Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sexy Snippets for August







It's the nineteenth of the month, and you know what that means, don't you? This is your day to share your Sexy Snippets!


The ERWA blog is not primarily intended for author promotion. However, we've decided we should give our author/members an occasional opportunity to expose themselves (so to speak) to the reading public. Hence, we have declared the 19th of every month at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association blog Sexy Snippet Day.

On Sexy Snippet day, any author can post a tiny excerpt (200 words or less) in a comment on the day's post. Include the title from with the snippet was extracted, your name or pseudonym, and one buy link, if you'd like.


Please follow the rules. Last month I had to punish an author for posting multiple links and believe me, it wasn't fun! If your excerpt is more than 200 words or includes more than one link, I'll remove your comment and ban you from participating in further Sexy Snippet days. So play nice!

After you've posted your snippet, feel free to share the post as a whole to Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you think your readers hang out.

Have fun!

~ Lisabet

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let Dolly Parton Tell Your Mother You’re Gay: Celebrity and the Ideal World

by Donna George Storey

My inquiry into the allure of celebrity continues this month, but first I want to remind my readers that I do not give a rat’s ass about Justin Bieber’s latest bad-boy escapade or Kim Kardashian’s butt. Nonetheless, I am oddly fascinated by the reason why so many other people do seem to care. And while it may seem that most of us humble erotica writers need never worry about becoming the objects of celebrity worship, our society’s attitude toward fame and success does have an impact on every creative artist who seeks an audience. Like it or not, we create in the shadow of fame.

Because celebrity worship is never really about Justin or Kim. They are interchangeable, infinitely replaceable. Fame, like most erotica, is about an ideal self in an ideal world.

When I’m interested in a topic, the first thing I do is read lots of books about it. There are plenty of books about fame, from breathless biographies and memoirs to get-out-the-dictionary theoretical treatises. Fortunately I found a book that was a little of both called Starstruck: When a Fan Gets Close to Fame by Michael Joseph Gross. Gross grew up in a farming community in the Midwest, a closeted gay youth who reached out to a wider world by writing to 5000 celebrities requesting their autographs. In that more innocent time--when autograph seekers weren’t the aggressive operators they are now, bent on the profits of resale—4000 of these movie stars and world leaders obliged the earnest young boy’s request.

Gross is a journalist now, with press-pass access to celebrities. Predictably his attitude has become more critical and self-aware. The best parts of the book are about his own relationship to fame:

“I know that stars and fans all live in the same three dimensions, but I still imagine there’s a velvet-roped realm of existence that’s more vivid than the everyday place where I live.  I know that a meaningful life grows from well-chosen commitments, well cared for; and yet, I can’t help but wonder if maybe celebrity offers a shortcut.”

Although I’m throwing around outlandish names like Paris Hilton and Dolly Parton, there’s a parallel fantasy world for writers. I know I certainly harbor a few ridiculous fantasies about someday maybe, just maybe, “making it” as an author which would mean... wow, what exactly? A high-powered agent who returns calls immediately, a huge sale and marketing budget for my books, sold-out readings (yes, I’d be the type of author people would buy tickets to hear read, right?), movie deals, Immortality.

Gross interviews a number of celebrities and numerous fans for this book, but a particularly poignant voice comes from Chad Evans, a fan of Debra Messing, who was in one play as a child, but hopes to go to Hollywood, get head shots taken and go out to auditions. Evans believes he deserves stardom because he has interesting things to say and people should hear him. I assume he doesn’t feel he has that in his own life.

Yes, we can laugh at his naivete about what is really involved in “making it,” but after I was finished shaking my head at poor Chad’s foolishness (one play as a child?), I realized that the core of my own fantasy—to have a responsive agent—is not so different. I, too, feel fame as a state where the chosen people are treated with respect and dignity, where they are listened to and loved just for being themselves. Don't we all deserve that?

