he does write erotica, which has appeared in Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 9 (Running Press), and in the forthcoming Sex in the City: New York Sex (Accent Press).  His stories have also been in Lucrezia Magazine, Sliptongue, Cleansheets, and Oysters & Chocolate.

Janine Ashbless

Posted in Writers on April 3, 2010 by neve black

When I was twenty-five, it was a very bad year…

When I was in my mid-twenties, something strange happened to me. I started to cry a lot, and I couldn’t stay awake. I’d get up and walk to work, crying. I’d struggle to keep my eyes open at my desk. I’d fall asleep in meetings and on the toilet. I’d walk home again crying all the way, eat some food and crawl into bed, wake up for an hour around ten and then sleep all the way through to the start of the next morning. I gave up driving: I was too frightened I might crash the car and knew I wouldn’t be able to cope if anything went wrong. I stopped going out on my own at all. I dreaded every day and I despised myself: my only escape was sleep. I could sleep anywhere: I slept right through a party, sitting against a radiator; I slept at the front of the mosh pit in an All About Eve concert, huddled against the crowd barrier.


Eventually I went to the doctor. I thought there was a good chance I had M.E, which was featured in the papers a lot at the time, or some virus. I spent a while describing the physical symptoms – the crying, the hypersomnia, the panicking.


Doctor: “Tell me … Do you ever think about committing suicide?”


Me: “Yes. All the time.”


Doctor: “Have you attempted it?”


Me: “Oh no. I wouldn’t do that to my boyfriend – it would devastate him.”


Doctor: “But if he was out of the picture? Would you?”


Me: “Without hesitation.”


Doctor: “Hm. I think you might be suffering from depression.”


Me: “What?


I was genuinely shocked by that diagnosis. How, I thought, could I be depressed? Depression was for people who’d been abused or had family members murdered or lost both legs in an industrial accident, wasn’t it? It was for people whose lives were irredeemably awful. Yet here I was with a well-paying job (which I loathed … but nevertheless it was a good job with no heavy lifting); I had a steady supportive boyfriend; we’d just bought our first house together; we had no problems and good prospects; things were settled and looked ideal. What fucking right did I have to be depressed?


Hah. I found out you don’t have to earn Depression. It comes as a freebie.


Depending on which country you live in, something like 10% to 20% of the population will suffer from a depressive illness at some time in their lives. Women are twice as likely to be afflicted as men – but men are four times more likely to end up dead. The causes are complex and unpredictable: it might be triggered by stress or trauma, by being unvalued or functionless (like when you retire) or by out-of-kilter hormones (like after giving birth) – or you might just have a crap set of genes, because it definitely has a hereditary component. And you are most likely to first get it in your twenties. Symptoms vary too – I was unusual in falling asleep all the time; it’s much more common not to be able to sleep properly.


Basically, your brain chemistry gets messed up. That’s all it is; not enough serotonin, or something. The effects are indescribably awful.


In my case, I can guess the trigger. Whilst never the sunniest bunny in the warren, I’d been very happy while at university: probably it was the ideal environment for me. I’d acquired for the first time in my life a wide circle of friends who actually shared my interests. I’d got me a fantastic boyfriend, P (nowadays Mr Ashbless), and had lots of sex. I was really interested in my academic course and worked hard at it with good results. But then I graduated – and entered the ‘real’ world. I was cut off from friends and P. I ended up in jobs which were repetitive and alienating. I had to work in an office environment, which – it turned out – I found incredibly oppressive. I felt like I’d landed on an alien planet. I lived only for the weekends, but the weekends were not enough.


I am pathologically goal-oriented. Heck, I can’t even relax on a beach for a day. I need to have something to do, preferably something creative I can put my heart into and feel really proud of, and I really want to be patted on the head afterwards and told “Janine, that was great!” (Why do you think I’m a writer, eh? Why do you think I’m writing this?) Suddenly, at 24, my life had no goal. No purpose.


Gradually I went into mental collapse.


If you haven’t had it, you probably have no idea just how bad it is. You might think Depression is a bit like “feeling down.” That’s not the half of it. Depression is like … it’s like carry a lead blanket around 24 hours a day. You can’t lift your head. You can’t see the light. You’re physically and mentally on the brink of exhaustion all the time. The tiniest setback is like a brick wall and the smallest task becomes a massive effort. The whole world seems like it’s opposing you. I can remember one morning the toothpaste fell off my toothbrush onto the floor and I burst into tears and went back to bed – there just seemed no way I could carry on fighting my way through the day.

