Monday, March 31, 2014

I Am the Biggest Nerd

I’ve just downloaded far too many articles from Porn Studies, a new journal published by Routledge. I should not be so excited about this.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I Dare You to Disobey - Part Two

Gamin: 
Short Story – 
Part Two
Read Part One Here



To read the rest of this story, please check out this novel of interwoven stories with Deep Desires Press!

Kinksters call it play for a reason. Come have some fun!


Life can make love hard, especially in the kink community. Follow an eclectic, kinky ensemble, through a series of interwoven stories, as they struggle to put a little more play into their lives.

Especially when the marriage between Kat and Peter Richards starts to fall apart. It’ll take this community of kinksters to bring them back together again. After four years of marriage, Kat and her husband’s relationship seems so…nice. Not bad. Just average, ordinary. Nice. They haven’t played in forever and she desperately misses it. She wonders if they’ve lost their spark and worries her happily ever after came at the cost of her sex life.

Peter will need the help of their friends  — from an exhibitionist learning to reconnect with her body and appreciate being looked at again, to an exhausted, off-duty cop having a rough night with an unexpected partner, to a Little struggling to keep her roleplay fantasy fresh against the toll of reality’s ticking clock — to remember that, with trust, communication, and the right partners, play can make life and love so much better.

AVAILABLE NOW ON 



MAKE-UP SEX MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER!
See what happens after Kat & Peter's happy ending in my story from Deep Desire Press!
And Listen to an Excerpt

THINK YOU OWN ME?
Please check out my novel Show Me, Sir from Sinful Press that celebrates feminist kink!
REBEL WITH US!
Please check out Coming Together's defiant, charity anthology that celebrates diversity and equality!
And Listen to an Excerpt


LOVE EROTICA? LOVE CONSENT?
Please check out my story in The New Smut Project's anthology and see how consent makes everything sexier!

Find even more great reads and Put Your Money Where Your Orgasm Is!




Also, find out how you can support me and collaborate with me on my Patreon Page!

I Dare You to Disobey - Part One

Gamin: 
Short Story – 
Part One

It’s a good night. In terms of atmosphere, at least. Dark and warm, the air just a little heavy with a heady humidity that held a man like a lover.  

I peel off my coat as I enter the shadowed alley in the back of the club where I parked my car. Leather may make the look, but it’s damned hot. 

Still, a good night in the city, weather-wise. Not so great on all the other fronts. I was supposed to meet someone tonight but, after waiting away a good chunk of my evening for someone who never came, figure it's past time to head home.


I watch as a couple, a little tipsy and a lot horny, stumble out of the club door, helped out by Gabe, his massive hands hard as he shows them the door. The tall man tips his head at me. “Rand,” he greets, as he takes a drag on his cigarette. “Nice night.” 

“Could always be better.” I nod back, thinking it a shame the man’s on duty. Gabe’s a good time, if I remember right. Real shame he’s working. 

But he is. And, for the first time in three weeks, I’m not. And I’m in the mood for a good time now. Just got off a big sting, a drug ring—little sex thrown in. Vice. I work vice. 

Or it works me; six years in and I’m still trying to figure that one out. 

I head to my car alone. Again. 

My job’s not real conducive to a relationship, you know? Takes me away for long stretches; never letting go till the job’s done. Then there’s always the danger. Got me shot twice. Made me do more bad in the name of good than I’d like to recall. Sometimes the stress of it gets to you too, you know? Gives me a temper sometimes—not proud of it. Not exactly easy to find somebody willing to put up with that for long stretches. 

But that’s all right. I like my job and I’m good at it; it’s a good fit. Even without it, I’m not too conducive for relationships either. 

It’s why I do thirds. Be the second guy to someone else’s half. Be the less-significant other. It’s easier. On everybody. See each other when you can. Enjoy the hell out of each other. Then walk away. No expectations. No demands. No disappointments. 

Except on hot, humid nights like tonight when I’m still fucking alone. 

I pause by my car, digging for my keys in my pockets. 

“Nice night,” I hear a voice say from the shadows. It’s light, kinda high, like a teenager. Slurred too. 

