Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pornotopia: Do You Know What Your Children Will Be?

The following is just one of a bunch of pieces I’ve been working on for a project tentatively titled Pornotopia: The Ins and Outs and Ins and Outs of Sex and Erotica. Enjoy!

Not that long ago - not long at all, a few decades at best - you would have caused quite a stir. It wouldn't have been because of anything as baroque as your facial piercings or that your hair is toxic-waste green. Nah, if you were a woman somehow transported back those few decades you would have been the source of more than a few outraged stares and even some hysterical outbursts. That'll teach you, after all, for wearing pants.

So who knows what you might face if you were on that same spot in a few more decades in the future? Stoned to death for your fashion sense? Leered at for showing your nose and ears? Or, more than likely, frowned at your being such a prude ... wearing clothes in public? How rude!

Things are changing ... fast. There's nothing new in that, but what is brand-spanking is how fast things are changing. It's easy to forget that - living as we are on the edge of that social and technological wave - that those faces staring at your pants were only your grandparents, only your parents.

It's a universal constant that while technology might not be used for fun - for sex - first, it certainly will be shortly thereafter. We are a sexy species - smart, but still sexy. Thinking with our minds first, our genitals second.

Polishing up my crystal ball, breathing on it's prescient surface, I love to try and gaze up those years - take a peak, so to speak, at what we or our children might do for fun.

One thing we have over ancestors is our bodies ... or rather what we can do with them. Plastic surgery has gone from a badge of shame to a sexual plaything - even today having the small enlarged, the big shrunken, the missing replaced, and the unwanted lopped off is handled like strolling through the supermarket: today, I think, I'll have the extra-large breasts, please. It's not hard to imagine a decade or two hence where some of our issues regarding gender and appearance fall by the wayside. Will breasts become the 'in-thing' for the upwardly mobile professional ... of either sex? Will penises become the next power tie? For the first time in human history we can just about make ourselves into whatever we, or our partners, fancy. We're only limited by minor hitches in technology ... and our will. But as history has taught us, yesterday's taboos are today's fashion statements. Who knows what tomorrow's sexual body will look like?

We have also started to plumb the depths of chemical attraction. Now we have Viagra, but tomorrow we might have a pill for every shade of excitement. Want to feel sexy, experience orgasms beyond the keen of mortal man? Pop one, lie back and enjoy it. What happens to sexual responsibility when something over the counter can turn you from Mother Theresa to Annie Sprinkle? Will we have hormone vacations? A chemical drip as we try and squeeze as many comes into a weekend - only to dry out for work on Monday?

But what of the opposite? Sex is hardwired into our brains but so many seem to scared of those animal depths. A pill and all those fantasies, all those inappropriate thoughts, all those disturbing impulses are gone - washed away. Greater productivity, no distractions ... will the last two people on Earth be two "to-busy-to-reproduce" workaholics? Will we, as a species, be doomed to extinction by not wanting to face our sexual selves? Before you laugh and keep reading think about the other people in the world, those who are terrified of joy - lots of them, aren't there?

Our bodies are plastic - optional in all kinds of ways - but what of our minds? Now we can make motors twitch, controlled by the neurons in the minds of mice. Tomorrow? Cortical jacks and cyberspace wet dreams, virtual realities that could be made even more reality that ... well, reality. Look out your window for a second. Go ahead, I'll wait ... dirty streets, washed-out sky, bad resolution all around. Poor sound. If you could live in a movie - wouldn't you? Will reality eventually be shunned by our cybernetic children for a shared electronic Valhalla - a shining, divine illusion better than anything in the 'real' world?

Before even going that far, we've already had a taste of what we might become. It's common to be something/someone else in a chatroom, role playing for laughs ... or, because safe being a screen, we can be what we've always wanted. Will some of our (those that decide to breed) 2.5 kids live suit and tie by day, high-heels and garters by night ? The best of both worlds - or any number of worlds, for that matter.

Plastic surgery has it's limitations, but genetics has almost none. Look at the animal kingdom, and think about little ol' Dolly and it's clone. Maybe the future will be the Island of Dr. Moreau: where beast men prowl through dance clubs decorated like the veldt, hunting zebra to eat or fuck, their choice. Maybe our children will send us postcards from the Amazon, the whole family hanging from an ancient tree by their tails. "Wish you were here."

Genetics can also close up that gender loop: be a man, woman, a bit of both for as long as you'd like. What will happen to the world when anyone can be anything - will gender become a popularity contest? Male this month, female the next. Will one gender become “normal” and another not - secret clubs where penises or pussies will be the secret handshake for admittance? “Tell me, sir, are you now - or have you ever been - a female?”

