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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Sunday, October 28, 2012

A “Cheeky” Change of Pace

For a change of pace, I’m blogging about a book I didn’t edit, Cheeky Spanking Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel for Cleis Press. I didn’t even contribute to the book, although I’ve written at least three spanking stories for Rachel in past years. (One was even more or less nonfiction, about a lesson in this particular form of cathartic diversion at the knee of a charismatic master of the art.)

At least ten of the twenty-three authors in Cheeky have also written for one or more of my own anthologies. Their work here is, as always, excellent, and in this case particularly (and appropriately) striking. I decided to concentrate on the five pieces with a lesbian point of view, since that’s what these writers have done so well for me. When it comes to spanking, though, I think gender takes a back seat to focused physical and emotional factors that transcend binary sex, so whatever your physical equipment and your orientation, you’ll feel the impact of these stories right where it counts.

As an extra change of pace, I’m not going to describe them. Instead, I’ve asked the authors to share some background about how they were written. Inspiration, frustration, state of mind, imagery—when you read the stories, they’ll speak for themselves, but right now you get the extra gift of a look into the minds that created them.

I love Teresa Noelle Roberts’s “Mermaid” for the way she writes, and also for using rope bondage to create a human "mermaid," a concept so logical that it seems obvious, except that I’ve never come across it before. And yes, the rope does leave enough vulnerable territory for spanking. Here’s what Teresa told me about the origin of “Mermaid.”

“’Mermaid’ started with the setting. Ogunquit, in southern Maine, is one of my favorite places to spend time, and a place that's taken on special meaning to my husband and me, and to our self-chosen family. The name means "beautiful place by the sea" in Abenaki, and while the area's first inhabitants wouldn't recognize the quaint shops, art galleries, and restaurants, they'd find the magnificent sandy beach--one of the best in New England--refreshingly unchanged, especially far from the village center. The far end of the beach is unlit, undeveloped, and largely deserted at night when it's not high summer. My husband and I have a tradition of walking that part of the beach in the dark. The roaring ocean and the stars and the sense of isolation create a romantic atmosphere that's hard to resist--and I admit we haven't always resisted, though we've never done anything as elaborate as the scene Mallory and her "mermaid" act out.

The mermaid imagery grew naturally from a combination of the setting, and the fact that I may or may not have reason to know something about the joys of seaside spankings. (Tries to look innocent and fails miserable). The characters were influenced by the setting as well. It was easy to picture them on my favorite beach because I saw "them" enjoying Ogunquit each time we did. Ogunquit prides itself on being GBLT friendly, as well as family friendly, elder friendly...a comfortable, welcoming place for all. It's not a party scene like Provincetown can be, and there's not a sex shop or leather bar to be found, but the atmosphere is sure to inspire romantic feelings. And for some of us, romance involves kinky erotic experiments.”

Kiki DeLovely’s “A Game of Numbers” is, in a way, set more inside the head than outside, without ignoring in the least the intensity of physical sensations. Here’s how she describes her process.

“Sapiosexuality. Who doesn't love an intellectual hard-on? That plus a dominant personality pretty much does me in. And out of those two elements my two characters in ‘A Game of Numbers’ were born. I wanted them to have a fiery passion between them but the kind that's sustainable over a long period of time. I wanted them to be a little bit older, to have an everyday sort of comfortability within their relationship, yet that spark that means they always keep each other guessing. (Hence, the very unexpected twist at the end -- the character herself is even surprised by her newfound desires.) I wanted them both to get off on each other's intelligences. And they do all that and more, in an incredibly sweet, loving, and sadomasochistic manner.

I love writing erotica that's explicitly queer but I also appreciate some ambiguousness in characters such that a myriad of vastly different types of readers can see themselves in my characters. So in this story I specifically left it open to interpretation whether the couple was queer or not. In my mind, they obviously are. But a straight couple could just as easily see themselves in these roles. That's actually why I usually do very little physical description of my characters. I want readers to be able to get sucked in and quickly put themselves in their shoes. More than anything I hope that readers get sucked in by good writing, an unconventional and enticing story, and the heat between the characters!


Evan Mora’s  “Writer’s Block” speaks especially to writers. (Don’t we wish our own episodes of writer’s block could always be resolved this way?) The frustration and chaotic emotions get through to anyone, though, and so does the heat.  

“Here's a little info about my story in Cheeky:

‘Writer’s Block’ is a story that takes its name, quite literally, from its genesis. I was working on a submission for another anthology, and nothing was coming together. I hated every word I put on the page. I sat at my desk (the antique desk in my living room), with my laptop (that my partner bought me), feeling that terrible swirling mess of anger and frustration that my character feels, and I knew, I knew, that if my partner were to walk in the door at that moment, I’d explode.

So…I let it all pour out. Fingers hammering at the keyboard, I raged on the page. I wrote down everything as it came, and it was wonderfully cathartic. It’s a great feeling, letting everything go.

Ultimately, that’s the theme I wanted to explore in “Writer’s Block” – how we let go. How we sometimes fight against letting go, even when it’s the thing we want most. There’s a lot of dark emotion in this story, but it’s underscored by the strong connection between Callie and Parker, and in the end, it’s that connection that allows Callie to finally let go and move forward.”

Giselle Renarde’s “Butch Girls Don’t Cry” takes place in a setting familiar to many of us, and the source of many a fantasy. Here she gives some insight into writing from the point of view of a character quite different from herself—and writing to get warm. More than warm.

“In re-reading ‘Butch Girls Don't Cry,’ the thing that stood out most was that, even though the story is written in the first person, the point-of-view ‘I’ character is nothing like ME in real life.  She's a pretty, flirty, bikini-wearing femme who's not afraid to stick her chest out--exactly the kind of girl who draws my eye.  The object of her affection, a tattooed butch with unshaven legs, is much more ME.  Okay, I don't have any tattoos and I don't have her bulging muscles or big breasts, but... uh... sorry, I lost my train of thought picturing this character lifting weights.

As a side note, I'm pretty sure I wrote this story in the dead of winter.  The setting is inspired by the pool in my apartment building.  In the change room, there's a sauna, and that's where our women get down and dirty.  I've actually never used the sauna in my building, but I think I was contemplating where I could go to shake the chill from my bones the day I started work on ‘Butch Girls Don't Cry.’

Andrea Dale’s “Invitation to a Spanking” is a skillful blend of dominance, voyeurism, work-for-hire, and a not-quite-threesome. None of this can give you as accurate an idea of how sexy it is as Andrea can herself.

“I'm not sure where I first got the idea for ‘Invitation to a Spanking.’ I think I just wanted to play with the idea of writing an erotica story without actual sex in it (which I also did in ‘Winner Take All,’ which appeared in The Harder She Comes. What can I say? I like to challenge myself.)

Plus, most spanking stories are from the point of view of the spankee, not the spanker. I thought, what about someone who gets a true visceral pleasure from spanking another person, but doesn't have anyone to spank? And what if, just maybe, there was a couple out there who needed someone to show them how to give a proper spanking?

(Okay, I'll admit that's a bit of wish fulfillment—but what's erotic fiction if not glorious fantasies put to paper for everyone to enjoy?)

So the story was fun to write, because I focused on how wonderful it feels to spank someone, rather than how it feels to be spanked. The sensations are different; the emotions are different.

But the pleasure…the pleasure is all there.”

So there you have some insight into the writers who put the hot, emotional, cathartic pleasure into Cheeky Spanking Stories. If spanking turns you on, check it out; it’s all there.

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