My lips twitch. Just what I need...
Read Part Two Here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Warning About Trigger Warnings

“Trigger warnings are presented as a gesture of empathy, but the irony is they lead only to more solipsism, an over-preoccupation with one’s own feelings—much to the detriment of society as a whole. Structuring public life around the most fragile personal sensitivities will only restrict all of our horizons. Engaging with ideas involves risk, and slapping warnings on them only undermines the principle of intellectual exploration. We cannot anticipate every potential trigger—the world, like the Internet, is too large and unwieldy. But even if we could, why would we want to? Bending the world to accommodate our personal frailties does not help us overcome them.” (Jenny Jarvi)


So, I’ll admit it, I am not one of the most PC people you’ll ever meet. Not even close. I write smutty, romanticized, BDSM erotica that often plays with power, control, and pain rather unapologetically.

I like to think that I—and I do try my best to—portray racial minorities, women, men, and kinksters of all kinds in a respectful and honest way. I try very hard to only present safe, sane, consensual sex and kink between partners who actually care about each other’s well-being. Who see each other as people first, rather than just a means of sexual gratification.

I don’t preface with this to say I deserve a pat on the back, but simply as a backdrop to this issue. 

I don’t typically start off my stories with trigger warnings. 

And, yes, I’ve received requests saying that I should. 

And, indeed, perhaps I should.

I have stories that feature Littles Daddy/daughter sex, that feature interracial power play, that feature very gendered power play, that feature sensation-heavy kink play, that teeters on the line of dubious consent.

And that’s just my erotic writing. If you read my non-erotic writing, you will encounter scenes with graphic violence and assault. You will find the stories and perspectives of characters whom even I don’t agree with, but whose stories I wanted to tell.

Maybe I ought to preface my stories with trigger warnings.

But I’m not going to.

And it’s not because I’m insensitive to the trauma of those who may read my work. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love my fans. And I would never want to intentionally trigger or offend them.

And that’s the crux, isn’t it? 

When I write and post I don’t really know what’s going to trigger a reader until it does. And what triggers one reader likely won’t with most. In fact, what often triggers one reader is the very thing that makes the story speak to most.

And, often, I’m asked, well, even if it only affects a few of your readers, does it really harm anyone else by putting a trigger warning at the start of the story to protect the few it does affect? 

Yes. Quite a lot actually.

Particularly as a kinky writer who is trying—very, very, very hard—to portray kinksters as more than their kinks. To give us a public image as people first, rather than the broken, flat fetish freaks we’re so often portrayed as in mainstream media. Poor, two-dimensional stereotypes puppeting the real star of the story: the act. The Kink.

So much of what’s out there and readily available to the mainstream about kinksters isn’t written by kinksters. It’s written by people whose closest brush with kink are the fantasies that float around in their heads. These portrayals approach kink as an act. Flashy and taboo. Dangerous and edgy. Too often, they rob us of our humanity. They forget that, beneath the bonds and blindfolds, beneath the leather and latex, are people. Just trying to live and love.

Placing: “TRIGGER WARNING: Scenes involving simulated force” or “TRIGGER WARNING: Scenes involving simulated age play” at the start of my stories, even with the best of intentions, plays into that practice. It takes scenes and stories about healthy and loving people expressing their healthy sexualities in healthy and loving relationships and reduces them to the worst, most unhealthy, most degrading, and understandably and gut-wrenchingly hateful images.

It’s the basic PR problem with kink whenever we butt heads with the vanilla mainstream. 

What we do, taken completely out of context, is deplorable. Stripped of all context, it is the very worst that humanity inflicts on itself. If you take consensual out of consensual non-consent, all you have is rape. If you take SSC (safe, sane, consensual) rules out of BDSM, all you have is abuse. If you preface us with what we do before who we are, all the world sees us as are monsters.

So, no, as much as I hate the thought of hurting or harming any of my readers—even though I know I’ve lost readers over it—I will not be using trigger warnings to preface most of my stories. Because, even though some of my readers think it infringes on their consent, to be shocked with a trigger mid-way through one of my stories—and, for that, I am very sorry—by using those warnings, I would be participating in the exact practice and culture I got into all this to change.

I will say, for those who are worried about being triggered, I do and will continue to try to give some key terms in the top titles of all my stories. And, even if you find some of my stories triggering, I hope that you can find and enjoy others that aren’t.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Deviant Nerd - It's All a Numbers Game

It’s All a Numbers Game
The Deviant Nerd
Brought to you by SyncKink.com, a free, BDSM-friendly, digital, safe space for fetishists.