And you have no skin. Everything is raw. Nothing bounces off. The most innocent remark becomes a damning condemnation of everything you are and can be.


Don’t dismiss Depression. Don’t underestimate it. It’s a killer.


Here’s something else you might not know about being depressed: very often, it’s only the thought of suicide that makes it possible to keep going. It’s your escape-hatch. You think “I can’t bear this … but I’ve only got to make it to bedtime. Tomorrow, if it’s this bad, I can kill myself then.”


Without question, if it weren’t for P, I’d be dead. He stuck with me all that time, not saying much, just being there. Looking after my body while my messed-up mind went its own way. He says he didn’t even think of leaving me, because he loved me. I find it hard to wrap my head around the enormity of his tolerance and sacrifice – because oh god I must have been horrible to live with.


Doctor: “Why don’t you quit your job?”


Me: “But … it’s a really good job. Most people would be grateful for it.”


Doctor: “You said it’s making your life miserable. Could you manage financially without it?”


Me: “I suppose so …”


Doctor: “Then quit.”


I quit. I went onto anti-depressants. And slowly it started to work. My therapy (and practically the only thing I could focus on to start with) was gardening. We had a tiny patch of land, and I could research and plan and dig and watch things grow. I became an obsessive gardener, out there for hours with my hands stuck in the soil, because it was the only place I felt in control.


Things improved. In time I became less fragile. I went back to college and did a Forestry course. College courses are good for me – I like deadlines, I like passing exams and I like learning. Goals, you see? I need something to do. I need goals. Short-term ones like writing stories and blog posts. Long-term ones like novels. I didn’t find my way to a forestry career, but I did in the end find my way to writing.


Depression: it changed my life, ultimately for the better. It made me what I am now – and the fear of it drives me still. I want to finish with a quote from Gwyneth Lewis’ book Sunbathing in the Rain. Now, like I said, Depression is an individual thing and this does not hold true for every sufferer, but in my particular case it’s bang-on accurate:


“If you can cope with the internal nuclear winter of Depression and come through it without committing suicide – the disease’s most serious side-effect – then, in my experience, Depression can be a great friend. It says: the way you have been living is unbearable: it’s not for you.”


If I’d stuck contentedly with a career in computing, I’d never have been a writer. If it weren’t for Depression, I would never have become a writer.

Writing is my armour, my bonfire that holds back the darkness.


There is one corollary of that … and here I am naked, for all the world to see. Should the day come that the Writing stops for whatever reason, the Depression will come back. I know it’s there, waiting for me. I can feel it. And if that happens, this time it will win.


But not today.


xxx


Janine Ashbless

Janine Ashbless is the author of 5 Black Lace books – three novels and two collections of short stories – and numerous short stories published by Cleis, Spice, Xcite, Nexus and Black Lace. She specialises in fairytale and fantasy erotica because she never grew out of that Dungeons & Dragons phase, despite her mother’s fervent wishes.  She nurses a number of fatal weaknesses: for minotaurs, guys with long hair, Victorian paintings and embittered liberal smartarses. Don’t anybody ever go and make her World President, because she’d do very very bad things with the very best of intentions.
www.janineashbless.blogspot.com

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.

Craig Sorensen

Posted in Writers on February 28, 2010 by neve black

Warm Comforts on Naked Flesh

©2010 Craig J. Sorensen

I suppose the photo that accompanies my thoughts on the subject of nudity is pretty tame, but I’m comfortable with that.  Comfortable on many levels.

Let me explain.

This picture was taken of me back during one of my forays into writing before I became dedicated to it a few years back.  I was working on a story idea that extends back to my childhood.  Call it a fantasy novel, for lack of better, though it has no elements of sorcery or the supernatural.  But the ancient world within it is from my mind, so technically it is a fantasy.  I was so intent on the writing that day that I didn’t know the picture was being taken.  For some reason, when I know I’m being photographed, my face hardens and I don’t like the way I look.

This surprise photo, taken by my wife when I was intent on writing, is comfort number 1.

Back when I was writing that fantasy novel I was disorganized, given to scattered thoughts.  I formulated settings and people in my mind and a basic premise and started writing.  It was a naïve way to go, but as I look back, it was essential in my creative development.  But for the bold way I approached developing my story, I was cautious in how I told them.  I was very bound by what I thought might be acceptable socially, and limited how far I might be able to go with my characters.  I pushed the envelope by exploring sexuality, but in a careful manner.

To some extent, these limitations and my quiet tendency to struggle with them, may have been why I was fascinated by nudity from a very early age.  This took me down a strange road where pushing limits met with innocence; it was to be a collision course.

