Reaching Out from a Mind as Dirty as All Outdoors

If you get lucky enough, I might post adult-only material from time to time, so be 18 or over, or please be elsewhere.

I'll be discussing erotica here, the writing of it and the people who write it, as well as what we've written. I find all these aspects stimulating, but if any of them bore you, feel free to skim. You never know what you might miss, though.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

J.N. Gallagher on "Officer Birch"

Why is erotica so dirty? No, wait – that’s not exactly what I’m trying to ask. Of course erotica is going to be dirty. Reading or writing erotica means reading or writing about sex, and sex is always dirty or, at the very least, messy. Messy encounters, messy clothes crumpled on the floor, messy emotions. Even when it's trying to be, sex is rarely clean and pure.

Maybe what I'm really trying to ask is – why do we treat erotica like it’s dirty? Why do we keep it hidden? Hidden on back-of-the-store shelves, hidden in our drawers, hidden on our e-readers? Graphic novelist Alan Moore has wondered why there are, comparatively, so few books about sex when there are infinite books about aliens and wizards and hard-boiled detectives and talking animals. Most human beings have sex at some point in their lives, so why do we read and write so much about the unreal when the real is staring us in the face and saying, “Write about me. Write about what you love, what you lust for, what you burn for in the pit of your stomach and the valves pumping in your heart.”

Maybe that's just my Catholic upbringing. Maybe you didn't have to fear getting caught thumbing through erotica anthologies in your local bookstore. Maybe you didn't have to hide your collection of On Our Backs magazines for fear of your parents or your partner finding them and asking, “Wait, you like this?” If so, I envy you. If you buy a copy of Lesbian Cops: Erotic Investigations and read my story, “Officer Birch,” then maybe you’re someone who will keep the book on your bookshelf, unashamed of what you enjoy reading.

Or, if you’re more like me, I invite you to join me in taking a small step. Leave a review on Talk about it with an online pal or someone you trust in your real life. At least let the world know I like this. For some of us, this is a hard thing to do. But, it’s time – for this writer especially – to stand up and be proud of who we are and what we like reading and writing about. I hope you enjoy the story. Yes, it’s about sex, but it’s also about love and shame and fear and a bunch of other stuff, too. This story is a part of me and my life, and I want the world to know that.

Excerpt from “Officer Birch”

“Why does she bully you?” you said. “From what I’ve gathered, she doesn't act violently toward anyone else.”

“I don't know,” I said. “Does there have to be a reason? Sometimes people here just get singled out, and we have to deal with it.”

You were silent until I lifted my head and looked at you. Did you know that I fell in love with you right then, Officer Birch? Could you tell?

It might have been your uniform, immaculate and wrinkle-free. It might have been the necktie and cap, which no cops in town wore until you showed up and made them look like slobs.

It might have been your face. You looked so young, almost my age. Let's be honest—you weren’t pretty. You weren’t cute, either, not like the few girls I had managed to fool around with. They had long hair, beautiful breasts, curves to their figures. You had sharp angles, small breasts, a strong jaw. I didn't know if you had hair on your head. I couldn't see any peeking out from under your cap.

I had seen butch women before. Our Midwestern county was closeted back then but not totally straight. The difference was that none of them were anything like you. So handsome, so powerful in your uniform, even while sitting down and doing nothing. Masculine in every way yet nothing like a man. I got moist right there, and I didn't even know I was attracted to butches.

You rambled on about handling bullies. I wasn't listening; I was thinking. What would it be like to kiss your lips? What was underneath your cap? How would you teach me about hardcore dyke sex shit?

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