QuestionHey Pip,

All my friends
even my friends who are girlshave had more sexual partners than me. Im an eighteen-years-old guy and getting ready to graduate and go off to college and I havent been on dates with or even kissed as many girls as my friends have slept with. My friends all think that I should spend this summer beefing up my number, so Im not heading off to college behind everyone else, experience-wise. Is this a good idea? And how should I go about doing that?

Is It Too Small?

———

PipHey Is It,

For a guy playing a numbers game, you don’t actually give me many. You’re 18 and have had x number of partners. I know that x is less than a, given that a is the average number of partners your friends say they’ve been with. And you have 3 months to increase x to equal a, right?

Now, to be honest, I was an abysmal algebra student—so bear with me on this. I’m pretty sure that, if a, then in order to figure out how to make = a by adding 3 months, I need to know y

As in why do you care if you’ve had more, less, or exactly the same number of sexual partners as anyone else?

It doesn’t actually sound like you do. Looking at your letter, you say that your friends think that your number is too small. Even your moniker asks if your unsaid number is too small.

And the only person who can answer that is you.

You’re eighteen. You haven’t even graduated high school yet. I don’t know what your number is and I don’t know what your friends’ numbers are but there’s a good chance that the measuring system you’re using is a bit off.

I may have been terrible at algebra, but I’m pretty good at my statistics. And current stats tell us that, on average, men typically have 10 partners and women have 7. In their entire lifetimes.

On average, men kiss about 16 people and women kiss about 15. Men will have 8 first dates, 3 blind dates, and 3 online hook-ups. Women will go on 7 first dates, 2 blind dates, and 2 internet-enabled encounters. Men will also have, on average, 6 long-term relationships that last longer than a year, while women will have 5. 

And that’s in their entire lifetime. The average person doesn’t even experience their first kiss until they’re 15. And 17 is the average age that people lose their virginities. 

You’re 18; you’re just starting out on your sexual journey, how big does your number need to be right now? Chances are good that, whatever your number is—even if it were 0—you’d still be pretty on par with your fellow in-coming freshmen.

So, then, if all those stats are true, how is it that your friends’ numbers seem so high?

There are a couple of reasons.

The less likely reason could be that you just know some statistically more sexually active people. National statistical averages, after all, take a wide range of numbers and average them out, so it doesn’t take into account the high highs and the low lows, just the average. So it’s possible that you know a lot of people on the higher end of this kind of survey.

However, more likely, you know a lot of people who fudge and fib about where exactly they lie on this kind of survey. Remember the statistic about average sexual partners a person has in their entire lifetimes? Well, another survey conducted by Norman Brown and Robert Sinclair found that the women they surveyed reported 8 total partners, as opposed to 7. Which isn’t too far off, right? Except when they surveyed men, Brown and Sinclair found that men, on average, self-reported having an average of 32 partners, as opposed to 10.

You just can’t trust anyone, can you?

After their initial questions, Brown and Sinclair asked their subjects if theyd lied about the number of partners they’d been with. And 5% of respondents admitted that they had. And another 10% said that, while they didn’t think they’d lied, per se, they did know that their answers may have been less than accurate.

So, at the end of the day, what does this all mean? What does that number—what do any of these numbers—even tell you? Do they tell you anything useful about a person? Does the number of partners tell you how good or bad a person is at this terribly complicated thing called dating? Does it tell you anything about how good a person is in bed? What kind of skill as a lover they have? Or is more information needed?

If the relationships you’ve been in—be they one-night-stands, long-term relationships, or something in between—added something positive to your life. Left you feeling wiser, happier, more mature, more loved, more experienced. If they helped you grow as a person. That, more than some number—especially someone elses number—is a much better measuring stick, experience-wise.

– Pip, Your Resident Deviant Nerd


* If you have a sex, kink, love, or life question for The Deviant Nerd, email Pip at PipJones.DeviantNerd@gmail.com
And read more about Pips story in Brought to You By.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Just Tell Your Story

So I love my fans. 

I do. 

Every single one. 

It’s a little mind-boggling to think that I even have fans—as I sit here and type this on my work computer during a slow point in my banal, everyday workday—so I’m ever so grateful to anyone who takes the time to read the bits of myself that I put out there.

And I love it when people write to me about how to write their own stories. How to begin the process of becoming that sometimes mythical creature called “writer.”