Fame, or rather our ideal of it, is rather like an extended coddled childhood. Indeed I’ve always felt that the endearing “beauty” required of movie stars is a sort of shortcut for the glow we see when we look at someone we truly love. We also know it is all too easy for a beloved celebrity to fall from grace when they act like spoiled brats, even if we enjoy the voyeurism of a train wreck all the more. Yet celebrity wouldn’t work its magic if most of us didn’t feel on some level that it must be better on the other side of the velvet rope.

One of the more mind-twisting aspects of this wish for us writers is that we then assume that the people on the other side are different and better, that they can do things we cannot.

Now we get to Dolly Parton. When Gross had the opportunity to do an interview with her, he was very excited. This is because Dolly’s song “I Am Ready” about a woman facing death inspired Gross to tell his mother he was gay. His mother had Alzheimer’s and didn’t really understand, but it made Gross feel as if he’d done something important. He very much wanted to share this story with Parton when they met.

But then he got to thinking—was it professional? Would Dolly secretly roll her eyes at the imposition? A friend urged him to do it so he could have more time with her and “get something out of it,” our culture’s best reason for every act. Gross had resolved to do so, but alas, Parton postponed the interview. He was deeply disappointed and angered. Again, why? Another friend provided solace by suggesting he look within. Why was it important to tell Parton her song made such a difference in his life? How did he hope she would respond?

He then understood “fandom’s most essential misconception:  a fan’s intimate relationship with an entertainer’s work is an intimate relationship with the person who made that work.” And it is not. The great significance of “I Am Ready” to his life had nothing to do with Dolly Parton. The courage to tell his mother this important truth was his accomplishment.

“We like to imagine a world where Madonna’s happiness is more complete than ours, where Dolly Parton could someday be our friend... These are falsehoods and evasions, and they articulate a vital need.  We work in an economy where everyone, it seems, is finally a cog.  All too often, daily life makes us feel insignificant.  But our culture is still haunted by the notion that a man was God; we have an ineradicable longing to believe that individuals are unimpeachably significant.  Fandom helps give hope to that longing—and at the same time reveals its sadness and absurdity.”

This is not to say I will never daydream about having an agent who returns my calls, but the appeal of celebrity culture—the idea that someone out there has transcended the humiliations of ordinary life to become a king or queen on earth--certainly makes a lot more sense. And so does the wisdom of listening to our fantasies and yearnings for the deeper insights they give into what we need. As erotica writers, we are particularly close to the healing magic of honoring desire.

Dream on!

Donna George Storey is the author of Amorous Woman and a collection of short stories, Mammoth Presents the Best of Donna George Storey. Learn more about her work at www.DonnaGeorgeStorey.com or http://www.facebook.com/DGSauthor

Friday, August 15, 2014

Call for Submissions

SilkWords is a new way to read fiction. Our target market is women who love erotic romance and erotica and who will enjoy interacting with a story by making choices that lead to different endings. We offer a variety of subgenres and heat levels and publish new stories every week, so we are able to work with your schedule.

Stories

We want stories with rich characters/settings that hook readers (in the first couple of pages) so they become invested early on and are compelled to make choices to reach the ending. We also want readers to enjoy the story so much they come back multiple times to explore different choices.

The majority of choices presented to the reader should be significant (i.e. a choice between two potential partners, two locations, two perspectives, etc.). We are flexible about the number and type of story branches; first and foremost we are looking for very high quality stories the reader becomes invested in.

SilkWords does not require HEA endings, but we do require that all stories have at least one upbeat or hopeful ending. We also require that characters be of appropriate age, and that sexual interaction is consensual.

Completed stories should be a minimum of 10,000 words.

Submission details at:
http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/SilkWords.htm

The BP Gulf Oil Spill Considered as a Menopausal Woman Melting into a Giant Pool of Water














The Explosion
During the months of March and April, acquaintances and family members expressed concern over the warning signs of increasing structural instability in Ms. Gail Wooding. On the evening of 15 April, while frying potatoes for her family’s dinner, Ms. Wooding was observed by her daughter to go through an entire roll of paper towels while exclaiming over the intense heat of the kitchen. Marie initiated operations to move her homework to a suitable location after filing unanswered complaints and misgivings to local management. These operations were interrupted in progress by an explosion event in the vicinity of the stove. This concussive release of methane was observed to come from Ms. Wooding as she fanned herself furiously with a dish towel.

