Monday, December 01, 2008
It seems though that stories have a life of their own, whether Mike Kimera is around to nuture them or not.
ERWA have a Christmas Story feature in which Adrienne has posted some of her favourite pieces of festive erotica. I'm happy to say that a couple of my more whimsical pieces made the cut: "Christmas at Lake Woebecum" a tongue-in-cheek D/s version of the kind of thing more usually found on the Prairie Home Companion, and "Santa Claws" about a demon santa and mischievous woman who is both naughty and nice.
If you'd like a smile this Christmas take a look here. Enjoy.
With a bit of luck I'll see you next year.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I'm still working through the problems that I have to fix. I hope that I can find my way back by next year. I will if I can.
In the meantime, I have one last story on ERWA that you might enjoy (although the content is a little grim).
If you're interested, you can find "Paying For It" here during October.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I need to stop being Mike Kimera for a while and just be me.
Mike Kimera has become someone that is more comfortable with himself than I should be at the moment.
I've made a mess of my life and I should be using all my energies to make things better.
Thank you to all of you have read my pieces over the years, especially those of you who took the time to comment on my stories.
I wish well
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I recently went to see the 100th Anniversary exhibition of the work of Balthus at Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny in
Two things were immediately apparent: Balthus was enormously talented and he was fascinated by images of young girls that convey a deep and passionate eroticism.
Although none of these images show anything as graphic as actual sex, they show clearly the sexual nature of these young (sometimes very young) girls.
It left me startled. I couldn't make up my mind whether I should be outraged, whether I should be ashamed of myself for feeling the power of these paintings or whether I was imagining things as everyone else seemed to be browsing the exhibition as if it was another viewing Monet's Water Lilies.
I think that their power shows them to be art. I feel like a Victorian wanting to add a fig leaf to the Michelangelo's David but I can't get over how disturbing I found the images and how easily those around me accepted them.
I finally realised that what disturbed me about these paintings is that Balthus makes me see little girls the way a child molester does. He does it subtly and with skill and his vision has a certain type of truth to it. The verb that comes to mind to describe this is corruption.
I know, I know, I'm reacting on a purely moral basis here.
I'm sure there are gay artists who could make me see men the way they see them. I would be fascinated but I wouldn't feel corrupted.
What makes Balthus different is that I think that what he sees (and what he makes me see) is not the truth about these girls but a projected fantasy of what he would like them to be.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
It’s been a quiet year with my writing so far. I have a lot of stories part way through so I’m hoping for a burst of posts in the autumn. The good news is that the stories I have written are finding their way on to websites and anthologies.
One of this years stories, “Toying with Lily” has made it into Alison Tyler’s “Hurts So Good”
I’m pleased to see this story in print. I’m also proud to be in the company of the other authors in this collection:
The Sound of One Hand Clapping Nikki Magennis
Sting Jessica Lennox
No Substitute for Experience James Walton Langolf
Panty Lines Sommer Marsden
Lucky N. T. Morley
Testing the Water Teresa Noelle Roberts
Never a Rookie Craig J. Sorensen
Provocation Jay Lawrence
I Promise to Do My Best Teresa Joseph
Party Manners Morgan Aine
Trophy Buckle Rakelle
Toying with Lily Mike Kimera
Turnaround A. D. R. Forte
Flick Chicks Allison Wonderland
Equilibrium Anna Black
First Time Since Xan West
Crossed Rachel Kramer Bussel
My Mainstream Girlfriend Stephen Elliott
Rock Paper Scissors Shanna Germain
All in the Wrist Alison Tyler
I also have a story in another anthology edited by Alison Tyler this year,. Here’s a link to Gwen Masters’ Cleansheets of the anthology which says nice things about my story “Have A Nice Day”.
I know this all sounds terribly self-congratulatory and narcissistic. There’s certainly an element of that, but the excuse I make to myself is that while writing is a solitary pursuit that is really a struggle in which the writer tries to land the story that his imagination has hooked but which may still get away, publishing is a social activity where the writer gets to find out if the outcome of the struggle is enjoyed by other people.
This is a long winded way of saying that reading reviews of stuff that I put forward for publication helps maintain my motivation to write.
One of the questions I had in my mind was what motivates an editor to go through all the hassle needed to produce an anthology that all the rest of us benefit from but in which they get a maximum of one story of their own.
I found a good answer on Alison must be one of the most prolific erotica editor's around and I've often wondered where she gets the energy.
Take a look at her post on her latest book - a guide for couples illustrated with autobiography and favourite pieces of erotica called “Never Have The Same Sex Twice” – and you'll be infected by her passion for keeping that first time heat in (at least) the sex you write about.
Read her post entitled “Riven with Need” and you'll see how her fascination with passion is linked to an ability to feel the power of words the way most of us feel that it-always-makes-me-cry song.
I came away from her site thinking that my writing needs a shake up – I first started writing hot scenes I thought were stories. I want to find a way to use the technique I now have available to me to express the hot, sticky, risky but worth it, oh my god who'd have thought this was possible excitement I used to be able to produce.
Here’s the excerpt from “Toying with Lily”
Toying with Lily
© 2008 Mike Kimera. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without written permission from email@example.com
The jeans are a deliberate act of provocation. Lily, my allegedly submissive “You can do anything to me. Anything at all. I’ll even call you, Daddy while you do it” mistress, likes to test my limits by defying me. She wants to see what I will put up with and what I will do to keep her in her place. She likes to be kept in her place.