Bodies aside, what is sex except for a feeling - and what is feeling but just electrical and chemical impulses? We don't need our bodies for reproduction anymore - test tubes and Dolly prove that. So what do we need our cunts and cocks for - decoration? A temporary hat stand or pencil cup? Why not link our sexual responses to something much more productive ... or less messy. An orgasm from a raise? A come from a handshake? What will pornography be like when bare hands are considered risqué or Forbes is likened to a visit to a bordello? Will our children stand there, naked and unashamed except for their gloves, laughing at our stories of pregnancy and Presidential scandal - only to turn beat red when we talk about our jobs or distractedly clean our fingernails?

But do we even need our bodies anymore? A decade, two, three a few little innovations and our consciousness leave these meat bags forever. Will our children be the size of cities, vast complexes lazily making their way to the nearby stars - having sex with each other via radio waves or along a spectrum we aren’t even aware of yet. Or maybe our children’s bodies will be nothing but scuttling little boxes while their minds live in immense cybernetic fantasies in a piece of silicon the size of a dime.

After all, what are our minds but electrical impulses? Data to be stored, edited, manipulated, copied ... erased? Will our kids be able to change themselves all the way down to their base existences? Try a different personality a day, with world-spanning fads in behavior - this month a world of Charley Mansons, maybe the next Nina Hartleys. “Who do you want to be tonight, honey? The shepherd or the sheep?” Will procreation be like installing an upgrade? Bodies don’t matter, only the software does: take a bit of one program (mom) add some of another (dad) and the result would be a new bit of self-aware software (kid). Instead of playing around behind the barn will our children first experiment by playing Norton Utilities with another program?

The future is unwritten - and thus unknowable. But there is one thing we do know, can know: the only thing certain is change. We might have shocked our parents, alarmed them with our audaciousness, but our own children - those that will follow us - will have a lot more toys to play with.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just want ...

... to toss out a very enthusiastic/heartfelt thanks to all the great folks I met at the Cybernet expo the other day. It was a blast!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pauline Likes The Rites Of Spring

I've said it before but it's always worth repeating: I have some fantastic friends - and one of my best pals is the always-sweet Pauline, who just sent me this great review of my new serial story: The Rites of Spring. Thanks again, Pauline!

Is it the future? Is it a parallel world? Is it NOW; a secret tribal world, existing around us? A world; a culture that is there, but which we don't see? M.Christian doesn't tell us, in this first chapter of his serialized novel; RITES OF SPRING. Perhaps he won't tell us. He may leave us to work it out for ourselves; choose the framework we like best.

Gazelle runs. It is what she exists for in this competitive culture. She will achieve the status of 'Messenger', when she has completed her run. Gazelle is proud. Her only purpose is to be the fastest; the best. She pushes herself through the pain barrier; the wall. Her run through the hard city streets, jolts and tortures every muscle in her aching body. Her run is musical, spiritual. Each bead of sweat chimes into a chorus of ecstacy. She's high on the endorphins rushing through her, from her dreadlocked hair, to her tortured feet. The glaring sun beats down on her aching body. The run is both final test, and trophy. The ultimate prize for all her years of training.

M.Christian's opening chapter of RITES OF SPRING, is written with lyrical style, panache, flair. Christian is a natural storyteller. He keeps us turning the page; always wanting to know, 'what happens next.' His use of language is rich and exotic and always a joy to a reader. Perhaps Gazelle's world is a metaphor for our own competitive world, where winning is everything; perhaps not. But I want to know; I want to find out. And that, along with great writing, from an accomplished writer, is what will keep me hanging on for Chapter two.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Where Licked? What Promises?

A few folks have been asking what stories are in my brand spanking new collection, Licks & Promises, so here (ta-da!) is the TOC:
Introduction By Sage Vivant
The Train They Call the City of New Orleans
Dead Letter
The House of the Rising Sun
In Control
Kiss, Kiss, Hug, Hug
Mile After Mile
The Naked Supper
The Tinkling of Tiny Silver Bells
Water of Life
The Will of Dr. Mabuse
The Waters of Biscayne Bay
The World Game
One After Another
Her First Thursday Evening

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Mammothly Painted Doll

This is very cool news: the first chapter of my novel, Painted Doll, was just accepted by Maxim Jakubowksi for his Mammoth Book of New Erotica, Vol. 9. Thanks, Maxim!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Steve Williams Loves Dirty Words

This is very cool news: Steve Williams has just posted a great review of Dirty Words for Suite 101. Here's a taste - click here for the rest.