“Mom! You are so fucking gross!” observed Marie. Moments later her mother
violently dissipated in an act of spontaneous resummation. The subsequent
collapse of Ms. Wooding into roughly one hundred and five barrels of human
liquid compound caused the daughter to expeditiously move her educational
activities to higher land.


The Spill
Immediately after the meltdown event, paramedics on the scene moved a live web camera feed previously attached to the ceiling above Ms Wooding’s bed to the kitchen area to monitor the ongoing spill on a twenty four hour basis. All attempts to put a cap on what remains of Ms Wooding, and re-coop losses from web site pay per view subscriptions have so far met with failure.



The Dog
Peeves, the family dog, was observed to voluntarily take the initiative in the skimming operations, lapping up some of what remained of Ms. Wooding, while pending the approval of local emergency authorities to evaluate the scene. The earnest skimming efforts of Peeves may have contributed in some part to the lessened impact of the flood on the local household habitat known to support a variety of wildlife, including cockroaches, silverfish and an endangered species of pygmy land crabs.



The Son
“It was wicked!” exclaimed Wooding’s son Ed. “I mean like – dude!” Ed has held the office of family son and male heir exclusively for the past decade, starting with his conception into office in early May of 2001 by Mr. Wooding and Ms. Wooding. Several attempts to provide a suitable placement for the office of second son ended in failure, possibly due to the onset of hormonal changes and an eventual fall off of reproductive interest in Mr. Wooding by Mrs. Wooding.


The Media
“My friends, you won’t believe what they’re up to now,” declared talk show host Rush Humbug on Tuesday’s radio broadcast. “This is mind boggling, it shows how desperate the Obama socialists are getting, folks, this so called menopausal myth. It’s all being blamed on hormonal warming. Hormonal warming is a liberal lie. There is no such thing as hormonal warming. There is no evidence of hormonal warming, and there is no reputable scientist you can name that believes in hormonal warming. I’ll say it again, my friends, there is no such thing as female menopause, never has been, never will be. This is just another example of the far left liberal environmental whackos, and the Obama White House agenda conspiring with feminazis and the state run liberal media, trying yet again to convince you to buy their crackpot theories. People – its getting crazy out there, the absence of critical thinking on this. If Obama really cared about this situation he’d appoint the dog as The Menopausal Czar. Does he? No!”


Personal Intimates
“You could have busted my nuts, when I heard this!” stated Sheila Wyman, Ms. Wooding’s secret lesbian lover with whom she had been carrying on a torrid five year affair, unknown to Mr. Wooding. “Some nights she was on fire. What bakes my noodle is that all this time I thought it was me getting her hot.”

Mr. Cabot Paddington, who has been secretly running both Ms. Wooding and Ms. Wyman as covert CIA death squad assassins declined to comment on the spontaneous resummation of Ms. Wooding, only to say it was not work related.

“I drilled some relief wells into that honey’s big ass every chance I got, when her man warn’t around.” said blues icon Hound Dog Redman in a Rolling Stone interview. “I was her back door man. But the bitch, she was trouble. She couldn’t get enough of that devil stick, and that’s what done ‘er in. I’m tellin’ ya. This whole thing, it’s just ate up.”

The Authorities
Life insurance underwriters, Skrewiz, Widdow and Children released an official statement that they will seriously consider all sustainable claims related to this incident. So far no payments have been given out. The firm of Skrewiz, Widdow and Children is disputing the claim that Ms. Walling’s demise is connected with her sudden conversion into water, ruling it as an event of
“willful negligence”.

“There is no actual evidence that Ms. Wooding is in fact deceased. No body has been produced.” Said the firm in a press release.