At the moment, her place is standing in front of my chair with her hands behind her back and her head held high, waiting for me to flog, pinch, spank and fuck her to orgasm. We both know that by now she should be naked. Instead, she has chosen to present herself wearing tight-fitting jeans and a sly smile.
True, Lily is impressively naked above the waist. She is a fully fleshed woman, short without being in any way small. Her breasts are large and heavy, and when, as now, she holds her hands behind her back, they push out almost aggressively. Her stomach is soft and flows over the cruelly tight fastening of her spray-on jeans. At any other time, I might have relaxed back into my chair and considered whether to start by using the soft calf-leather hand-lash on her belly or by suspending weighted clamps from her nipples.
But now my focus is on her jeans and the smile that accompanies them.
I could just tell her to take them off.
Or I could throw her onto the bed, wrestle them from her, maybe even cut them off her, and then raise welts on her substantial buttocks with the crop.
But then I would be doing the obvious, which means I would lose the initiative and, if that were to happen often enough, I would lose Lily.
I don’t want to lose Lily. She makes me feel alive in a way that no one else does.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
I’ve been through grief before; my father, my mother, my mother in law, my nephew. It never gets any better.
If you live long enough, everyone and everything you love will die and every time grief will ride you, wrenching bone deep sobs from you that strip you of all dignity. Letting you recover and then doing it again and again; triggering a renewed sense of loss each time you come across some small reminder of the life you shared. Grief multiplies death. It takes away everything that makes life bearable and leaves only pain.
My dog didn’t die in his sleep. He ate some wood that obstructed his bowels. It took a week of probing and x-rays and ultrasounds and eventually an operation before we finally had to have him put down. That week is etched into my memory. Why is it that the nasty, gut-wrenching things in life are so easy to recall while happiness fades like an old photograph?
I cried over my dog’s death. Cried. That doesn’t describe it. Crying sounds polite and controlled. I would stand with my eyes closed, my mouth stretched open obscenely wide, my hands by my side, my head thrown back, as great gouts of sobs forced their way out of me, taking my breath, shaking my whole body, filling my mind with nothing more or less that a howl of anger and pain and loss that, if it had words, would fire them like bullets, like grenades, like napalm at a universe that has this death in it.
You’re body won’t let you cry like that for long. It makes you rest and go through the motions of eating in between bouts of soul-crushing grief. And in those gaps when the parasite grief lets its host recover,guilt wormed its way into my mind. It became crystal clear that my selfishness, my unwillingness to accept that some things can’t be fixed, my endless ability to make facts fit my aspirations, had led to my dog spending the last days of his life in a cage in the ICU of animal hospital, in the company of strangers, combating pain until his heart could not stand it.
Guilt curled around my pain and squeezed until my previous sobs seemed mild.
My wife and I come from Irish families and so we did what we always do when grief rides us, we held a wake, just the two of us, a cluster of photo albums and bottle of Rijoa. With each sip of wine we took turns telling stories of our dog and why we loved him and what made him special. We laughed and we cried – just tears not sobs – and we let the memory of him fill us for a while.
It is a month since he died. I was scheduled for leave so I didn’t have to try and work in the immediate life-sucking period after his death. I got support, wonderful, heart-warming support, from the folks on ERWA. The periods of doing other things than grieve are getting longer. Life will return to normal soon.
Except that it won’t. The grief will visit less often. But each bout of grief leaves a scar on the heart. Our dog, who has been with us almost every day since 1993 will never be with us again. There is nothing normal about that.
Enough of sorrow. Let me spend a moment on love. Why should this dog mean so much to me?
Every morning he would wake and face the day as if it was going to be the best day he’d had so far. He was wilful and stubborn and persistent but never mean spirited or violent. He would respond to complex verbal commands but never admitted to knowing the meaning of “Bad Dog”. When my wife and I hugged he would wag his tail. If one of us was ill or sad he would lay beside us until we felt better. He loved unconditionally but was never obsequious or needy. He had a cartoon dog look that made strangers smile. He would walk into a room and expect everyone to admire him. He was everything a Labrador should be. He made me more human than I would otherwise have been. You can’t bullshit a dog. You have to be yourself and deal with what that means.
I miss him so much it hurts. It will always hurt. That seems to be the price the world extracts for letting yourself love deeply.
It may sound morbid but one impact of his death is to remind me of the reality of my own. He was with us fourteen years and yet, in retrospect, it seems like almost no time at all. In fourteen years I will be sixty five. Few of the people in my family have made it to seventy. Perhaps my dog’s last gift to me is to make me raise my head from the ruts habit and convenience and compromise have worn into my life and ask myself how I will make the next fourteen years worth living.
I don’t have the answer yet. I’m still at the point were getting through the day feels like an achievement. But I know it’s the most important question in front of me and I know that writing will be part of the solution. I’ll keep you posted.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I know it sounds immodest, but writing comes easily to me. At least the first blush of it does. The story mostly comes out in a rush of plot or emotion or character and then I work on it to tune the language, the images, the pace, just trying to get rid of all the stuff that isn't the story and when I've done that I hit it like a freshly cast bell and I listen for any cracks.
Last year I was tired, ill, depressed and way too busy and writing didn't come easily anymore. Time was an issue as usual but that wasn't really the thing. I had lots of stories in the WIP file and I tinkered with many of them, making them better but not getting them done.
It took me a while to realise that the magic ingredient that was missing was my own belief in the story. I didn't have the optimism or joy left over to envision the story as it was going to be. I kept seeing the weaknesses. Or I saw only a polished veneer that I didn't care for. And the more I tinkered, driven only by an urge to get the technical parts right, the less ability I had to generate any belief.