Steve Williams for Suite 101:
M. Christian, the celebrated author of novels like Painted Doll and Brushes, is widely regarded as being at the forefront of erotic fiction, whether writing for the gay, straight or transgender market, and his anthology Dirty Words yet again pushes boundaries in a collection of eclectic and satisfactorily disturbing stories.

Dirty Words proves that M. Christian's prodigious imagination is just as formidable as ever, from stories of sex after death in Echoes, to tales of shamanic seduction in Coyote & The Less Than Perfect Cougar, and disturbing yarns like Wet that twist sex and murder into one dark act; there's something for everyone in Dirty Words, but be warned, for those who like straightforward eroticism, this is anything but.

Truly great is the fact that in as little as ten or so pages of Dirty Words, M. Christian can create a plethora of characters and make his audience care about each one of them, as he does so in Wet, a story of immortality as gifted by a horrific kiss, which manages to create a hot little morality tale with maximum sensuality. This is a truly authentic writer at work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pat Califia on Dirty Words

Unfortunately, due to space limitations, Pat Califia's marvelous intro to the original Dirty Words had to be left on the cutting room floor of the new, Lethe Books, edition.

But here it is: a real treat from a great person and a fantastic writer:

Dirty Deeds For Dirty Boys (And Men)
Patrick Califia-Rice

It can be very damned awkward to have a good friend who is also a writer (or wants to be one). What do you do when someone approaches you for an introduction or a blurb for the back cover ... and you like their wicked smile or their spicy chicken marsala or their hospitable, fuzzy butt a whole lot more than you like their paragraphs, which are as graceful as a football tumbling down the stairs, mixed metaphors, and fuck scenes that could not be resurrected with a truckload of Viagra? Fortunately for me, M. Christian presents no such dilemma. Given our long and intimate acquaintance, I probably can’t be 100% objective about the book you are holding in your hot little hands. But I can honestly say that this is some of the best writing, period, that I’ve perused in the last year.

Be forewarned: Dirty Words is not a walk in the park on a sunny day. Like many quiet and unassuming people, M. Christian conceals a frightening intellect, a lurid imagination, and a Zen comprehension of the evil that men can do. In case you never have the privilege of meeting him or hearing him read, I’d like you to know that he’s a really nice guy. Honest. Sweet. Compassionate. But all of those virtues spring from doctoral-level study of the Shadow. His kindness is informed by a sad appraisal of all the self-interested alternatives. He chooses not to exploit others even though he gets exactly how thrilling it can be to push a weaker person down and suck them dry.

The best writing about sex is also about something else. The San Francisco writers I refer to as the Glamorous Nerd Pornographers are hand-crafting a renaissance of smart smut. Like Fanny Hill, My Secret Life, or Dangerous Liaisons (bet you didn’t know that was originally a very banned book), sexually-explicit work by Carol Queen, Thomas Roche, M. Christian, Bill Brent, Ian Philips, Kirk Read, and their fellow travelers creates a record of mores, manners, philosophy, fashion, controversy, politics, religion, and other keynotes that preserve the tenor of a given moment in human history. (As do a handful of great sex writers in other locales, like Tristan Taormino in, uh, what is that place, New York City?)

The themes that preoccupy M. Christian include (but are not restricted to) revenge (in “Chickenhawk” and “Counting” he details the way a pursuit of vengeance alters the agents of Nemesis as well as her object), the signifiers of masculinity (two badder-than-bad bikers in “The Harley” compete for possession of a dead bro’s hawg), the odd things that can cause one human being to bond with another (“What Ails You”), and the Crisco-slippery, razor-sharp twists that Fate loves to hand out to those who think they already know how their story is going to end (“Matches”). Oh, and cocksucking. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a writer who is more poetically obsessed with cocksucking than M. Christian. He is a bard of deep-throat, a lyrical celebrator of the profoundly transformative act of blowing a load all over somebody else’s tonsils. He’s a dab hand at describing ass fucking as well. But there’s a difference between the three-star restaurant and the one that gets four stars. M. Christian has paid his dues, watching the habits of the feral, big dick (his own and others) as assiduously as your maiden aunt noted various species of swallows in her bird-watching log, or monitored the ownership of cars parked after dark in other people’s driveways.