Back in the early 1970’s, before my voice cracked, I discovered that a friend shared my fascination with nudity.  We used to sleep out under the stars in our back yards during the long, pleasant Idaho summers.  Often we’d just lie and look at the twinkles in the sky, but it progressed to where we joined forces, casting aside the bonds of our clothes.   It started in the back yard, behind the safety of a tall fence, but we could not be restrained, and we began to venture out, running side by side.

I have no idea how many times we did this, but a long string of successful forays made us cocky.   We never really thought how hard our feet could hit the ground.  But one night it was hard enough that we weren’t the only ones that knew we were running.  We were about half way around the outside of back fence the first time we heard my father’s voice.  We slowed and stared at each other a couple of times as he called again.  We went to the front door.  Of course, it was locked.  I’m not sure if we thought we could get away with finding some of my clothes and getting dressed, then coming back out.  That point was moot.

We had nothing to do but face the music.

I’ll never forget the shocked looks on my parents’ faces as we walked together through the gate into the back yard.  My dad said one word: “Naked?”  I cannot adequately describe the sound of his voice.  My friend and I spent the rest of the night securely in my room and, not too surprisingly, our friendship became limited by external forces.  We drifted apart to become not much more than acquaintances as we grew up.

But that warm Idaho night was not the last time I ran bare.  Just the last time with him.  I ran bare numerous times before streaking was all the rage, and I continued to explore taking chances running nude for years to come.  It was a sporadic thing that satisfied something in me.  Something ineffable, mysterious, and something I didn’t really fathom; it was as much a compulsion as a desire.

A few years back I began writing daily.  I went back to the fantasy novel that had run rampant in my head since I was a boy.  I finished it, but I didn’t know what to do with it; it was an oddball and I was a literary unknown.  This was an unseen blessing.  I decided I needed to write something in a more established genre.  I tried my hand at literary stories, and found I don’t have the passion for it.  One submission even came back with the hand written note, “you write very well, but this story lacked vitality.”  On a chance occurrence, I submitted an erotic story, one of two that I had written during my literary phase, to a fledgling e-magazine and to my surprise, it was instantly accepted.  Though this first effort was not published because the magazine folded, I had found where my lamp burned brightest.

Now I had to allow myself to write stories to my inner voice.  Even the grubby story that had been accepted, very dark by my standards, had an element of restraint, and not in a delicious, kinky-bondage way.  I was channeling my deeper passions into something darker as a bit of distraction, but I didn’t know that then.  I look at it now as being a reflection of society, the very violent but sexual story justified its sexuality in that violence.

In a sense, my headlong run into erotica, and being more honest in my voice, was a figurative stripping away of clothes.  It wasn’t instantaneous, with all clothes shed in a moment, but was a peeling of layers and it all started with that dark story that later did get published.  This is comfort number 2.

I do not feel the urge to physically run nude anymore.  Back in the day my physical self, as it were, reached out because my creativity sat in restraints.

Nowadays, I do not accept the mantle of clothes as a personal preference, but as a citizen of our current society.  I’m as comfortable nude as clothed, and I remain clothed in deference.  This is fine with me, because I’m naked in what I write.  Comfort number 3.

The last time I was bare outside was not long before I took to writing in earnest, not long before I set on this journey to cast the more insidious clothing of my creative self aside.  I didn’t run, but just got up into a tree coated in summer leaves one night while it was raining.  I hadn’t planned to get naked, but it just felt so right.  I stood nestled within the tree and listened to the rain fall, and took a few drops that got past the leaves to my skin.  Comfort number 4.

It was probably less than a year after that I was deeply into my writing.

Quite frankly, as I reach toward age fifty and my love of good food has its way with my outer form, I think the light of my nude writing is more flattering than my current physical state.  Method author that I am, I know that I can and do run whenever I want with my pen.  My body can take many forms, and I know that my face won’t contort if someone points a proverbial camera at me.

If there are some shocked faces as I continue to explore this form of nudity, I take comfort that I’ve learned to appreciate them over time.

I write on.  Comfort complete.

By day Craig J. Sorensen busies himself in the information technology field, which he has worked in since before the iconic introduction of the IBM PC.  He has been writing even longer.  A lover of the nudity of words, he has learned to undress himself in many ways over the years.  His works can be found online and in print anthologies and journals internationally.  His focus has recently turned from short stories to novel length works, including a book based on his experiences in a Military Intelligence unit in West Germany around 1980.

Sorensen lives in south-central Pennsylvania with his supportive and talented family.

To find out more, check his blog at just-craig.blogspot.com