The Husband
As barrels of Ms. Wooding flooded into the street and damaged lawn grass habitats in the adjoining houses, converting them into reeking wetlands, neighboring residents assaulted Mr. Wooding with their complaints and several have threatened class action lawsuits. Mr. Wooding rebutted the findings of civil engineers that vast plumes possibly as far ranging as 22 miles of Ms. Wooding may be hidden under the foundations of the house. “My wife Gail is entirely on the surface of the kitchen,” stated Mr. Wooding. “There are no hidden plumes or reservoirs of her anywhere. I would be the first to inform you if there were.” Mr. Wooding believes the rapid use of dispersants as well as the efforts of Peeves the Dog have reduced the buoyancy of Ms. Wooding and prevented his wife’s further spread.

“We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives,” Said an emotionally exhausted Mr. Wooding. “But there’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my wife back.”



C. Sanchez-Garcia



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Expulsion: Love, Men and Female Objects of Desire

Historically, erotic art (visual and textual) was produced primarily for men, by men.  Yes, there have been exceptions, but the ones that survive are rare. It was only in the 20th century, and mostly in the latter part, that women began to produce erotic fiction aimed at women. This has been portrayed as emancipatory and, unarguably, it is. It filled a vast and silent gulf. For millennia we have known what men wanted, what they fantasize about, what arouses them.  In a recent conversation on Facebook about Fifty Shades of Grey, Kristina Lloyd commented:
I think the reason the book spoke to so many women is because precious little else in our culture does when we're talking het female desire. Give a bone(r) to someone starving, and they'll pounce on it. The success of the book is about the failures in our culture. I wish we could chart a similar moment when it was suddenly acceptable for men to access and enjoy adult material without recrimination. 1970s? 18thC? Forever? 1
Once a book has sold 100 million copies, this is a pretty definitive sign that it has become acceptable, in the mainstream, for women to access material that arouses them. 2

It isn't accidental that, since the 1960s, as the production and consumption of erotic material aimed at women gained momentum, so has the criticism of how women are presented in male-centered erotic material. It is only when both flavours are readily available that one can see the differences between them.  In the past 50 years, feminists have raged against the objectification of women as objects of desire.  We are more than the statues, the Madonnas, the Whores, the bountiful breasts and the warm wet holes you make of us.  We're not just breeding stock, or somewhere to put your cock. We are not that simple.  See us - desire us - for what we truly are, instead of the facile, two-dimensional caricatures you've made of us! It was a legitimate demand.

Who would have thought that, suffering as we have from this diminishment, we would in turn come to produce material that commits the same sin? Yet, from the heady days of the explicit bodice busters until now, we have, with some laudable exceptions, fallen into the same trap. The spectre of the inscrutable Alpha male, with his money and his power, and his somewhat-but-not-impossibly-large-cock, his insatiable sexual appetite, his obsessive desire to please only the heroine and - by extension - us, has dominated the world of female-centred heterosexual erotic content. Christian Grey is its poster-boy, but his clones are everywhere. And, quietly, they always were. Consider Mister Darcy.

And there is little sympathy for the few male voices that speak up to complain about it. Partially for the same reason that very few women in earlier eras spoke up against female objectification; we are torn between our need to be known for who we are and our desire to be desired, even if imperfectly.  Moreover, and like many women through the ages, men have participated greatly in their own objectification. It does seem a little whiny, after two thousand years of Venus De Milo, to complain that being simplified as a brainless, lust driven cock with a wallet is unfair.

But a few men have spoken up. Like their counterparts, they speak in the language of their own desire. Don't we all? Nonetheless, the subtext is clear: please don't make me a caricature. After trying his damnedest to get through volume one of Fifty Shades of Grey, my friend and sometimes co-writer, Alex Sharp, has recently written a piece I think every female erotic writer who sets out to craft male characters - especially the non-vanilla variety - should read: "I am he, and he is me."

Good fiction writing embraces realism, even in its most dramatic flights of fancy. And, in my opinion, well-written erotica should attempt to embrace the eroticism in the entirety of the character or, at least, attempt an honest fictionalization of the problems of desire and objectification. I think that is the challenge that separates erotic fiction from pornography.