There’s a lot of pretty violent stuff in this book (see “Blue Boy” for a prime example). But even the most horrific acts become as jubilant and aesthetically pleasing as a machine-gun massacre in a Quentin Tarantino film. And there’s always a surprise. M. Christian does not take the easy way out. From the relentless way he works his readers’ nerves, one might almost suspect him of a certain amount of sadism. He’s also a surprisingly moral authorónever preachy, but never slipping into the sort of gratuitous bloodshed that quickly becomes a big yawn. There’s no noir character more overworked than the vampire, but M. Christian puts a new spin on it with a melancholy artist who feels obligated to clean up the mistakes he makes when his loneliness becomes too much to bear (“Wet”).

The carefully choreographed pseudoviolence that’s called sadomasochism in the postindustrial West also figures heavily in these stories (“Spike” and “Puppy”). But these are not the hackneyed stories that make one fall asleep over most of the remaindered paperback product of Masquerade Books. “Spike” is a tour de force about narcissism that would make the most seasoned psychiatrist seek out his own psychoanalysis, and “Puppy” pokes good horny fun at every stereotype of the autocratic and omniscient Master.

It will no doubt become apparent to you before you’ve flipped very many of these pages, pumped the bottle of Sex Grease a few times, and dug out a clean (or at least cleaner) cum rag that M. Christian is a talented writer of horror as well as science fiction, mythology, and porn. This synthesis of horrorerotica reaches a peak, in this book, in “Echoes.” I’m not sure I wanted to know this much about necrophilia, but now that I do, it is probably building my character, even as I type this introduction.

But my favorite stories in Dirty Words feature that irrepressible trickster god who is probably the patron saint of queers. I am talking about Coyote himself, blood brother of Loki, Set, and Elegba. In “Coyote and the Less-than-Perfect Cougar” and “How Coyote Stole the Sun,” M. Christian perfectly captures the cringing and fawning facade of this master thief and Back Door Man. Coyote has his priorities straight. He’s not afraid to flatter the pants off you, as long as he gets those drawers down around your ankles.

You can shoot Coyote. You can poison him. You can trap him and hang him and throw him off the cliff or lock him up in jail, blow him up, starve him, and flatten him with a steamroller. But he’ll always pull himself together and be back tomorrow night or in a fortnight, making good use of the intelligence he gathered during his fatal foray at your defenses. Sooner or later he will walk off with your cherry, your cash, your car keys, your boyfriend’s virtue, and your most cherished illusions. When you’ve been [literally] fucked over by Coyote, you emerge a sadder but wiser person, and not really all that sore, considering that you’ve just been banged by the sacred phallus of the Father of Lies.

Coyote represents the persistence and survival of the downtrodden, the not-particularly-deserving poor. He is able to take joy in life even when the conditions around him are unbelievably bleak. He is ingenious, creative, fun-loving, and apparently irresistible. Coyote knows what’s behind propriety (and chances are, has been in that behind). He knows who is unfaithful, who sleeps with the stone of a guilty conscience in his bed, who harbors “unnatural” desires. To Coyote this is all grist for the mill. Because he is free of the normal prohibitions that regulate right-thinking mortals and gods, he always keeps his mobility. The most severe punishment cannot turn Coyote aside from his pursuit of carnal pleasure, comfort, and advantage over others. He teaches us to respect the aspects of ourselves that we would much rather disown. Because when we pretend to be obedient and righteous, all that repression and self-delusion distracts us from the here-and-now. We leave the chicken coop unlocked, and Coyote gets a free meal. Or we forget to satisfy our loved ones’ dirtiest impulses, and Coyote gets a quick and shabby but ecstatic fuck on your clean sheets.

That brings us back to where we started, with some high-faluting talk about the Shadow. Jungian psychologists believe that when we are most cut off from these disavowed and dangerous emotions and actions, we become depressed, impotent, and unable to do any real good. We may be frightened or disgusted by the faces of the bastard children of our own spirits, but they are often the most energetic, vivid, and real parts of ourselves. Pornography exists to keep the Shadow of a monotheistic and ransacked world alive. As long as one person can write about or film ribald acts that flaunt the status quo, and somebody else can read or watch this heresy and beat off hard enough to take off like a helicopter, magic will be kept alive, and along with it our best hope of salvation. (Which we achieve, paradoxically enough, only when we abandon the gloss of being pure or holy.)