This year I’ve managed to get back to writing. It took two things to get me back in harness: I had to fix up my life - as Springsteen said, you have to learn to live with what you can't rise above - and I read everything I could find.
The first filled in some of the energy pits that were draining me. The second restored my sense of the boundless possibilities of writing.
There are so many wonderful writers out there. Reading them breeds stories in my head. Not plots but a sense of style or a willingness to confront or to throw back my head and laugh.
And I know that all these people sat before their computers alone and wove this stuff from their passion, their skill and their belief in themselves. Writers create by force of will and strength of belief. What could be more human or more magical than that?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
There's a saying in marketing, you sell the sizzle, not the steak. I think erotica is like that. It focuses on the cues that make the mouth water, that make you tingle with anticipation.
If this is true, then you don't actually need the steak. Erotica doesn't need the money shot. Porn without the money shot is a rip-off.
It also seems to me that erotica can use humour to sell the sizzle whereas humour is porn is just a reason to press the fast forward button.
Let me illustrate what I mean with a story: "Moira and the Babysitter". I think this story is both erotic and funny. You can judge for yourself what it's selling and how,
Im interested to know what you think
Moira and the babysitter
© Mike Kimera 2001 All rights reserved. Do not
reproduce without written permission from firstname.lastname@example.org
There are things that you know you shouldn’t do but you go ahead and do them anyway. It’s like sitting paralysed at the wheel while you drive into an on-coming truck, it’s scary as hell and you know it’s gonna hurt but GOD do you feel alive while it’s happening.
My on-coming truck was called Lisa and she made me break one of the primary rules of suburbia: never, EVER, kiss the babysitter.
It was a Saturday night I was home early from unsuccessful date, again! Another boyfriend running scared of a woman with a kid. He’d been looking for some action and I’d been looking for… hell I don’t know, maybe just to meet a man who didn’t turn out to be a complete shit whose every move was not determined by a desire to get laid without having to spend too much money to do it.
Do I sound harsh? Yeah? Well walk a mile in my shoes and see if you feel any different.
I got in and shouted to Lisa to let her know I was home. Lisa and I go way back. When she was 10 years old I was often the babysitter for her and her younger sister. She’s great with Sam, my little boy, and she’s always willing to baby-sit at short notice.
Maybe if I’d been less pissed at Jack, hereinafter to be referred to as JackAss, I might have paid attention to how Lisa was dressed and how hyped she seemed.
“Nice dress Mrs D,” she said as I walked into the family room.
“Not Mrs, Ms. Anyway, you should call me Moira, you’re old enough now.”
“Didn’t the date go well?”
“It went the way my dates always go. My maybe-Mr-Right turned out to definitely-Mr-Wrong. All dick and no spine. Shit, sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”
Lisa laughed. “It’s ok, Moira. Like you said, I am old enough now.”
I should have heard the sirens going off and seen the lights flashing at the tone of voice she used but I was too busy extracting my feet from the toe-killing stilettos JackAss liked so much.
“But you like men don’t you?” Lisa said. “I mean you like sleeping with them?”
That got my attention. Especially the ‘them’ part. I wondered what she’d heard and from whom and how much of it was true. I looked at Lisa properly for the first time. She was pretty but tense. Which I guess made her pretty tense. Groan. This stuff happens in my head when I get nervous and I’d suddenly realised that I was nervous. I decided the best thing was to give Lisa as honest an answer as I could.
“Well, let me check my memory,” I said, pretending to think back “Yeah I like it. With the right guy doing the right things.”
“I guess I’ve never found the right guy,” Lisa said.
She sounded sad. I assumed some young shithead had taken her cherry and broken her heart. I hoped she hadn’t gotten pregnant by whomever it was. Nineteen was too young to be a single mother. I know, that was how old I was when “Mr. I’m a quarter-back, you’re a cheerleader, we should do it in the back of my SUV,” unleashed his two million sperm in a race to my womb through a hole in a broken rubber. The lucky winner produced Sam.
I put my arm around her and said, “You ok, Lisa?”
She leant against me and nodded her head. Then she said, “Can I ask you something? Can you like guys and like girls too?”
Woah, I could see where this was going. This is an uptight State. We don’t teach the joys of lesbian love in our High Schools. I was suddenly very aware of my arm around Lisa’s shoulder. If I took it away now, she’d think I was freaked out. I decided to lift her head so I could see her eyes clearly and then just slide my arm off her like it was no big deal.
“What do you mean, like?” I asked.
“You know. Like. Like to watch. Like to be with. Like to touch.”
Jesus. Suddenly I’m back in senior year, smoking dope at the back of the bleachers with Judy Sorrenson. We were practising kissing. Only so we could do it better with boys later you understand. Except it went further than that. We practised biting each other’s nipples and riding each other’s fingers. But Judy said it didn’t count because we were stoned and anyway we didn’t take our clothes off. Damn, I wish we had taken them off. Judy was hot.
“Moria?” Lisa is looking at me anxiously. She thinks I’m avoiding answering her. I am not going to let her think I disapprove.
“Listen Lisa,” I say, “it’s ok to like girls and boys but you have to be real careful who you tell. Do you like girls that way Lisa?”
There. That was smooth. That was professional and caring. This was going well.
“Not girls,” Lisa said. “I like you.”
Then she kissed me. A desperate, needy, snatched kiss, that seemed to anticipate rejection but went ahead anyway.
I just sat there like a piece of stone. I’d been kissed by my nineteen-year-old babysitter. What the hell was I supposed to do now?
