Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Discovering Sex and Self in a Foreign Land

By Donna George Storey (Guest Blogger)

Thanks so much for hosting me at your blog, Lisabet. It’s an especially fitting place to celebrate the ebook release of my novel, Amorous Woman, because your first novel, Raw Silk, a mesmerizing erotic tale of Thailand, was a great inspiration for me to write about my own experiences living in Japan.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that both of our novels follow a time-honored master narrative—a woman’s journey of erotic discovery. And in both Raw Silk and Amorous Woman, the heroine’s relationship with her lovers is mirrored by her growing intimacy with a new and fascinating culture. I’ll confess I also lifted another model for my first book-length project: the plot of a 17th century Japanese erotic classic called The Life of An Amorous Woman by Ihara Saikaku. With a sharp eye for the humor in Japanese society, Saikaku allowed his lusty protagonist to experience every role open to women of her time from a court lady to a streetwalker. (Perhaps the perennial appeal of the female experience earned this book more sales and critical acclaim than his The Life of an Amorous Man). I translated this story into an exploration of a foreigner’s experience in Japan in the late twentieth century. My protagonist, Lydia Evans Yoshikawa, starts off as an English teacher, marries a Japanese businessman, becomes a bar hostess, the mistress of a rich man, and finally a call girl. Her desire to get closer to Japan is sometimes frustrated, sometimes delightfully fulfilled. I’m gratified to say that fellow gaijin (the Japanese word for “foreigner”) almost always tell me I got it just right.

While I thoroughly enjoyed bringing to life my sensual memories from the three years I lived in Japan—the delicious and beautifully arranged meals, the scent of fresh straw floor mats and the cool glide of a silk kimono on my skin—I found as I wrote Amorous Woman that I was gaining a valuable perspective on my own sexual odyssey. Society gives us so many messages about what sex should be. The appeal of the story of a woman’s erotic education may indeed be that we all—male or female--must discovery for ourselves what sex and pleasure mean for us personally.

In that spirit, I wanted to share a scene from the novel that illustrates a critical moment of discovery for Lydia while she is still in America, but one that will resonate throughout the novel. She’s always been an “A” student and a “good girl,” still a virgin at eighteen. Her worldly cousin Caroline throws a party with plenty of handsome college boys so that Lydia can choose the man to deflower her. She also gives Lydia a lesson on how to give a good blow job to develop her confidence when she’s alone with her first lover. At the party, Lydia picks out the lucky guy and proceeds to seduce him by being light-heartedly honest about her intention to have sex with him that very night.

From Amorous Woman:

Are you sure it’s okay if we use your cousin’s bed?” Mike said, frowning at the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob, which I ignored.

Oh, yes, she knows we’re going to have sex. She reserved it especially for us.”

He shook his head and laughed again.

And then, well, I don’t remember exactly how we got naked, or who pushed whom down on the bed, or when exactly we stopped kissing and started doing other things, but there were more than a few firsts that night.

It was the first time a guy kissed my breasts so softly and slowly, I learned that lips tugging gently on my nipple could make me wet between my legs.

It was the first time I tried Marybeth’s lesson on a real penis—thank you Marybeth for a gift that keeps on giving. It was bigger than a thumb, but far more interesting. I loved the way it twitched when I stroked it, the way it grew even harder in my mouth, the way Mike moaned softly as he watched me do it, eyes glowing.

It was the first time I heard my favorite sound on earth—his sweet groan of homecoming as he slid inside my cunt.

And then, somehow, it wasn’t new any more. It’s as if I’d always known this: his warm weight pressing me down, his musky boy's smell, his soft lips and slick, snaky tongue, his satin-tipped hard-on and the taut curve of his ass. Then of course, that moment when he bucked and groaned and went crazy because of me just being there, just being.

I didn’t come that night--that first would happen thanks to the persistence and skill of the justly famed cunnilinguist Doug--but I was happy enough to take my ecstasy once-removed. Mike, bless him, didn’t ask too many questions.

I was the one who decided to confess as we lay together afterwards, just like on TV, with my head resting against his shoulder and his arm around me like we were a real couple. “That was the first time I’ve ever been with a guy, you know.”

Lydia, you can stop kidding around now,” he said, but gently. Did he notice that of course, all my “jokes” turned out to be true?

Why do you think I’m kidding?”

He frowned. “First of all, you give great head. There’s no way that was your first time. You’re a pro. Well, I didn’t mean it that way, you know, just that you knew exactly what to do.” He laughed, embarrassed, and stroked my hair. “And then, well, you were really into it.”

I do like to joke around. It’s an old habit.” It wasn’t exactly a lie.

You know what? You’re fun. It’s easy to be with you.” He pulled me on top of him. “Wanna do it again?”

I nodded. Back in my high school, a million years and a billion miles away from where I was now, naked and straddling Mike’s hard belly, it was a bad thing for a girl to be “easy.” Now I knew the secret.

It was good.


That, I believe, is the secret of writing erotica as well!

Donna George Storey’s adults-only tales have appeared in over 150 journals and anthologies including Penthouse, Best Women’s Erotica, The Mammoth Book of Erotica Presents the Best of Donna George Storey, and Best Erotic Romance. Her novel, Amorous Woman, will change your image of Japan—and erotica—forever.

 Amorous Woman is available at: 

Donna George Storey’s Website


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Donna,

It's great to have you here at Beyond Romance!

I love this excerpt. It doesn't exactly mirror my experiences but I have a story that's similar in spirit - the moment of epiphany when I realized I didn't have to say 'No' just because that was what society told me to say.

I've never regretted the many times I said 'Yes'.

Good luck with the relaunch of the novel!

Donna said...

It's a pleasure to be here, Lisabet!

Realizing you can say "yes" is an important moment indeed.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Wonderful excerpt, wonderfully framed.

"that moment when he bucked and groaned and went crazy because of me just being there, just /being/"

Yes, *that* moment!

Thank you both for this.

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