Pornographers are thus the fitting heirs of the trickster archetype. It’s no surprise that this genre of entertainment is banned as often for its political satire, attacks on the church, or lampooning of other sacred cows as it is for being too plainspoken about the Old In and Out. In Dirty Words, M. Christian has a prolonged romp at the expense of homophobia, several flavors of People of the Book, butch iconography, pacifism, pulling out before you cum, selfishness, prudery, bullying, virginity, and monogamy. Put your ear closer to this page and you will hear an outraged mooing. Then go get your reading glasses and your poppers or whatever accessories you require to luxuriate in a good dirty book, and savor, relish, enjoy, get it up and get it off, and laugh yourself sick and sane.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Amazing Sage Vivant

It's no secret that I think that Sage Vivant is the bee's knees: for the marvelously caring person she is, definitely; for her magical smile, absolutely; for her sparkling mind, certainly.

But even more for the fact that she is a truly amazing writer.

So it's a real treat that the fun folks at Logical-Lust have just released two fantastic stories by Sage: The Yacht, and Chemistry.

Here's a sweet taste from Chemistry.


Sage Vivant

The paddle came down for a third time on his already stinging bottom. He was so hard and the pain was so sublime, tears welled up in his eyes.

“Unbelievable impudence!” Claire Chutney announced as punctuation to her third wallop.

“What kind of home do you come from, young man, that condones that kind of activity?”

Her lap was sturdy. With legs as long as hers—she was well over six feet tall—he didn’t doubt for a moment that she could support him indefinitely. And if she could support him indefinitely, how long might she spank him?

He heard a quiet thud on the carpet. Through his tears, he saw the paddle now lying on the vanilla-colored carpet. His heart felt swollen and lodged in his esophagus. She couldn’t be finished rendering her punishment yet! He needed more, deserved more, craved more...

And then her palm met with his unprotected behind. The slapping noise seemed to come several seconds before the delicious meeting of her skin against his. His ears perked up at the very sound of it, and then the heat spread out in concentric circles from the point of impact—to his thigh, his hip, the small of his back. His tears now rolled down one side of his face, which he didn’t think she could see.

“Oh yes, go ahead and cry. It won’t do you a lick of good. The damage has been done! You’re lucky you aren’t going to jail for your offense!”


Zander Vyne Likes Licks & Promiese

Here's a great -- and very touching -- review of my new erotic collection, Licks & Promises, from the wonderful Zander Vyne. Thanks, Zander!

Sometimes a book lands in your hands like a gift, one that keeps you up all night reading, sighing with both contentment and sadness when it’s over.

M. Christian’s newest short fiction collection, Licks And Promises, is like that. A master of erotica writing, he certainly doesn’t need another glowing review of his work, but I am going to give him one anyway—that’s how good these stories are. There is something for everyone represented here.

Dust explores regret, in only seven pages, with a depth that some novelists would need a whole book to accomplish. The richly drawn inner landscape of the main character, combined with the realness of her emotions is breathtaking. Yes, he works in a hot sex scene, but somehow that’s OK. Who hasn’t fucked someone in order to heal themselves, and apologize for something you cannot, or will not, talk about?

The Train They Call The City of New Orleans is as dripping with character as its namesake. The woman in the story is only along for the ride, and what a ride it is. The language is stunning and poetic.

In Control comes off like a kinky little fetish piece and hits that mark with precision, but underlying it is M. Christians quirky sense of humor, and knack for shining a bright light on what’s truly making these people tick. He has the balls to slyly ask what I’ve always wanted to about D/s, but does so with no judgment, no attitude. He leaves recognition of the question, and the answer, up to his reader.

The Naked Supper is pure food porn—a buffet of poetic erotica and self-love, just not in the way you might expect. Nothing M. Christian writes is predictable.

Nighthawks could be a story about the painting of the same name, but to me it was a story of missed chances, people who pass in the night. I like that about his work too—like good art, the reader often can interpret it in a way that resonates with them. It’s almost like having a writer create something just for you.

Regrets is laugh-out-loud funny.

The Waters of Biscayne Bay will tug at your heart and make you want to hug the one you love the most.

Lick And Promises has eighteen stories and each shows why M. Christian really is a master on top of his craft. Yes, he writes about sex, but these are real people, with real problems, and real feelings. They are not picture-perfect, porno people getting it on to make us horny (though you will be turned on, I promise).

If you want to read about more than body parts hooking up, and are interested in finding out just what got all these people fucking in the first place (because we all know that what’s lurking inside of us is just as important as all the action going on outside) this is the book for you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pornotopia: Go Fuck Yourself

The following is just one of a bunch of pieces I’ve been working on for a project tentatively titled Pornotopia: The Ins and Outs and Ins and Outs of Sex and Erotica. Enjoy!

Maybe I'm weird ... okay, I KNOW I'm weird -- but, come on, I'm not THAT
Weird. I just can't suss it, can't comprehend it, can't wrap my five or so pounds of wrinkled gray matter around the idea that keeps cropping up in my writerly life these days: the notion that masturbation ain't okay.