Lisa started to cry. “I’m sorry,” she said, through her tears. “Please don’t tell Dad. Please. I won’t do it again. I won’t. I promise. I’ll get a boyfriend and everything. It’s just that you look so nice and I‘ve watched you for so long and I wanted to… please don’t tell please.”
That’s when the carwreck started. I should have reassured her and sent her home. What I actually did was kiss her.
Initially I just wanted to stop her crying, you know. I liked Lisa. She was a good kid and she didn’t deserve to be traumatized because the woman she had a crush on freaked out. I meant to show her that everything was ok. A sort of hug, only with the mouth.
The first couple of seconds were on plan. She stopped crying and just let her lips touch mine. She had very soft lips. And she smelled good. And the touch of her long hair against my hand felt comforting.
I think I must have closed my eyes, because I never saw her hands move. She held my head gently and pushed her tongue into my mouth. It wasn’t the “hey babe, feel this? Well wait till you feel Big-Boy inside you, moving the same way” sort of kiss that so many men use. It had a sense of wonder to it. An exploration of something that wasn’t you but that wasn’t entirely alien either. I stopped breathing. My nipples were telling me that I’d at last found a good kisser.
Then she dropped her hands, sat back and looked at me. I must have looked like a guppy, with my mouth hanging open and my eyes almost crossed. For a split second I was worried that she might not have liked it.
Lisa stroked my face and said, “That was just how I had imagined it. Thank you.”
I started to smile but I froze when Lisa started to push off the spaghetti straps to the little dress she was wearing.
“Do you like my breasts?” she said, looking down at them and pushing them up for my approval. She ran a thumb over her right nipple. It looked like the eraser on the end of a HB pencil. “Do you think my nipples are too long?”
Now I don’t go around checking out other women’s breasts or anything. I mean Lisa’s looked nice but they wouldn’t normally have turned me on. It was just that she was so close to me and I could still taste her in my mouth and it probably didn’t help that I hadn’t been laid properly in almost a month, Mr JackAss and I not having gotten past the blow-job stage. I couldn't look away from her nipple.
“Lisa,” I said, “we shouldn’t…”
She lifted my hand and placed it on her breast. I was only aware of two things, the heat of her skin against me and the little anticipatory spasm between my legs.
I stood up.
“Lisa, this has to stop. We are not lovers. I’m too old for you. And besides, your dad would kill me.”
Well that was better. Apart from the last sentence, I’d sounded like a sensible, caring adult. And we weren’t touching any more. I began to think I’d find a way out of this that didn’t involve pleading insanity.
Lisa got off the sofa and knelt in front of me. She rested her head against my belly just above my pubis and wrapped her arms around my legs. Short of hitting her, I was trapped.
She kissed my belly. “Oh God, I wish my belly was flatter,” I thought. Then she looked up at me and said. “You’re not too old. You’re only six years older than me. I know you don’t love me yet, but I want you to be my first. I’ve wanted that for a long time.”
She looked cute kneeling in front of me like that, her dress almost around her waist, her hair falling down her back, and a wide, hopeful smile on her face. Part of me was saying, “Go with it. Do the kid and yourself a favor.” The part of me that I LIKED was saying “Did you here the ‘don’t love me YET’ statement? This is way out of control. DO SOMETHING.”
And I would have listened. Really I would. If Lisa hadn’t slid her hands under my skirt and rolled my panties down. Damn, I should have worn pantyhose. A
I reached down to stop her. I was going to push her away. This was wrong. I wasn’t going to play. I was very firm on that. Then her tongue touched me and my hands just rested on her head. I don’t remember parting my legs but suddenly there was room down there for her to lick in all the right places. “Why the hell can’t men ever learn to do it like that?” I thought.
I was twisting Lisa’s hair now and leaning my head back and… the phone rang.
I felt like I’d been released from some kind of fairytale spell. I stepped away from Lisa and picked up the phone. She was playfully crawling towards me. I didn’t know what I’d do when she got there.
“Is that you Moira?” a voice said as soon as I picked up. It was Lisa’s mother.
“Hi Mrs. Flannigan,” I said desperately pulling up my panties and straightening my clothes. Lisa scrambled to her feet and started to tuck herself back into her dress. She looked anxiously at the door as if it was about to be forced open by the sex police. I knew how she felt.
“I thought I saw your car.” Mrs Flannigan said, “Terrible thing to be home so early on a Saturday night. I’m sorry to bother you, but if you’ve finished with Lisa, I could use her at home to help me hang these new curtains.”
“Sure thing, Mrs Flannigan, I’ll send her right over.”
There was silence after I put the phone down.
“That was your mother,” I said.
OK, so I state the obvious when I’m under stress. I had no idea what to do next.
Lisa laughed. “Guess we almost got busted,” she said. Then she kissed me quickly on the lips and said, “That was great. I knew it would be. I better go before Mom starts asking questions.”
“What happened to Miss Vulnerable Teenage Lesbian Virgin?” I thought. One minute it’s all intimacy and passion, next minute it’s like we’re discussing cheating on a term paper.
I was in a mess. My libido was shouting, “Hey, who switched the power off? I’m not done yet?” My nice side was going “Phew that was close, let’s pretend nothing ever happened here tonight.” But mostly I was thinking, “She can’t just up and leave!”
Some of all that must have shown on my face because, Lisa slowed down and gave me a real affectionate look. She put her hand on my forearm and said, “That was special. Thank you. And don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone what we did.”
What WE did? I didn’t do anything. Yeah right. And that was exactly the problem.