But, when it happens, a part of me sits back disbelieving at my screen and asks, “Who me? You’re asking me?”

I’m some smutty-mouthed porn writer who still feels so small in the vast literary world. There has got to be someone better to ask.

But maybe there’s not.

I’ve been where many of my fans are. Hell, I’m only a few short years and a novel away from that place. I know exactly what it feels like to hold a finished piece of wonder in your hand and marvel at its existence while also wondering “What now?” I know what it’s like to dream big, to think, if I could just get it published, my life will change, while also doubting myself and wondering whether it’s—whether I’m—good enough.

And, if I could give just one piece of advice to anyone who wants to be a published author, it would be: You’ll never know until you try.

I remember thinking that getting published was an unthinkable task that would just have to wait until my book was ready. Was perfect. Until every typo had been eradicated. Until the prose was exactly right. Until I couldn’t think of a single thing to change to make it better. 

And, for years, I whittled away at my novel—shifting commas and adding and subtracting sections. Sure that one day—one day—my book would be perfect and then I’d feel ready to send it off.

But I never did.

If I’m honest, even as I sent it off—even as I sent my publisher the for-realsies, final-edit-before-release copy—I never felt ready. To this day, I’ve yet to re-read my novel in release-copy form, for fear that I’ll see a missed typo or an opportunity for revision. Because a part of me knows that I sent my literary baby off into the world unfinished.

But that’s what you do with children.

You raise them from nothing, fill them with all that you know, prepare them as much as you can, then…you let them go. You let them loose into the world, imperfect as they are, and hope someone will love them as much as you do.

And, if you’re lucky, someone does.

And that’s my super-secret authorial wisdom from someone who feels like anything but an expert in all this: Tell your story. Write it. Love it. Work on it. Finish it. Fix it. Then spread it. Get it out to as many people as you can, however you can.

You may never be the next big novelist—hell, I’ve no illusions that I am or ever will be—but your life will change. You’ll have become a different person through the process.

Successful or not, prolific or not, hell, paid or not, you’ll have become a writer.

And, for those of us who do it because we love it—because we have to, have no other choice but to—you’ll be surprised by how that really is enough.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How NOT to Throw an Orgy



I'm all for sexy, fun kink parties, but, yeeeeeah, don't be THAT guy. Consent is what makes kink sexy; that includes the people whose house the party's at. 

Be a good, kinky guest, guys! 

That's how you get an invite back.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fantasy First Time - Part Two

Make Me Believe: 
Short Story – 
Part Two
Read Part One Here

So, sorry, I'm a horrible tease.

Part Two used to be here; so sad you missed it. And it'll be back eventually.

But if you're as bad at waiting as I am, you can check out the revised and edited version of this story that I wrote for Riverdale Avenue Books' The First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology

Like I've always said, kink and geeks go hand in hand. Kink is essentially nerd sex. Think about it. We role play. We use code names and special jargon. Our world is built upon inventing, learning, and perfecting specialized skills. It's taking the very basic, simple act of sex and over-thinks the fuck out of it. Who else would do that but the geekiest nerds you can shake a pair of ten-sided dice at? This anthology explores and celebrates this perfect combination; please come check it out!




HAVE YOURSELF A KINKY, LITTLE XMAS!
Please check out my story in Coming Together's charity anthology that lets your feel-good do some real good!

SEXT ME SWEETLY
Check out my story to dive deep into all the awkward excitement of sexual exploration.
Available Now On
Your Choice of These Digital Stores





YOU'RE INTO WHAT?!
If it exists, someone’s kinky for it! Check out my story in SinCyr Publishing's anthology that takes a walk on the weird side: you won’t regret it.


COME GET CORRUPTED
Please check out my story, "Safeword," in this new anthology from SinCyr Publishing, where women reclaim and recognise their power in myriad ways, and it's not always pretty. 
Available Now On





Find even more great reads and Put Your Money Where Your Orgasm Is!




Also, find out how you can support me and collaborate with me on my Patreon Page!

Fantasy First Time - Part One

Make Me Believe: 
Short Story – 
Part One

Danielle Atali lay on Chris Carey’s bed in just her t-shirt and panties, leaning on one elbow, as she watched him—still fully dressed, shoes and all—shift uncomfortably in his desk chair. She watched him fiddle with his music program on his computer as some kind of metal—some singer who was half-singing, half-screaming about dragons or wizards or something—streamed, slightly muffled, through his speakers.