Part of my writing life used to be answering questions from people about sex. I answered questions for quite a few sites, and before that, I was before that I was part of San Francisco Sex Information (415-989-SFSI or www.sfsi.org), a fabulous group of people that answer sexuality questions from anyone, anytime.

People have a lot of questions, it seems. There are lots of issues and discomforts: am I too small, too big, weird, 'normal', gay, a virgin...? But the one that really makes me scratch my head, and sometimes even frightens me is this one, asked in a zillion different ways: "Is is okay to masturbate?"

I know that people have issues. I have quite a few myself, but honestly, you're worried about masturbation? Maybe I shouldn't be writing about this; I feel like a blind man trying to understand color just trying to wrap my mind around how it could be a serious question -- or maybe I'm Van Gogh trying to describe a sunset to Ray Charles.

"I want to masturbate but every time I do I feel like I'm gay or something. All my friends make jokes about it and say how disgusting and gay masturbating is and that they'd never do it. I go along with there jokes but I never make any myself. Should I listen to my friends? Is masturbation something that only gay people do?" writes one kid, looking for answers.

Where does this come from, this fear, hatred, and homophobia? Are people like this so scared of their bodies that they resort to hysterical fear? It's easy to try and look around at bad parents, bad religion, hypocrisy, and so on. It's easy to try and dig for some kind of blame: we're a blame-based culture, we cling to illusions of cause and effect all the time.

But there's something here that really bothers me more than whatever it is that we might consider attributing this fear of masturbation to, something that I think is more important. Something that bothers me even more than the homophobia in the remarks I quoted above.

You see, the nature of this fear and hatred of masturbation -- it's more than a fear of sex, it's more than the terror of brimstone and demons. There's something frightening there, something a lot more base, a lot more fundimental. It's not really a cause, I think, but rather a symptom of something more sad and frightening. I see it in another comment by another letter writer, who writes "Why do people masterbate? I mean, masterbating is so sick."

What it is is a fear of what masturbation is all about. Think about it. What, after all, is the nature of masturbation? Autoerotic stimulation is the usual sex-ed buzz phrase, but there's something to it that goes beyond just stroking your happy bits 'til you lose control of a good percentage of your voluntary nervous system. Cousin-fucking ignorants call it 'sex-abuse.' 'Spilling seed' is the pet phrase of the Bible-thumpers. But what is masturbation, really, at its core?


Why do so many people feel bad about loving themselves? Why is it that they hold their genitals in their hand and feel shame and self-loathing? Why is it an insult to say "Go fuck yourself"? Why is "quit jerking me off" an expression of displeased annoyance? I've sought answers, but I'm still not sure. Perhaps it's a symptom of a deeper underlying malaise, a spiritual canker sore that flares up whenever we treat ourselves too well. Heaven knows that if we jerk off too much, we'll probably never leave the house... Civilization as we know it would come to a screeching halt. Gotta make sure we make it shameful.

Well, I've got news for ya, folks: I jerk off. As I've written: "Like it, love it, do it a lot." It's wonderful, it's glorious, it's a cheap night out. It's not "rather than sex", but rather a different kind of sex -- sometimes when I jerk off I wish for a partner, but other times when I'm with someone I'd much rather jerk off. There's no pressure to perform, there's no concern about the "You want me to do what?" syndrome. It's relaxing, stimulating, and fun .... I just wish the damned byproduct being a boy) wasn't so sticky and hard to get out of sheets. Small price to pay I guess.

I want to start a movement, a self-love movement. Yes, masturbation should be taught -- not technique (because that's something we all need to do for ourselves) but that the only real problem with it is cleaning up afterwards (you lucky girls). You won't go mad, grow hair on ypour palms, go to hell, become gay, run out of sperm, or any other hysterical fear. The worst that can happen is that you might give yourself Indian burn (use some lube, people, can't stress that enough!), and the best that can happen? Well, many people agree with me that it's a good thing to feel mind-blowing joy and loose control of major voluntary nervous responses. It's a very good thing. It's pleasurable, it's self-love: it's being able to be good to yourself, to give yourself joy.

That's it, more than the stroking, the vibrators, the butt-plugs, the porno -- it's getting down there with your own body, to touch yourself and give yourself what we depend too much on other people for: to make us feel good. Don't you deserve to feel loved, desirable, and happy? That's what jerking off is, that's what the nature of masturbation is: making love to yourself.

Love yourself. Aren't you worth it?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Thanks, Donna!