When she got to the door she hesitated and said, “Mom will be out on Wednesday. I could come over. Call me. Bye Moira.”
Wednesday night. Four whole days away.
Ever thought about doing something you shouldn’t and known you were going to end up doing it anyway?
© Mike Kimera 2001 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without written permission from email@example.com
Friday, April 04, 2008
ERWA has a BDSM: Powerplay theme this month with an array of high quality stories:
Girls Gone Wild
by Helen E. H. Madden
Plans for the Weekend
Savitri, The Devoted Wife
by Seneca Mayfair
by felicia Mansur
and my own
Toying with Lily
by Mike Kimera
I've posted an extract from "Lily" below, to give you a flavour of the thing.
If BDSM doesn't press your buttons, you might enjoy some of the other stories on the ERWA site this month
by Helen E. H. Madden
Extract from "Toying with Lily" (C) Mike Kimera 2008
The jeans are a deliberate act of provocation. Lily, my allegedly submissive, "You can do anything to me. Anything at all. I'll even call you, Daddy while you do it." mistress, likes to test my limits by defying me. She wants to see what I will put up with and what I will do to keep her in her place. She likes to be kept in her place.
"It was thoughtful of you to keep your jeans on," I say, closing my hand around Lily's collared throat and forcing her back against me. I have large hands and I have often used them to deprive Lily of air at crucial moments. "I'm sure it's a polite way of letting me know that you don't need to be fucked today."
The word escapes before Lily can stop it. Remaining unfucked is one of the few punishments that would really make Lily suffer. To paraphrase Rhett Butler, Lily is the kind of woman who needs to be fucked often and by someone who knows how. That's one of the reasons she is here with me instead of with her loving husband: I know how.
I also control when.
"How many days has it been now, Lily?"
I'm impressed. According to the rules, Lily is not allowed to have an orgasm for two days before we meet. It gives our meetings an edge. Four days of restraint will have honed Lily's hunger to a razor's edge. And yet she couldn't resist defying me by keeping her jeans on. Still, if Lily could move in a straight line from need to satisfaction she wouldn't be dependent on someone like me to bind and beat her along the path to release.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I wrote this article back in 2005 and had it posted in a couple of places but it's not on the Web anymore so I thought I'd give it an airing here.
I wrote this article back in 2005 and had it posted in a couple of places but it's not on the Web anymore so I thought I'd give it an airing here.
All comments gratefully received.
Erotica, sin, shame and secrecy
Writing fiction, particularly erotica, is a very intimate process. You mine, consciously or unconsciously, your imagination and experience. You discover what topics or situations or characters trigger and sustain your creativity.
As your fiction piles up behind you like a series of cast-off skins, themes and attitudes emerge that tell you and your readers something about how your mind works and where your heart lies.
Erotica as genre is often seen as an opportunity to escape from the real world into fantasy or to reinforce the idea that you are not alone in the cravings you have and the delights that you seek.
In my own writing, erotica seems to become more of an entanglement than an escape. Time and again I find myself writing about sin, shame, and secrecy.
If writing tells you about the writer then clearly I’m not one of these liberated souls who enjoy sex openly and honestly and dive naked into the pool, grin at their readers and say, “Come on in, the water is lovely.”
I’m more the guy you find in the kitchen at parties or reviewing the CD rack and wondering why the CDs aren’t alphabetised. The one who looks and longs but rarely acts and my writing reflects that.
The cool kids in the pool can write fine, sex-positive erotic stories about the transcendent joy experienced by those who open themselves in a healthy and honest way to their own desires. The problem is that those who share this experience are probably too busy fucking to read erotica and those of us in the kitchen, who eagerly seek erotica, are left either envious or, more likely, unconvinced.
So I try to imagine the people who read my stories finding parts of themselves in them. Some parts they will like and some will make them squirm but I still want them to experience a sense of recognition.
In my mind, my readers have a rich inner life, a craving for sex and a deep understanding of the nature of sin, shame, and secrecy.
To the kids in the pool, my readers are the sexually repressed folks who get off in secret to things they are too up tight to do in real life.
If one believes the women's magazines, then sexual repression is a bad thing. These poor repressed people could be fulfilled and happy if only they would self-actualise, embrace all of the parts of their nature as aspects of themselves, live in the here and now from time to time, put aside their inhibitions and just do it.
This is the Nike generation version of "turn on, tune in, drop out.” It comes out as "Open up, kick back, get off."
I'm unconvinced by the idea that just because something is nice it is also good. Some nice things are exactly the opposite of good.
When I write, I think about people who have to struggle to be good; people with strong sexual urges who demonstrate restraint rather than repression; people who, when the restraint fails, experience shame and regret mixed in with their underlying pleasure.
These people understand, at least at an intuitive level, the concept of sin.
I am an atheist by conviction but I find that an understanding of sin is an asset in writing erotica, so pardon me for a paragraph or two while I don my "Father Mike" costume and expound.
Most Christians are aware of the seven deadly sins but few seem to me to understand them. They are about excess. They are about persisting in behaviours that damage your ability to see the world in a way that enables you to choose good over evil.
Hunger is not a sin, gluttony is. Relaxation is not a sin, sloth is. Desire is not a sin, lust is.
Persistence in sin shapes the sinner, twisting them, perhaps crippling them, and making it harder and harder to be a person who does not sin.
Before we get to lust, let's start with gluttony. All of us get hungry. Many of us get cravings for particular types of food. A very few of us passionately desire food. Not all of those who passionately desire it are gluttons. The glutton MUST eat. The glutton will sacrifice their dignity, their income, their time, in order to eat.
