Monday, March 17, 2014

Beyond Mommy Porn

By Roger Leatherwood (Guest Blogger)


I didn't start out to write erotica (or erotic romance, or pornography, or whatever the label is you're putting on it). I started like most writers (I will presume) with journal entries and literary pastiche, then with Twilight Zone-y crime stories and romance fantasies.

But the writers I most admired and the ones I most went back to were always the honest ones, the ones who were fearless with their prose. Some (Burroughs and O'Connor and Bukowski and Delaney) added messy and sexual details which weren't often polite for public school or writing seminars, but these were the books I held dear and kept hidden in my bedside drawer.

Whenever I wrote out of genre conventions and told unexpected truths about my protagonists (and possibly telling on myself (where did you come up with that?!)) I got occasional responses from readers to know that the effort landed true - my words had power to connect in some secret spaces.

I think the first time I went full-bore into some kind of pornographic content was a call for submissions for Lovecraftian horror tales with Cthulhu tentacle sex, which is kind of stupid but inspired me to go outside my comfort zone (and consider using a pseudonym). Since then the barely mapped territory between the horror of the lies we tell ourselves and the joy of sexual abandon has opened up a new country of fascinating and difficult subject matter.

Look, I'd never been one for the regular pornographic descriptions, the "throbbing of his member" and the type of fantastic airless, zipless fuck scenarios in most "mommy porn" in which every limb was in the right place, every uttering intoxicating and romantic, and love was forever (or at least until the last line of the story).

Instead I discovered placing normal people in unexpected sexual (and emotional or physical circumstances) introduced an explosive potential for conflict that normal conservative stories simply didn't dare touch.

For some reason I have my male partners end up blowing another guy. Don't read too much into that. Sex, as expressed desire or just practice with inappropriate partners, opened up opportunities to let characters reveal what normally the most conservative and in-control of us wouldn't otherwise reveal.

The erotica we see most of, from Sorority Den Mother in Heat (I read that when I was 17) to Fifty Shades of Gray (I only read the first 55 pages), are really by-the-numbers fantasies outside reality, wish-fulfillment rather than journalism. They're little more than rude diversions, conservative in their story construction and designed to distract from our shared truth rather than illuminate it.

They're too damn polite. And regrettably, often generally not very well written.

The key's in the details; the sensuality of specific sounds and unexpected textures have a poetry more effective than mere "deeper, faster, harder" dialog. Attention to the surroundings and context creates sensations in the reader no blow-by-blow can convey.

The following is a non-sex scene from my story, "Carpet Burn"; the female protagonist wants to get a co-worker up to her room during a convention.

* * *

Excerpt from "Carpet Burn" (originally on Thirteen Myna Birds):

I go to the bathroom, the chrome and the piped-in Fleetwood Mac gives me a moment alone. When I wipe I'm wet. Finger along my crease. Florescent lights unflattering and I undo my bra and pull it off through my sleeve, that's better. My nipples against the silk. Fuck that heat down my chest, deep in my stomach, run my hand down to my hips, does he know I'm in here like this - and are you in the men's room getting hard, holding your cock right now like your wife does, I want to fuck you with every look, your every glance down my blouse at work.

1000 miles away from home, away from all of them, so late, first meeting tomorrow not until 10. We don't need to get up early. So take me up there.

Return to the bar, you're paying the bill, you go now. Yes. I'm off-balance, laugh so you hold my arm, get me to the elevator.

I lean back against the mirror. Hi. You looking at me I want to reach out and feel your pants, that cock, feel it grow under my hand, the gin, you knew, look in my eyes, smash my mouth against yours, flavor of lime, your ardor out of control, seize me you bitch, sorry, my cunt is damp, tingling you could take me now, against this wall. Do you smell me, the hot breaking across my back, my armpits. Breathe deep.

I lean back, legs spread, mere inches. Apart. Nipples pointing. Get to the room. Turn off my phone. Flowercunt lips slick open wait under silk. Yes . . . we . . . can.

The elevator opens, breath of conditioned air breezes over us. We walk into the hallway on the thick carpet red/blue pattern, with fishes and a repeating letter A. Mobius sequence down the hallway, A A A. Legs. It's empty up here. Hallway endless before stopping at the tee. A red vase with plastic ferns.

* * *

Although no actual sex occurs in the story, it's an example how stream-of-consciousness details can build to a horny climax in suspended sex-dream time.

Erotica writer Remittance Girl on her "About" on Goodreads laments erotica has bifurcated to either romance novels with "spicy bits," or boring stroke fiction with the express purpose of providing masturbatory fantasies.

"I believe that erotica, as a genre, should deal with the theme of erotic desire and, ideally, how desire informs, changes and manipulates the lives of the characters who are desirous."


Absofuckinglutely. Writer Steve Almond agrees, saying:

"...human beings are never more alive to their own hope and shame and fear than when they are naked and aroused, and because the same must therefore be true of our characters, who are nothing more than poorly disguised versions of ourselves."


All right, you got me. What I'm really writing about is my own psychosexual doubts and desires, the ugly things I'm attracted to and the beautiful things that bored me.

