Friday, February 28, 2014

Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker: Confessions

Extremely cool: check out this brand new column I just wrote for the excellent Writesex site:

My name is Chris – though my pseudonym is usually M.Christian – and I have a confession to make.

I’ve written – and write – a…what’s the technical term? Oh, yeah: shitload of erotica. Some 400 published stories, 12 or so collections, 7 novels. I’ve also edited around 25 anthologies. I even have the honor of being an Associate Publisher for Renaissance eBooks, whose Sizzler Editions erotica imprint has some 1,300 titles out there.

I’ve written sexually explicit gay stories, lesbian stories, trans stories, bisexual stories, BDSM stories, tales exploring just about every kind of fetish, you name it and I can all but guarantee that I’ve written about it. I like to joke that a friend of mine challenged me to write a story to a ridiculously particular specification: a queer vampire sport tale. My answer? “Casey, The Bat.” Which I actually did write…though I dropped the vampire part of it.

Don’t worry; I’m getting to the point. I can write just about anything for anyone – but here comes the confession:

I’ve never, ever written about what actually turns me – what turns Chris – on.

This kind of makes me a rather rare beast in the world of professional smut writing. In fact it’s pretty common for other erotica writers to – to be polite about it – look down their noses at the fact that I write about anything other than my own actual or desired sexual peccadilloes. Some have even been outright rude about it: claiming that I’m somehow insulting to their interests and/or orientations and shouldn’t write anything except what I am and what I like.

To be honest, in moments of self-doubt I have thought the very same thing. Am I profiting off the sexuality of other people? Am I a parasite, too cowardly to put my own kinks and passions out into the world? Am I short-changing myself as a writer by refusing to put myself out there?

For the record, I’m a hetero guy who – mostly – likes sexually dominant women. I also find my head turned pretty quickly when a large, curvy woman walks by. That said, I’ve had wonderful times with women of every size, shape, ethnicity, and interest.

So why do I find it so hard to say all that in my writing? The question has been bugging me for a while, so I put on my thinking cap. Part of the answer, I’ve come to understand, relates directly to chronic depression: it’s much less of an emotional gamble to hide behind a curtain of story than to risk getting my own intimate desires and passions stomped flat by a critical review or other negative reaction from readers. I can handle critical reviews of a story – that’s par for the course in professional writing – but it’s a good question as to whether I could handle critical reviews of my life.
But then I had an eye-opening revelation. As I said, I’ve written – and write – stories about all kinds of interests, inclinations, passions, orientations, genders, ethnicities, ages, cultures…okay, I won’t belabor it. But the point is that I’ve also been extremely blessed to have sold everything I’ve ever written. Not only that, but I’ve had beautiful compliments from people saying my work has touched them and that they never, ever, would have realized that the desires of the story’s narrator and those of the writer weren’t one and the same.

Which, in a nice little turn-around, leads me to say that my name is Chris – though my pseudonym is usually M.Christian – and I have yet another confession to make.

Yes, I don’t get sexually excited when I write. Yes, I have never written about what turns me on. Yes, I always write under a name that’s not my legal one.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel when I write. Far from it: absolutely, I have no idea what actual gay sex is like for the participants; positively, I have not an inkling of what many fetishes feel like inside the minds of those who have them; definitely, I have no clue what it’s like to have sex as a woman…
I do, however, know what sex is like. The mechanics, yeah, but more importantly I work very hard to understand the emotions of sex and sexuality through the raw examination of my own life: the heart-racing nerves, the whispering self-doubts, the pulse-pounding tremors of hope, the bittersweetness of it, the bliss, the sorrows and the warmth of it, the dreams and memories…

I’m working on a story right now, part of a new collection. It’s erotic – duh – but it’s also about hope, redemption, change, and acceptance. I have no experience with the kind of physical sex that takes place in this story but every time I close its file after a few hours of work, tears are burning my cheeks. In part, this emotional investment is about trying to recapture the transcendent joy I’ve felt reading the work of writers I admire.