Her lips quirked up at him as she studied the flush coloring the back and side of his neck. His face too, she’d bet, if he bothered to look at her. He was such an awkward guy. Skinny and slumped over. Shy and kinda quiet. He had the freckled, pale skin of a guy who spent far too much time indoors, cooped up alone.


He was not the kind of guy she thought she’d ever be with.


But he was sweet. And cute. And fun.


And—though she knew, if the genders were reversed, it would be incredibly sexist to say—there was something about being with someone who was experiencing all this for the first time. It didn’t quite make her feel all fresh and virgin-y again. This was not her first time and there wasn’t an amount of innocence Carey could have to make it so.


But it made her feel...honored. Special. That Carey had waited this long. Had chosen her. 


It was a heavy thing, being someone’s first. She hadn’t really thought about it with her own first—the senior who tutored her in high school chemistry, who probably hadn’t really thought much about it at the time either—but it was kinda a crazy thing to ask someone. To entrust to someone.


And, while she didn’t think that losing her virginity had changed her all that much—not in the grand scheme of things—she remembered it feeling huge and life-altering then. She remembered it’d felt like being held over a precipice. Like she were about to plunge into a deep unknown. And she’d—perhaps a bit unwisely, definitely naively—trusted her tutor to guide her through that moment.


And, sure, her first time hadn’t been the monumental event she’d thought it would be—and she wasn’t quite so vain as to think that she could shake Carey’s world either—but she just wanted to live up to the trust he was putting in her.


So Danielle sat up to sit cross-legged on his bed, grabbing a pillow to hug, as she worried her lip. “Are you sure you’re ready?” she asked, eying his hunched-over back. “It’s cool, if you want to wait.”


He swiveled the chair around, finally facing her, his hazel eyes wide and confused behind his thick lenses. And a little worried too. “Why?” he asked, his words quick and a touch too high. “Have you changed your mind?”


“No,” she assured him, scooting closer to perch on the edge of the bed. “No, of course not,” she told him, reaching out to touch his knee. “I’m just saying that this is up to you.” They’d go his speed. Do what he wanted. Whatever he wanted. And only what he wanted. She didn’t want him to feel pressured into anything. “This is your night.”


———


God, that was a lot of pressure.


“So,” he said slowly as his brow arched and he pushed up his glasses nervously, “it’s all up to me.” ’Cause that made sense; put the guy who had no on-the-job experience in charge. “Great.” He reached for the hand she’d placed on his knee, his own hand hesitating—almost grabbing and almost chickening out a million times over in that short span of space and time, like his very own mini time paradox where both scenarios were simultaneously happening at once—before just clutching his indecisive hands in his lap. “Great.”


He watched her bare feet as they stepped onto the plush carpet in his attic room, grateful that his parents and his sister were far up north at his uncle’s cabin for the weekend, so no one was here to even regionally witness his humiliation.


Groaning internally as he ran his hands over his close-cropped, red hair, Chris saw Danielle’s slim, tanned feet step and stop between his bent legs. He sat back and looked up her body—her slim ankles, the curve of her calves, the thick length of her thighs, the sweet swell of her hips, the swift sweep of her waist before the subtle rise of her breasts—before finally looking up at her face.


He wanted to roll his eyes. 


Aw, man. 


He frowned at the oh-so understanding pity in her beautiful, black eyes. Sympathy curved her pretty, painted mouth. God damnit.


He sighed as he felt her small, soft, but still so capable hands cup the sides of his head. “You nervous?” she asked as she rubbed his temples.


He snorted. She was kidding, right?


It was just... 


He gave a little laugh. 


He didn’t know what it was.


It was just sex.


Most everyone he knew had already done it.


Why—whenever he thought about it, got close to doing it—did his brain blow it up into this huge thing?


“You want to take a break?” she asked him as she let her soothing hands slide down to rub his shoulders. “Grab some food or a drink or something?”


No. He wanted to have sex.


He wanted to have sex with her.


Why did that seem so fucking impossible?


“Talk to me,” she urged him. “What’s up?”


He rolled his shoulders as he squirmed in the swiveling desk chair. “I,” he began, feeling his face heat, “I just...” He winced, shutting his eyes. He just couldn’t look at her while he said this. “I don’t know.”


