Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Behind the Erotic Pen – A ‘For the Men’ Interview

I was interviewed by Emmanuelle de Maupassant for the For the Men anthology:

1)  Which themes / emotions does your story explore?

-- This story explores kink, polyamory, and primacy and the darker sides of jealousy, insecurity, and inadequacy that can make us lose sight of the love in our lives.

2) As this story is written primarily with a male audience in mind, in what ways did you write with particular themes / style in mind 'for men'?

-- Feminism and the sex positivity movement have done amazing things to empower and embolden women in terms of sexuality but, odd as it may sound, men need a sexual revolution as well. So many of the toxically coded traditions and norms that the female sexual revolution sought and still seeks to dismantle affect men too in just as many, if different, harmful ways. Like the pressure to be your partner’s soulmate, their "one," their all and everything. Too often, when a man discovers that his partner has desires or needs outside of him—no matter how much his partner and he may love and desire each other—it causes him and the world as a whole to question not only the validity of the relationship but the validity of his masculinity and value as a man. And that doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be. This story is all about confronting those loaded sides of our psyches and making the conscious decision to not carry that weight around anymore.

3) If you were to cast actors for your protagonists, who would play the leading roles?

-- Personally, I love the trend in using non-traditional or even non-actor performers in porn, like with Make Love, Not Porn and Pink & White Productions. But, if we're talking recognizable celebrities, after seeing The Nice Guys promotional YouTube videos, I can’t help but see Ryan Gosling as Rob, my protagonist, and Russell Crowe as his self-proclaimed romantic rival, Rand. And I think I see someone ethereally beautiful, like Olivia Wilde, as the woman in their lives, Cara.

4) From where did you gain inspiration for this story/what compelled you to write it/what do you want your readers to take away from the story?

-- I’ve been in open relationships, some that went really well. And some that…well, didn’t. I really wanted to write a story that, yes, explores the fun fantasy part of this type of relationship, but also shows that, like any kind of relationship, they’re not perfect and require work and maintenance. That they can exist outside the unrealistic and often unsustainable fantasy so many of us long for and the trainwreck tragedy too many of us fear. 

I also wanted to explore the idea that “happily ever after” is a promise we all, whatever your gender, were sold that rarely ever works out in real life the way it does in stories. We are never and cannot realistically expect each other to be the same people years into a relationship that we were at the beginning. And, yes, that can be scary and even disheartening but, instead of looking at it as a relationship-ending inevitability, it can be seen as a necessary opportunity. To grow as individuals as well as partners. Because, the more I age, the more it seems as if the only way to keep that promise we all bought into when we were young is by being open to change and growth in our ever-evolving, and therefore ever-adapting, relationships as adults. By realizing that happiness isn’t some achievement at the end of our stories, but rather ought to be something strived for everyday and in everything.

READ THE FINISHED INTERVIEW HERE

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