When I read manuscripts as an anthology editor, or as an Associate Publisher, a common mistake I see in them is a dedication to technical accuracy favored over emotion. These stories are correct down to the smallest detail – either because they were written from life or from an exactingly fact-checked sexual imagination – but at the end, I as the reader feel…nothing.

I’m not perfect – far from it – but while I may lack direct experience in a lot of what I write, I do work very, very hard to put real human depth into whatever I do. I may not take the superficial risk of putting the mechanics of my sexuality into stories and books but I take a greater chance by using the full range of my emotional life in everything I create.

I freely admit that I don’t write about my own sexual interests and experiences. That may – in some people’s minds – disqualify me from being what they consider an “honest” erotica writer, but after much work and introspection I contest that while I may keep my sex life to myself, I work very hard to bring as much of my own, deeply personal, self to bear upon each story as I can.

They say that confession is good for the soul. But I humbly wish to add to that while confession is fine and dandy, trying to touch people – beyond their sex organs – is ever better…for your own soul as well as the souls of anyone reading your work.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reminder: Love Without Gun Control And Welcome To Weirdsville - A Very Special Sale

Here's an extra-special sale and a great opportunity to read my non-erotic science fiction/fantasy/horror collection, Love Without Gun Control, and my non-fiction (strange history, weird art, etc) book, Welcome To Weirdsville for a great discount!

 Love Without Gun Control
Now Only .99!
"Unique and truly fascinating," writes Mike Resnick! M. Christian isn't as good as his peers say - he's better!  This "best of" collection, featuring the cream of his fantasy, horror, and science fiction stories, is a dazzling achievement.  Only M. Christian could have imagined what happens when a boy's uncle blows Tibetan days powder in his face, or when a woman gave birth to a new species … but not one of flesh and blood, or when the Goddess of the Road gave the gift of beauty to a mortal man. You will find these and eleven other unforgettable tales from the man Stephen Dedma, author of The Art of Arrow Cutting and Shadows Bite, hails as "A chimera, an amazing combination of tour guide and magician. Whether he's writing science fiction, horror or fantasy, he can take you to places you've never imagined, show you sights no-one else will get to see, introduce you to some fascinating people, and guarantee that the trip will be memorable from start to finish." Among the contemporary classics featured in this stellar collection are: Some Assembly Required, The Rich Man's Ghost, Medicine Man, Wanderlust, Buried & Dead, Nothing So Dangerous, Shallow Fathoms, and Constantine in Love. M. Christian's fantasy and science fiction has appeared in Talebones, Space & Time Magazine, Skull Full Of Spurs, Graven Images, Horror Garage, Song of Cthulhu, and other science fantasy publications.

Welcome To Weirdsville 
Now Only $2.99
"A wonderful compendium of interesting subjects and fascinating topics. Will keep you reading just to found out what's going to be covered next. Highly recommended for all lovers of weird & wonderful this side of the Universe." -Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.

Peek under the rugs, open more than a few drawers, peek in the back shelves and you'll find that ... well, Lord Byron himself said it best: "Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction." Lakes that explode, parasites that can literally change your mind, The New Motor, a noble Word War 1 German pirate, the odd nature of ducks, the War Magician, the City of Fire, men and their too big guns, a few misplaced nuclear weapons, an iceberg aircraft carrier, the sad death of Big Mary, the all-consuming hunger of the Bucklands, the giggling genius of Brian G. Hughes, the Kashasha laughter epidemic.... Ponder that in a world that holds things like kudzu, ophiocordyceps unilateralis, The Antikythera Device, The Yellow Kid, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, Alfred Jarry, Joseph Pujol, and suicide-bombing ants ... who knows what other kinds of wonders as well as horrors may be out there?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Relationships And The Scene & Polyamory Discussion/Support Groups @ SF Citadel

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

This is going to be wonderful: I'm going to be facilitating an ongoing series of support and discussion groups for the marvelous SF Citadel, starting with Relationships And The Scene on February 24th.  For more info see the event listing on Fetlife - and for the rest of the series keep an eye on my own Fetlife page.


Relationships And The Scene: A Discussion/Support GroupOccasionally people in "The Scene" forget that they are not just dealing with sexual play but human interactions and relationships as well.  In this discussion and support group, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences in an open environment to receive support and understanding from others who may have experienced the same, or just similar, situations.