Life isn't perfect; neither is sex most of the time. But when it's the right kind of fucked up it turns into its own kind of perfect. Do you feel the same way? Are my obsessions half as interesting as yours? A recent story called "What You Wear," about a housewife who finds her husband's sex toys and wonders how he uses them, shows her learning how much pleasure they can give while he's at work.

* * *
Excerpt from "What You Wear" (forthcoming in a Cleis anthology):

While folding the clothes and putting them away in the drawers the next day, making it a point not to go back into the nightstand where she knew that was (must remain focused, must let sleeping dogs lie) she found the dildo.

It was a big plastic thing, and unlike the cock ring she knew exactly what it was. Mostly because it was not for a cock (the cock being the invisible element she had to visualize in the ring) - this thing was a cock itself. In her hand. Big, rubbery and hard.

She squeezed the rounded arrow-shaped head. It was like silicon, not natural or realistic, more a stylized representation of the general size and shape of an erect penis - except for a network of raised veins running along its streamlined surface, and a rough ballsack sewn in leather and attached at the base that served as a grip. To get hold of the thing and push it where it needed to go.

What the hell did he have this for? To shove up his ass?

She looked out the window. The gate was closed but the inside door was open. The neighbor was in there doing something else, and she could hear dishes clicking against each other echoing like water running down her leg.

She tentatively licked the tip. She wasn't sure where it had been. She looked for something to lubricate her plastic cock, Hank's personal dildo into her own crevice.

In the bathroom there was no Vaseline. But she found his Brylcreem.

It was hair gel, "Body Splash" scent. She squirted some between her fingers. Nice and thick and she nodded. It was like, well, like cum. Like she had been working her own pussy and the cream had become foamy on her fingers.

She spread it across the crown and sat on the edge of the tub. She slid it up inside her. God, so much better than the Niagara bullet. A real cock, hard. Legs open on the tile and her ass on the cold porcelain, her thighs tightened at the join by her cunt. Her clit glowed and began to stiffen and grow.

She rubbed her tits with one had as the other plowed the engorged plastic sslloooooowwllyyy up her cunt, massaging both ends of her body. She felt stuffed, fat. Her tits warmed and tightened from the areolas out to the tissue under her arms and not since her period did she feel so full.

Ah - the ring!

She went to get the cock ring. It fit perfect along Hank's plastic dong, pressing up against her labia as she went deep, splurshing in the white Brylcreem spunk.

She was there for 20 minutes, going crazy, her pussy coated with Brylcreem mixed with her own creamy ooze. Drips of thin watery milk dripped from the pores of her nipples as she pinched them and milked herself with a fervor. The foam ran down her asscrack onto the porcelain.

She pulled the cock out and slid it, so carefully up her wet asshole, up where she had never had a cock before. Only his fingers in occasional exploration. Now it opened and let it in. Grabbed and tightened upon it.

Hank's cock - Hank's fat cock up her ass. The cock he had up up his ass.

The cream from her nipples thickened, she hadn't milked herself like this since she'd been 19. There in abandon, a cock up her asshole and fingers furiously massaging her tits, like limes squeezing their last drops of juice into Oscar night margaritas.

A sudden drip spurted out of her right nipple in a thin string, surprising her. She licked and tasted her milk. It was sweet, and warm. There was a cup on the counter by the mirror and she picked it up to collect the emission.

* * *

Basically a solo sex scene but with the added kinky element of breast milking and the tension of when Hank will discover she's being unfaithful - with his own toys! From pornography into a detailed study of the how married couples negotiate their personal sexual identities. My own stumbling attempt to make sense of what we seek out of the ordinary and why when it's transgressive it seems so much more delicious.

That's not like the mommy porn I've ever read. So I keep exploring that country.

These kind of stories are confessionals, not fantasies. They're like literary pastiches of authors I admire, trying to write one true sentence. Like a journal entry.

Hey!


About Roger

Roger Leatherwood worked on the lower rungs of Hollywood for almost 20 years before turning to print fiction, where the stories he could tell were his own. He is currently answering calls for submissions to the various erotic publishers' anthologies, trying to slip in his own taste of trouble and danger into what might otherwise end up too goddamn polite. His work has appeared in Thirteen Myna Birds, Oysters and Chocolate, Burning Press's Written On Skin anthology, Oulipo Pornobongo, Nefarious Ballerina, HorrorSleazeTrash and other publications we don't display in public.

The Last Taste of Ginger 
by Roger Leatherwood



 
Words that don't fit elsewhere can be found at rogerleatherwood.wordpress.com
Images he isn't done with yet can be found at drmyeyes.tumblr.com

1 comment:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hey, Roger,

It's tough to tell the truth about sex and desire without sending people away screaming.

On the other hand, it sometimes strikes me that since each of us has a different truth, the romance view of sex as ultimate and eternal connection may be just as "real" for some people as the raw, mixed-signals stuff you write.

I know that during my "sex goddess" era (when after being a nerdess of highest caliber, shy and insecure, I suddenly seemed to be attracting men right and left), I fell a bit in love with every one of the (many) guys with whom I had sex.

So we can't judge. On the other hand, nobody has the right to tell you that your sexual truths are any less valid than the more popular and accepted ones.

P.S. Welcome to Beyond Romance!

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