“Don’t know what?” she asked. “Don’t know if you want to do this? Don’t know what you want?”


He shrugged again, making a helpless sound. At the moment, he felt like he didn’t know anything. “I’m such an idiot,” he mumbled as he leaned back and threw an arm over his eyes, crushing his glasses to his face.


It was just sex! The most basic thing in the world. How could he not know how to do this? In porn and in movies, the guys always knew exactly what to do. They just knew. 


There weren’t all these questions. 


There was never all this doubt.


They just got naked and everything—all the people and parts—just fell into place.


Why did his life never work like that?


“You’re not an idiot;” she said, rubbing his shoulders in a comforting—but still vaguely patronizing—way, “you’re just...” 


“A virgin,” he said pathetically.


———


He said it as if it were the worst thing in the world to be. She sighed, wishing he could just have a bit more confidence. Without quite knowing how to give him that.


Danielle bit her lip. Hmmm. “What if,” she mused as she looked about his room, looking for some kind of inspiration. 


Her eyes lit up as she noticed his screensaver had switched to a brightly colored image of some comic heroine. The buff and busty beauty stood tits-out and confident, ready to take on the world. 


“If I had superpowers,” she asked idly, not entirely sure where she was going with this, “what ones would you give me?”


He jerked his head up to look at her, confusion wiping away the sad, sorry look on his face—which actually made the odd question more than worth it. “What?” he asked, bewildered laughter coloring his voice.


She shrugged, feeling a little more awkward—but strangely excited too. “If I were a superhero,” she repeated, gesturing to his screen, “what powers do you see me having?”


He gave a snort as he pushed up his glasses, giving her a strange, assessing look over his lenses. “Really?” he asked, looking her up and down.


“Yeah,” she nodded. “C’mon,” she encouraged, holding her breath, just hoping that he’d play along, “role play with me.”



Read Part Two Here

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Small, Great Packages

Last month, I talked about the great and magical act of transporting readers to a completely new world. Which, in novel-length form, is hard and impressive. In short-story form, seems almost miraculous. Short stories often get the short end of the stick when it comes to storytelling. Too often, they’re dismissed as things better left to English classes and people with short attention spans. They’re seen as stories too small to be novels.

But there is magic in this form. These small, contained stories hold within them every element of a novel in a much more condensed, much more refined form. A writing teacher of mine had told me that it takes discipline and a keen eye to write a really good short story. To know exactly what needs to be there and what needs to be heartlessly cut. To leave only that which serves the story and ruthlessly remove everything else.

In many ways, being able to write a really good short story makes one much more equipped to write a really good novel.

And, because they’re so small and limited, it actually allows them the freedom to do many things—to play with many elements—novels can’t. From strange POVs, like the rarely seen second-person, to turning tropes on their heads, short stories allow writers to really push boundaries because, while they may only have a few thousand words to sell the concept, they only have to maintain that sale for a limited time too. Often allowing the reader to suspend their disbelief just long enough for the ride.

Like “Hurt Me,” by M.L.N. Hanover, a story about an abused woman who buys a house so she can start over, begin again. But the house is haunted. The story begins like any other horror story, with strange sounds and blood dripping down walls. It’s creepy and eerie, but strangely none of it seems to bother the woman. She won’t be bullied. Not anymore. It’s a horror story—a haunted story
—where all the traditions and tropes that are meant to scare—that so often leave their victims beaten and dead by the end—instead showcase her strength allow her to grow and triumph.

But, of all the short stories that have influenced me, David Schickler’s Kissing In Manhattan collection has made the biggest impact. His collection of interconnected stories from a strange and seemingly random cast of characters center on a mythic Manhattan apartment complex called The Preemption. I love that each story is whole and complete, can stand entirely on its own, but is made so much better and makes so much more of an impact when pieced together as a whole. It’s a reminder that, like people in the real world, everyone has a story. Everyone is the star—the main character—of their own story as well as side characters in everyone else’s. We all make an impact. I wonder if Donovan’s Door would even exist without Schickler’s Preemption.