I'm very touched and very flattered that my pal, and an incredible writer, Donna George Storey, just posted a very cool comment and link to my ... and nothing but the ... post on her great Sex, Food and Writing site. Thanks, Donna!

I keep forgetting that much of the world regards writing as a glamorous profession. When I mention I'm a writer--something I've only felt comfortable doing in the past few years with the publication of my novel--eyes light up with interest. More often than not, a confession soon follows about a book my new acquaintance has been thinking of writing for a long time. Usually something along the lines of The Da Vinci Codebut with a new twist of some sort, but to be fair, the ideas run the gamut from thriller to Jane Austen literary (and they also usually sound like pretty good stories!). "Wonderful," I say. "Do it. You know, writing really changed my life. It made me see the world in a whole new way. So enriching!"

It's all true, but I don't have the heart to tell them that's only a small part of it. However, the multi-talented veteran erotica writer M. Christiandoes have the courage to spell it out for us. And what he says is so verytrue indeed. Be sure to read through to the end, fellow writers. You'll be glad you did!

OUT NOW: The Rites of Spring

What do you get when you cross weird science fiction, bawdy adventure, sideways humor, and delightful strangeness?

Frankly, I haven't the faintest idea, but my serial story, The Rites of Spring, might be pretty damned close.

So, if you like your science fiction weird, your adventure stories bawdy, your humor tilted, and your strangeness delightful then head on over to the great Paper Bag Press site and download the first chapter of my fun new project.

And, naturally, if you want to write a review then drop me a line and I'll send you over a copy.

Here's a quickie taste:

"Sweat, a runner’s thing and not a girlish thing, pooled in her valleys and streamed down her creases. Salt stung her eyes and her shoes. The miraculous devices were wet and heavy; liquid gently surged between her cramped toes. Some of Gazelle’s sweat cooled on the top of her head -- natural air-conditioning made from the run itself and her soaked dreadlocks.
Her belt jumped and wore at her hips, chiming and jingling, adding a sharp downward tug to each step. The tube, the reason for this whole thing, jumped and tapped her back with each step -- a high-pitched feeling compared to the trembling bass of the belt on her itching hips. Her kit, the bag, wasn’t heavy because there wasn’t much in it. But anything, no matter now slight, was an ache as she ran: Her breasts -- hills and valleys -- pulled against her chest; sandbags tied to her lungs and her back.
Despite the fuzzy wonderfulness of endorphins, everything hurt. Painful, sure, yes, damned straight -- but even it was a pain she was used to, trained for, bred for. It was a natural kind of pain, one that was intimate and close to most of her memories: she was a runner from a tribe of runners, and pain was something that was a part of doing anything -- because running was everything.
She was a Messenger: hours, hours, days, days she’d run the track around the ancient fort (from the Age of Slavery), the Runnerdrome. Mile after mile on the crunching and hissing gravel had made her friendly, intimate, bored with the long run. The burning of her lungs, the jumping with a kick of her strong, strong legs (miles and miles and miles on that track) put her over the wall, gave her the high medicine -- the reward of natural drugs.
Excitement, thrill was cinnamon in her mouth. This was her trip. Who cared if her breasts hurt? Who cared if her legs ached? This was her run, the prize. She wouldn’t turn back until she’d completed her task, and then, when she did return, she’d be a woman, a Messenger with merit.
Gazelle ran, absorbed in the action of her arms and her legs, blurred by the chant of her natural stride. She ran through the City, pumping and pounding, proud full to bursting -- after all, she’d won, she’d emerged victorious from the Rivalry. She’d passed all their tests (no matter how weird), she’d run their course (no matter how hard), and she’d emerged the winner and claimed the prize: the honor of the run, this run, her run.
One thing bothered her, though, cutting through the fog of endorphins, the glow of accomplishment, the blister that may or may not have been forming on her left heel:
Spoke had smiled, had wished her well.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

... and nothing but the ...

Here's a 'fun' little piece I wrote to vent a bit about what it really means to be a writer ....

I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer but it’s only recently I’ve wanted to, well, be honest about what it really means to be a writer.

It’s not that the “How To” books, teachers, and especially writers really lied to me but after I finally stepped into the world of professional writing after ten long years of struggling I realized I had been unprepared for what it was really like.

After another ten years as a ‘pro’ I’ve come to realize some essential truths about being a writer, truths I wish I’d known before working all those years to get my work in print.