In modern parlance this "sinful" behaviour is pathological: in other words, it acts upon the person in the same way as a disease.
Have you ever eaten to excess, to the point where it hurts to eat more and yet your hand still reaches out for another portion and your mouth chews food your mind knows you do not need and cannot process? To understand gluttony you must think of feeling that way persistently. Think of what it would do to you. What impact you would have on others. Think about the moral and economic implications. Then think about doing it anyway. Every day. Then you start to understand the sinful/pathological nature of gluttony.
To me, a person who has a strong desire for food, who knows what it means to eat beyond the point of satiation and who decides not to do that today, is showing restraint, not repression.
The analogy with Lust is obvious.
So imagine a reader who knows, deep in their gut, that if they gave themselves up to the sexual desire inside them, the world would not be enough. So each day, driven by their knowledge of sin and their desire to retain the grace to live well, they show restraint.
But each and every day is a struggle and some days they lose.
Perhaps on such days they read erotica. Perhaps this allows them to come to the brink, look over the edge but not jump off. And perhaps, having lost the struggle just a little, they feel shame.
It would be a mistake to imagine that the shame is to do with sex. The shame is to do with lacking the strength to be who you want to be and the sure and certain knowledge of who your own weakness could allow you to become.
And with shame comes secrecy.
This kind of secrecy is not about hiding a lie but about bolstering the truth.
If I "come out" and say, "Actually, I spend most mornings wanking over porn, I mentally undress strangers, I occasionally have affairs and, if I could do it without getting caught, I would fuck the brains out of every pretty (and some not so pretty) thing in town" I might be being honest but I would not be doing good.
This kind of public statement would seem like an affirmation. It would change how others see me. It might encourage others to say, "I too want this”; which would be fine if "this" was the person I wanted to be. But if I aspire to be the kind of person who treats himself and others with respect and sometimes love, then when I read the erotica and when it gets me off and even when I recognise it says something true about me and those around me, I will not proclaim this publicly. I will keep my lapses secret in the hope that I may eventually succeed in living up to my aspirations.
So is my imaginary reader someone who denies his own nature, feels bad about himself for no reason and then cloaks his behaviour in a hypocritical secrecy? Or is he someone who understand goodness because he feels the pull or sin, experiences shame as an indicator that he has not yet lost all judgement and turns to secrecy as a lifeline that allows him another chance at goodness tomorrow?
I believe that one of the skills for a writer of erotica is to know how to raise these questions and leave the reader to invent the answers.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Anyway. I've been thinking about trying to write a crime story. A while back I wrote a short story featuring Detective Claire Jardin in New York City. At the time, the story was an execrise to see if I could write a story with sex in it which wasn't about sex and which didn't use any words that would get diapproving looks at a WI meeting. But Claire stayed in my head. She wants me to tell the story of boy who confessed to murdering a woman he ought not to have had any involvement with. So while I let her fill me in on the details (at least enough for me to find out how the plot resolves itself, I thought I'd dust off her first fictional outing and post it here.
I'd be happy to hear any comments you want to share.
Till death do us part
© Mike Kimera 2002. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without written permission from firstname.lastname@example.org
It was an upscale apartment that still managed to look elegant and spacious despite the clutter that a bunch of cops working a crime scene brought with them. Murphy, the uniform first on the scene met us at the elevator. She’s a good cop, young but keen.
“What you got Murph?”
“Two fatal shootings in the study, Detective, but neither of them are as cold as the guy on the balcony: David Reynolds. His wife’s lying dead in there, shot with his gun and all he says is, ‘Tell me when someone with rank arrives, officer,’ and goes out to look at the view.”
I walked past Murphy into the study. I’d get to the bodies later; first I wanted to get the flavor of the place. It was less of a study, more of a media room: Bang and Olufsen sound system, plasma TV, DVD player, commercial quality VCR and two computers, one with webcam. Very cool, very minimalist, very tidy. The only personal touch was the ego-wall, set behind the desk so visitors got a good view: photographic evidence of the success of Mr. David Reynolds, award winning maker of TV commercials and friend to the rich and famous.
I moved from photograph to photograph. Reynolds had a smile that never reached his eyes. There was only one “family” photograph, Mr and Mrs Reynolds on their wedding day. She was pretty and looked younger than him. The body language screamed trophy-wife. That’s why she was on the ego-wall for others to look at and not on the desk for him to see.
I turned to what was left of Mrs. Reynolds. The body was slumped against the wall, what used to be her face was splashed in arc of color behind her like a satanic halo. I squatted to take a closer look. ‘If those breasts are real there is no God’, I thought.
“The gun must have been right up against her chin,”
“Yeah, seems almost malicious doesn’t it?”
“Not as malicious as what was done to Mr. Young-and-Handsome over there. Hey, Claire, you think it’s true that you can’t get into heaven if you’ve had your genitals shot off?”
“That’s what killed him?” I asked.
“Nope, I reckon the two shots through the heart at close range have to take the blame for that.”
“Ok, Murphy take us to see the grieving husband,” I said. I’d had enough of dead bodies for one evening.
“There’s something else you should see first, Detective,” Murphy said. “There’s a tape in the VCR. I checked on it cos the player was still warm when we arrived.”
She looked like she wanted my approval. I smiled at her and she pressed PLAY on the remote.
The first shot was a close up of a very aroused man forcing his way into an asshole that looked way too small to take him. I glanced at
“It gets better,” Murphy said, “I mean it gets relevant.”