Another thing short stories get to do more often than novels is present voices not often heard in mainstream literature. Take, for instance, the erotica genre. Mainstream, popular erotica follows many of mainstream popular romance rules. And, I’ll admit, I don’t particularly see anything wrong with that. My own work follows those rules pretty consistently too. But a lot of the erotic short stories out there are freer to deviate from that norm. Where soulmates and happily-ever-after take a backseat to happily-right-after or pretty-fucking-happy-in-the-moment. Like Xaiver Acton’s “This Call May Be Monitored For Quality Assurance” that tells a brief fantasy about a telemarketing misdial gone erotically wrong.
Or Michael Hubbard’s “Fear of Heights” that takes acrophobia to a sexual peak. It can even go to darker, edgier places like Greta Christina’s “Craig’s List” or “The Shame Photos” that explore the more bad-idea realms of erotic fantasies.

But, like Schickler’s collection, Debra Boxer’s “Innocence in Extremis” has, as I’ve said before, had a big impact on my writing. Her memoir-esque story about being a virgin at twenty-eight presents an image—a vision—of virginity that I’d never really seen before. Her story lacks the denigration or fetishization of virginity that’s too often presented and just celebrates it. Its a look at sexuality, in general, that begs to be explored. That makes the journey—and not the destination—the point. That emphasizes experience over acts. I try to fill every story I write with that feeling of sexual joy and discovery that I felt reading Boxer’s story for the first time.

When I’d first begun writing, I hated short stories. Thought the confining word restrictions limiting and pointless. When I tried to write them, they too often sounded like excerpts of stories or setups to novels. Cut-off pieces that begged for a whole. I’d bought into the idea that bigger always meant better and that, if a story couldn’t fill the pages of a book, it must not be much worth telling.

But, the more I read them and wrote them, the more I realized that they’re just another way to tell stories. Another way of looking at the world. Of finding the heart of a tale and focusing on nothing but that. Of seeing deep into the soul of a story and sussing out its essence. These shorter tales often take larger, wilier stories that meander and wander too far and cut and condense and compress them into literary jewels, proving that great things can definitely come in small packages.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

"My Preferred Pronoun Is Motherfucker"

This is the BEST PRONOUN EVER!


I'm also, as a writer, absolutely in love with the idea that she is "female, plural. I share my headspace with several fictives." 
YES!

I'm Usually Not a Fan of These Kinds of Articles

But this is a good one: How To Have An Amazing Relationship

It's so easy to look back and remember how and why past relationships failed. It's not quite so easy to remember how and when to do all the things that'll keep a current relationship going.

So, thank you, Dr. NerdLove, for the refresher course!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shame On You: The Story of a Sex Worker

It’s an odd thing to think that I work in the sex industry.

That, in the loosest of terms, I am a sex worker. 

While I tend not to be overly autobiographical in my fiction, my most recent short story, Overtime, is about something that I personally—and many others just like me—have had to deal with. As the show Dexter pointed out, “There’s your public life, your private life, and your secret life” and rarely do the three ever mix well.

For me, I understood the risks when I started this journey, The choice to put my face, my name, my thoughts out there...I understand my choice not to hide. The internet is vast, but it was only a matter of time before someone from my public life (those at my job) or my private life (my family and friends and acquaintances) stumbled across my secret life here.

And while, like Kat, I didn’t get fired, there was definitely a time where I wondered if—feared and damned near accepted and planned for the fact that—I would. And, if I’d had to choose between this and my job, I would have gladly quit. Because, as Belle Knox, the Duke student who’s recently made such scandalous headlines for being a porn star, states, “I wouldn’t want to work for someone who discriminates against sex workers.”

Because it’s the strangest, most illogical, most ungrateful thing to me that “porn (a billion-dollar industry) is consumed by millions of people—men and women (and all other equally wonderful genders) alike—yet no one is willing to consider the lives of the people behind the camera.” People will happily surf for porn online in secret and, while they’ll gladly enjoy and wank to the work in the privacy of their own Kleenex, they’ll just as happily shame the people who make it in public. Because that’s what good and decent people do. Because, while these good and decent people will consume porn, the shame they feel over their own sexuality—that they themselves would participate in something like porn, if just in the passive viewing of it—must go somewhere. Must be aimed at and blamed on someone else. Because porn is media sausage; people want the end product to exist—need it to exist—just not the people and processes that make it.