The first, and for some folks the biggest, reality check is that you’ll never be rich. In fact you’ll never be able to make a living – and even if you manage to do it for a while it won’t last very long. Insult to injury, it can even work against you getting a regular job: try explaining a six-month, or year-long, gap in your resume because you were trying to live as a writer. No employer wants to hire someone just biding their time until their dream comes true – especially if it never does.

The second is that you’ll never be famous: your book will never be an Oprah Book Club selection, you’ll never be interviewed on NPR, nothing you do will be made into a movie, you won’t be reviewed in the New Yorker, and people won’t ask for your autograph. You want fame? Then get on American Idol and sing … very, very badly. Even then you’ll only have your Andy Warhol fifteen minutes.

The third is that you’ll never get any respect. Friends won’t read your books, spouses will only read them because they have to, and if you tell anyone you’re a writer their eyes will glaze over for a minute and then they’ll ask you if you saw the latest reality show last night. You’ll get even less consideration from people in the ‘industry.’ if you can even get a reviewer to read your work, they're more likely to trash it than praise it because most are frustrated writers eager to show readers how "insightful" they are. Other writers will either arrogantly ignore you or speak ill of you or your work out of jealousy. Agents, publishers, and editors won’t answer your queries or if they do they’ll make it very clear that you’re not important to them – and never will be.

I’m not deaf. I can hear all of you very clearly: "But my last book made a bucket of money." "But I’ve got oodles of ‘friends’ on MySpace." "But my agent is wonderful!" … but … but … but … maybe you’re right, but you’re also completely wrong.

I’ve personally had some great experiences, some marvelous experiences, some fantastic experiences as a writer: decent royalty checks, fan letters from out of the blue, rave reviews, supportive friends, kind and conscientious editors, publishers, and agents, but they are rare exceptions. For every one of these positives there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of negatives.

But there’s another thing I wish I’d known before I set out to become a writer. It's something that, alas, I still work very hard to remember when one of those negatives crosses my desk or pops into my email box (or doesn’t, as the case may be). It’s something I wish I could tell every writer, and get everyone, everywhere, who deals with writers in any capacity, to understand as well.

Writers are brave.

Actually, that’s not quite right. Oh it’s accurate all right but it’s a little short of reality. It’s better to say writers are incredibly brave.

Every time we write we’re reaching back into our minds, our souls, our dreams, our fantasies to then throw what we craft out into an uncaring and cruel world. We do it all by ourselves, without help – or much help -- from anyone. We risk more with each story, each novel, than most people do in an entire lifetime and, what’s even more courageous is that we keep doing it, over and over, after each kick in the balls … or teeth, if you want to be less sexist.

We do it when the money doesn’t come, we do it when the fame doesn’t come, and we do it when the respect isn’t there. If that’s not bravery then I don’t know what is.

That’s the message I really wish I’d gotten when I was first starting out, that I now wish someone would tell all writers, budding or otherwise. Yes, I wish I could have told myself that being a writer would be a profitless, thankless, frustrating, demeaning, and depressing undertaking – but I also wish I could have heard that no matter what happens, or more than likely what doesn’t happen, I’d be doing something remarkably brave.

And that deserves tremendous respect and admiration -- even if it only comes from yourself.

Actually, again, that’s not quite right. It’s much more accurate to say especially if it comes from yourself.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Year's Best Lesbian Fiction

Just got some very cool news: My story ("The One I Left Behind") from Catherine Lundoff's fantastic anthology, Haunted Hearths, just got picked up for Year's Best Lesbian Fiction.

Monday, June 01, 2009

If You Live In The UK -

(and I know some of you do) then check out the newest issue (Vol 43 No 6) of the very excellent Forum UK magazine for an sex-ed article by myself called "Happiness Is A Warm Bottom" (about the theory and practice of submission).

Here's a taste:
Invariably it happens. Sure, the workplace, the volunteer center, the family gathering, the "straight" friends, may not be the perfect place for my predilections to come to light but often they do. In my case, which I admit is rather unique, it's usually because I'm a writer of explicit materials (AKA "smut") and as such instantly become the expert in all things sexual -- but I also know some friends who just get tired of the inane jokes, the goggle-eyed mocking, the "would-you-believes" around things like body piercing and the "Dominatrix Love Triangles" on the Jerry Springer Show and just have to say something.

Once out, that's it: every stubbed toe, every sore back, every social interaction becomes shaded by their giggling discomfort. "But you like that kind of thing ("stubbed toe"), "Oh, and how did you -- wink, wink -- hurt it?" (sore back), "We know what Chris is going to do -- laugh -- this weekend. Just don't come back bruised."

They just can't get a grip on anyone who, in their eyes, likes to get hurt ....