It sounded like the way the New York Times might review porn flicks but I soon saw what Murphy meant. The next shot was Mrs. Reynolds sucking Young-and-Handsome. I learnt that Mrs Reynolds was a swallower, not a spitter and that the shot to Young-and-Handsome’s groin had blown away a substantial endowment. The film continued as a series of fast cuts of Mrs Reynolds and her lover imaginative variety of different positions.
“Switch it off Murphy, we’ve seen enough,”
“Well done for finding this, Murphy.” I said. “What do you think it tells us?”
“Apart from the fact Mrs Reynolds dyed her hair?”
Murphy and I both glared at him.
“Well, the picture quality is strictly amateur, all the shots are fixed camera, the lighting is poor, but the editing is very professional.”
“You watched this tape with these bodies in the room and that’s what you noticed?”
“That and the fact that the tape started from the beginning so if someone watched it tonight they rewound it afterwards,” Murphy replied.
“Maybe you should be doing my job,”
“Maybe she already is.” I said and he laughed.
When we got to the balcony Reynolds was on his feet, taking in his expensive view over
He turned to face us and said, “I take it that the absence of uniform means that you are the ranking officers?”
His accent was very Brit and his question seemed more like a put down.
“I’m Detective Claire Jardin, this is Detective Raul Martinez.” I said, flashing my shield.
He made sure that I saw him checking me out from toe to head, then he smiled and said, “So you are a Detective, Ms Jardin? How sad to have one’s illusion’s punctured. It would have been nice to believe that in real life homicide detectives are as young and as pretty as the ones on ‘NYPD Blue’.”
“You’re certain you want to talk about this now, Mr. Reynolds?” I said, “You’ve been through a significant trauma. You could talk to us later, with your lawyer present if you want.”
“A significant trauma, Detective? Is there another kind?”
I could see
Reynolds smiled and said, “I’m sorry, that was rude of me. I appreciate that in this demonstrative, litigious society my restrained emotional reaction and my aversion to lawyers are regarded as deviant. Let’s just attribute that to me being an inscrutable Brit and get on with it shall we? I don’t want this to take all night. I have an important meeting in the morning.”
The Brit thing was clever, it made it much harder for me to read him and being nasty is so much easier to sustain than being fake nice. The evening was getting interesting.
“Why don’t you tell me what happened here, Mr.Reynolds?” I said, trying to sound as dumb as he thought I looked.
“Please, take a seat. Would you like a coffee? I’m afraid I don’t have any donuts but I could send out for some?”
I let the jibe slip by and took a seat. If Reynolds was in the mood to talk I didn’t want to distract him.
“I didn’t kill my wife, Detectives but to substantiate that I need to take you through some rather tiresome details. You see, although I am a very successful man, I am not a very nice one. People pretend to like me because I am successful. I think I am successful because I don’t waste time being nice. I am not without emotions but I’m selective about who I let see them.
My wife, Heather, was one of the few people I let inside the circle as it were. She knew what I needed and she gave it to me. Frankly, she was never a very adventurous lover but she was beautiful, obedient and faithful and for me, that was enough.
We had our fourth wedding anniversary last April. Things had settled down very well. I was pleased with her and I had told her so. I even increased her allowance. Then one day I forgot my wedding ring. I returned home to retrieve it and found Heather sweating under some toyboy she’d picked up. I watched for a while, unseen. The boy wasn’t particularly talented and Heather seemed a little desperate to me. I could almost have felt sorry for her but you see, she wasn’t inside the circle anymore. She had betrayed me. For me she had ceased to be real at that point.”
“Did your wife know that you had seen her that day?” I asked.
“Good question, Detective. It must be all that training you received at the taxpayers’ expense. I assure you that we will get through this much faster if you just shut your mouth and listen.”
“Are you always this aggressive to women Mr. Reynolds?”
“Ah, you must be the bad cop then. So Ms Jardin here must be the one I’m supposed to want to please. Perhaps that technique works on the American MTV generation, I just find it irritating. If you will both be quiet I will give you my statement and you can be on your way to whatever bar it is that you wash away the memories in.”
He was good. I wondered if he’d ever been an actor. He was certainly being one now.
“Your partner is almost right, Ms Jardin. I did indeed set out to teach my wife a lesson. One that she learnt tonight in fact. The dead young man littering my study works under the name Lance Strong. Apparently he felt the name would get him into soaps. Unfortunately his coke habit made it hard for him to remember his lines and even soaps demand that of their actors these days. He auditioned for one of my commercials. Instead I hired him to have sex with my wife. Actually, his brief was two-fold: to broaden her sexual horizons to the point where she needed his particular kind of action and to make her fall in love with him.”
“You hired a man to have sex with your wife?”
“Oh, do keep up, Detective Martinez. I hired him to turn her into an emotionally vulnerable slut. There was of course one further condition of his employment. He had to do all of this on film. It was the best role of his young life. I’d fed him the material he needed to seduce her: her favourite films, the music she liked, the things she thought were romantic. I baited the hook and she swallowed it live on film. Lance turned out to be a better name for him than I had thought. He had enormous stamina as a lover and he got poor Heather to want things that I knew she would be embarrassed to ask future lovers for. There’s a tape in my study if you need the details. I’m sure it will be a success at Precinct parties.”
“So how do we end up with the dead bodies in your study, Mr. Reynolds?” I asked, wanting see what happened if I pushed.
“Ah, that was most unfortunate actually. Not at all how things were meant to resolve themselves. In this case, real-life deviated from my script.”