Even among the people who know me—truly know me—it baffles them to think that “a woman could be intelligent, educated and CHOOSE to be a sex worker.” And, in a way, I get it. It is often a thankless undertaking. These entertainers provide a valuable and much needed and much desired service, yet get little to no respect for it. We, more often than not, get ridicule, scorn, and harassment. Look at Belle who was “called a ‘slut who needs to learn the consequences of her actions,’ a ‘huge fucking whore,’ and, perhaps the most offensive, ‘a little girl who does not understand her actions’  just for doing a job she enjoys and that is enjoyed, likely by the very same people pointing and wagging their fingers and calling her names. The more I do this—the deeper into this world that I get—the more it feels, looks, and seems like the loudest voices against what we do are the very same people that encourage us to be sexual (come on, baby, you know you want to," "you're so hot).” The porn problem is so much less about us as it is about them.

The sad fact is that we too often think of sex as “something women ‘have,’ but that they shouldn’t ‘give it away’ [...] and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she ‘gives’ it to.” We assume that, instead of being something we control and enjoy and can be empowered by, “sexuality and sex ‘reduce’ women.” Always and without exception.

So we hide it. Hide from it. Ignore it. Like some Judas to our own desires, we flat-out deny it. When it comes to sex, “Society tries to tell women that our worth is contingent upon the secrecy of our sexuality, but I will not be silenced.”

Like Belle, I will not be silent. I think sex and sexuality are meant to be explored, enjoyed, and celebrated. They are as much a part of me as my intelligence, my creativity, my sense of humor, the love I feel for the people close to me. To quiet it, to tamp it down, to tone it down...no one would ever dream of asking me to do so with the other sides of myself; what makes this so different? It is who I am and how I choose to express myself. Like Belle, my “alter-ego is liberating. It’s probably the most empowered I have ever felt.”

It’s a side of myself that doesn’t always get to come out and play. Who so often has to take a backseat to propriety and community standards and has to play by someone else’s rules that never really made much sense. Because, in a world that looks down at women who embrace their sexual sides, I “haven’t ever felt really welcome [...] But when I’m in Pornland, I feel at home. This is where I’m meant to be, with these people who love sex and are comfortable about it.” It is the place where I get to wear my Scarlet Letter with pride.

And, in the end, this “is the story of both fitting in and standing out, and not knowing which of these competing desires to indulge.” Of looking for a place and a people to belong. A family and a home where you’re seen—the public, private, and secret parts of you—and accepted absolutely.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Mistress's Masterpiece - A Poem

Landscape
Trembling mound of clay, just a limp lump 
laid out on your sheets. My eyes open and,
still-half blind with bright sensation, 
look at your canvas. A sky of welts;
scattered crimson stars that sting 
like the quick crack of your whip, 
shooting down cloud-like limbs like a wish.

I feel more than see slashes, red and harsh,
knife across my back like lightning. 
They rain down in lines, 
their edges wet as they drip 
cool and cleansing, caressing my thirsty skin.

A blue-black pool like a depthless lake 
that curves full and sensuous 
along the hill of my hip, spilling 
between thighs and back, beneath buttocks, 
in shapes like sheep and trees and handprints. 
Little, red rivers run through, winding thin. 
My finger likes to trace them, hot with bite 
as skin and tip and nail touch and trail.

Islands—green, yellow, and brown—
dot my form, far and dry from the fathoms. 
They are old with histories written in their lines. 
Like seasons, they change, color and shape. 
Every day different from the one before.
A passage of time patching my branded body.

You come back, your soft hand like a brush 
as you touch the worth of your work.
A smile, satisfied, spreads across my face 
as I mold myself like a malleable masterpiece 
to my Mistress’s loving hand.




COME GET CORRUPTED
Please check out my story, "Safeword," in this new anthology from SinCyr Publishing, where women reclaim and recognise their power in myriad ways, and it's not always pretty. 
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UNIDENTIFIED FETISH OBJECT
Sometimes really it sucks being female! Please check out my feminist, space alien novella from Less Than Three Press! Available Now On
And Listen to an Excerpt
GEEK SEX IS THE KINKIEST SEX!
Please check out my story in Riverdale Avenue Books' anthology that proves no one knows how to play better than nerds!
HAVE YOURSELF A KINKY, LITTLE XMAS!
Please check out my story in Coming Together's charity anthology that lets your feel-good do some real good!





YOU'RE INTO WHAT?!
If it exists, someone’s kinky for it! Check out my story in SinCyr Publishing's anthology that takes a walk on the weird side: you won’t regret it.

SEXT ME SWEETLY
Check out my story to dive deep into all the awkward excitement of sexual exploration.






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