February 24th, 2014
April 28th, 2014
June 23rd, 2014
August 25th, 2014
October 27th, 2014
December 22nd, 2014


Polyamory Discussion/Support Group

Polyamory is – not to state the obvious – complex.  But what is even more challenging is that it is still not wildly accepted, with those in non-monogamous relationships often finding it difficult to find understanding and support.  In this discussion/support group, polyamorous individuals and couples will have a nonjudgmental and supportive environment to share their concerns and experiences.


March 24th, 2014
May 29th, 2014
September 29th, 2014
November 24th, 2014


All Discussion/Support Groups are from 7:30PM to 9:30PM and cost $10

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In Control - The Introduction

Just 'cause, here's the intro to my new kinky-erotica collection, In Control ... hope you like!
Not merely kinkier than you think, but kinkier than you can think!

"M.Christian’s fiction has a sexy logic all its own. He’s inventive and he’s irreverent. His language can seduce, surprise, and body-slam you." —Cecilia Tan

From M.Christian—the acclaimed ... and rather notorious writer of such books as The Bachelor Machine and Dirty Words—comes this brand new collection of his BDSM shorts, kinky hetero erotica and a handful of other delightfully twisted stories. In these pages you'll find hardcore male doms and luscious female subs, tough-as-nails Lady doms and obedient male submissives, plus a wide variety of other incredible fetishes and sexual adventures. In this very fun—and very, very hot book—you'll also discover the lesbian vamps of "The Curse," the heartstring-tugging erotic romance of "The Waters Of Biscayne Bay," the sexy ghost story "The Tinkling Of Tiny Silver Bells," the bisexual heat in "Watercolors" and many, many more!

"M.Christian is one of the finest living writers of erotica. Between these covers is a wealth of imaginative, well-crafted, smoothly written fiction that sings with joy. It's yummy."—Patrick Califia



I've written a lot of things over the years: gay erotica, lesbian erotica, bisexual erotica, all kinds (of every kind) of fetish erotica ... plus a smattering of romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy, and even non-fiction. 

But, recently, a friend of mine said something that stopped me dead in my authorial tracks: "Why don't you write about what turns you on?" 

To be honest, I've always been a bit ... resistant to writing about myself. Part of it comes from the fact that I consider my sex life to be what I guess you could call sacred: a cherished time shared between me and the person I happen to be playing with. I've always thought that writers who – and this is not meant as an insult ... or not too much of one – who sell their own sex lives on the page to be profiting from an intimate sharing of desire. Another part, I freely admit, is that for all my writing and sex-ed teaching I'm still a bit shy when it comes to being out about what honestly, truly turns me on.
But, thinking about this, I had a freeze-me-in-my-tracks revelation: I actually write a lot about myself. 

Take this book, for instance: a collection of some of my short fiction – a lot of it with a BDSM kink: pretty much every story here is a part of me. Yes, the details may not be exactly me, but the emotional side of things – the important side as anyone who really understands about sexuality – is pretty much as intimate as you can get: "Alice" is the giddy nerves that comes with telling a lover what turns you on, "Moving" is about finding that special someone you can drop your guard down with, "In Control" is the fretting that arrives with the next day, "The Tinkling Of Tiny Silver Bells" is the glorious feeling of unquestioning love, "Dust" is the beautiful tears of being forgiven, "The Waters Of Biscayne Bay" is the liberation in the enlightened joy of a lover loving another person, Painted Doll was all about the tearing-of-the-heart from being too many miles away, and the sample chapter from Brushes is all about the pleasure that comes from giving pleasure ... and so on and so forth, with just about everything I've ever written. 

When I teach erotic writing I talk very much about this: that the details aren't really important, that the best way of reaching out to anyone, no matter what you are writing, is to dig down deep and put down, onto the page, your own emotional truth. Like a lot of teachers I simply forgot to listen to my own lesson. 

So here are some stories I sincerely hope you'll like ... for, like when I spend time with a lover, it gives me immeasurable pleasure to put a smile on another person's face.