Admittedly, I'm torn. Desiring someone in all their complexity is a laudable aspiration, but I have several well-supported doubts as to whether, in the moment that lust takes us, this is even possible.  Perhaps it is only now, with all our objects of desire so flagrantly on display, that we can begin to come to terms with the dilemma that so haunted Kant, the schism between desire and full knowledge of another. Jacques Lacan said that there is no 'sexual relationship'; our projected desires are the product of the symbolic, muted world of controlled meaning that bears little relation to the real humans upon whom we heap our fantasies. Being a romantic, despite himself, he felt that only in love, in the terrifying Real of love, could we hope to overcome the watery barrier of symbolism and step out of Plato's cave and into the blinding light of day. 3

So love in erotic writing should be the answer, right? Lord knows, the genre of erotic romance has well and truly eclipsed the erotica genre. It has all but swallowed it up, in no small part because Fifty Shades of Grey was marketed as erotica rather than romance.  A large proportion of those 100 million sales have been to women who'd never read 'erotica' before. Now each time they pick up an erotica novel, they're expecting romance.

The quandary, as I see it, is that love itself has been objectified.  The very presence of the inevitable happy ending diminishes and even denies the terrifying truth of love: that it is seldom forever, that - like everything else - it changes, that its very volatility and instability is what makes it a dangerous place but also one of greater knowledge.

I've often contemplated the Judeo-Christian myth of the Garden of Eden, so often used as a metaphor for a state of perfect love. Its portrayal of humanity in a state of innocence, nakedness, and openness, before we ate from the tree of bitter knowledge, offers us an aspirational but ultimately impossible and fantasmatic vision of love. And I'd argue that most fictional romance presents this state as the final one; the scene fades on Adam and Eve, in all their natural glory, hand in hand in the garden of delight.

But isn't love is more fittingly portrayed as the Expulsion from the Garden? That fruit we tasted was not only the knowledge of good and evil; it was the knowledge of ourselves and of each other. Love is the struggle to keep holding hands while carrying the burden of that knowledge on our backs. Assuredly, it has its idyllic aspects, but it also takes us through the rocky desolation of T.S. Eliot's Wasteland.  If we are to truly know each other, we must work to find erotic love in that dark and sometimes barren place as well.

So, I want to challenge you, as fellow writers of erotica, to try to forge the erotic there in that far more realistic landscape. We've spent too long in the garden; time to get out into the real world.



1 Lloyd, K. (2014) Comment in response to 'I've Just Watched The FSOG Trailer' Facebook post. Accessed 3 August, 2014 https://www.facebook.com/Remittancegirl/posts/10203583569204376?comment_id=10203584398105098&offset=0&total_comments=57
2 Flood, A. (2014) Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy Has Sold 100m worldwide, The Guardian Online. Accessed 3 August, 2014 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/27/fifty-shades-of-grey-book-100m-sales
3 Lacan, J. (1988). On Feminine Sexuality: The Limits of Love and Knowledge: Book XX, Encore 1972-1973. (B. Fink, Trans., J. Miller, Ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Call for Submissions

Lizzie's Bedtime Stories: Valentine's Day
Editor: Ily Goyanes
Publisher: Liz McMullen Show Publications
Deadline: November 1, 2014
Payment & Rights: $30 and two copies of the published book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their work.

Valentine's Day stirs up all kinds of feelings; in fact, it's difficult to find someone who has absolutely no opinion on the saccharine holiday. With that in mind, Liz McMullen Show Publications is putting forth a collection to satisfy all cravings to be released in time for Valentine's Day 2015.

I'm looking for short stories of all kinds, paranormal, mystery, romance, erotica, fantasy, and so on. Genre is open, but theme is focused on a single word ­ appetite.

What do you hunger for? What do your characters need? Power, respect, admiration, romance, adventure, or maybe a quick roll in the hay? Appetite can take many forms; don't be afraid to satisfy yours by exploring the various forms the human (or not so human?) appetite can take.

Stories without an erotic or romantic element must contain at least one lesbian MC. If your appetite takes your characters on a moonlit stroll or under the sheets, the union must be Sapphic. Where you take your tale from there is up to you.

Submission details at:
http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/Lizzies_Bedtime_Stories.htm