There was something different in the way he made that comment. I got the impression it was the first completely honest thing I’d heard him say.
“You see, at my suggestion, Lance proposed to Heather last week. The poor girl was so grateful. And she had such creative ways of showing her gratitude by then. It produced some remarkable footage.”
He licked his lips. I’m sure he wasn’t conscious of it. I knew then that he had watched every moment of his wife’s betrayal many times, savouring it. Getting off on it. He was right; he wasn’t a very nice man.
“So this evening they came into my study together so that Heather could ask me for a divorce. It was a poor choice of venue as it turned out. It is the only room in which I keep a gun. It is licensed of course. I just wish I’d kept the desk drawer locked. Still, guns don’t kill people, people kill people, don’t you agree?”
Not a nice man at all.
“After Heather told me of her new-found love, I showed her the tape. I thanked Lance for a job well done and told him that I intended to give him a bonus. I should have been paying attention to Heather, not Lance. The tape affected her more profoundly than I had expected. It was too much of a shock for her. While I was shaking Lance’s hand, Heather took my gun from the drawer and shot him between the legs. Before I could react, she shot him twice more in the chest. Poor Lance.
I know I should have been afraid for my own life but at the time I didn’t think about that, I just wanted to get the gun away from Heather. Then I realised she was about to shoot herself. We struggled. The gun went off. I was unable to stop her. She literally lost her head.
I’m afraid that means that I will test positive for gunpowder residue and you may even find my prints on the gun. I realise it puts me in a bad light, Detectives but I like to be honest. I can supply tapes covering every encounter between my wife and her paid-for-lover, plus a copy of Lance Stone’s contract. I’m sure that a competent lawyer would have no difficulty convincing a jury to see this for the murder/suicide that it was.”
We asked him questions for another thirty minutes but his story didn’t change. He even wrote it down for us. I was certain Reynolds was lying but there was so much truth in what he said that I couldn’t find my way to the lie.
Reynolds stayed on his balcony when we finished with him. He asked to be informed when the bodies had been removed. He made it sound like a request to get rid of the leftovers from a room service meal, but I wasn’t completely buying the calm and in control act. I figured he was in no hurry to go back into his bloodstained study. I told Murphy to keep an eye on him. It would have been embarrassing if we had had to scrape him off the pavement because I’d misread how stiff his Brit upper lip really was.
In the elevator, on the way down to the lobby,
I saw the lie and the truth then. We didn’t get out of the elevator when it reached the lobby, we went straight back to Reynolds’ apartment.
The camera was in the ceiling of the study. We played the tape on his plasma TV. Things went just as Reynolds described them until he switched on the tape of his wife and her lover. Heather Reynolds laughed.
“God, Lance, you were so big and so hard I thought you were going to split me wide open.”
The camera was fixed on Heather so I couldn’t see Reynolds’ face, but I suspected this was were reality parted company with his script.
Heather was rubbing herself up against Lance now, both of them watching the screen. “Mmm, I do love the taste of fresh meat in the morning,” Heather said, her hand stroking Lance’s crotch. Lance kissed her.
Heather broke the embrace and turned towards Reynolds. “What’s the matter, David? Things not going as you planned? Lance told me about your pathetic little plan on the first night we met.”
Heather leant forward, her hands on Reynolds desk. The tape played on, unregarded behind her.
“You were right, David, after four years of lying under a dried-up emotional cripple, I wanted to be taken by a real man. But do you know what the best part was? Do you know what used to make me scream with pleasure? It wasn’t that you’d chosen such a stud, or that you were paying for me to get properly serviced for a change, it was the thought of you watching Lance taking me and getting off on it because you love the size of him, because you wanted it to be you he was in, not me.”
Reynolds was only just on camera but I could see him reaching for the desk drawer.
“I don’t want a divorce, David. You and I are going to stay married and if you ever try to change that I’ll expose this twisted little plot and take you for every penny you have.”
Heather turned to Lance.
“Why don’t we give him one last thrill Lance? Let’s do it on his anally-tidy desk.”
Lance stepped towards the desk. He was reaching for his fly when the first shot hit him. Reynolds moved into camera-shot, placed the gun against Lance’s chest and fired twice. The camera was on his face as he turned towards Heather. There was nothing in his eyes except hate.
Heather backed against the wall. She didn’t shout or struggle. She seemed mesmerised by Reynolds’s eyes. He placed the gun under her chin and fired.
For a few moments he stood over the body. Then he put the gun in her hands. His movements were calm. He switched off the tape and rewound it. Slowly he moved to the phone. He dialled 911. He gave his name and his address and reported two deaths by gunshot. Then he sat on the desk, looking up at the camera until Murphy arrived at the scene.
“So how did you know the camera was there?” Murphy asked.
We were at Raj O’Rielly’s, home to Irish booze and Indian food and beloved of every cop in the precinct.
“It was what Raul said about not missing a moment. Reynolds photographed everything. He wasn’t going to miss the last chapter in his wife’s humiliation.”
“But why leave the tape there for us to find?”
“Maybe he thought we’d need a search warrant to search a crime scene,”
“Or maybe he was thought we were too stupid to figure it out.”
I was remembering Reynolds’s behaviour on the balcony. The way he had provoked me. The performance he had given.
“I think,” I said, “that he wanted to get caught”.
I laughed it off and went to get some more Guinness to go with the Rogan Josh, but even in the middle of all that noise and life, I was haunted by Reynolds looking up at the camera as he sat on his desk. There had been nothing at all behind his eyes. Not even hate.