Saturday, June 30, 2012

Painted Doll, An Excerpt

In celebration of the re-release of my cyberpunk BDSM erotica novel, Painted Doll, here's an except...

Chapter 2

... Qui Dan Road to the High Street, a stumble of crisp British in a city of fish sauce and MSG. The change didn’t alter her steps, modify her movements.

Beautiful? Oh, yes: without doubt, without a question. The splendor of a rose, the loveliness of an orchid. The kimono is flawless, as is the china white of her immaculately applied artificial complexion. As she walks, hearts stop then race. As she walks, heads twist, eyes widen. As she walks, breaths are hissed in, sighed out.

Beautiful? Oh, yes: without doubt, without a question. But she is a knife-edged rose, a razor sharp orchid. Her stride is mechanically perfect, as is her perfectly vertical posture. Their hearts might race, their heads may twist, their eyes certainly widen, their breaths absolutely hiss in and hiss out, but as she steps nearer they instead step back. As she walks, they avert their eyes. As she walks, they pull themselves in.

The woman walking down the High Street feels them watching her, their glances furtive tickles, their quick stares barely felt hooks out of the corners of her always forward facing eyes. Passing a bookseller – tight fans of rough tan paper with lurid Cantonese chops on their glistening plastic covers hung in sagging arcs of cord – a reflection was revealed to her, a caught sight of what they were seeing.

But not what they were thinking. But she knew, nevertheless: each of them lost in illusions and fantasies as carefully crafted as her rouge, as flawlessly presented as the mae migoro and ushiro migoro of her kimono, as immaculately assembled as her performance:

She’s a dragon, some might think: the cruelty of a reptile, the flawlessness of a myth. You may approach her, with bravery beyond that of any battlefield, speaking with a stammer and a twitch, and if you were fortunate beyond your worth she’d slow, pause, turn with prudently measured grace, deeming your presence not completely disgusting. With that look, at that glance, would be a flickering forked tongue of cruel invitation, a scintillating promise of peaked breasts topped with fist-tight nipples, a belly steel plate flat and firm, a behind curving out in twin clenches of muscular intensity, thighs sculpted by rigid posture, and between them a scented valley of ruby silk.

But first, a miniscule task. But first, an all but insignificant request: to firmly stand guard for her honor and dignity; to fetch a inestimable gem, an incalculable jewel, or just a unexceptional sticky-sweet pastry; to perform for her a melody of praise, or a stammering litany of desperate worth; or a quick athletic demonstration of physical merit; or become for her an avenging knight, a battle to defend her honor against some heinous offense.

A minuscule task. An insignificant request. Accepted without doubt or hesitation, the reward a slow curl at the corner of her cold stone face, a bow of gratitude, and a bright flash of serpentine green eyes. Totally entranced by her, completely captured by her, the dragon would then reveal the metaphorical points of venomous teeth, sinking the illusion of her love deep into the shaft of your encouraged penis by showing you the true face of her cruelty.

The prize was yours but the tasks were actually anything but miniscule, not at all insignificant: firmly stand guard for her honor and dignity – for a year; fetch a inestimable gem, an incalculable jewel, or just a unexceptional sticky-sweet pastry – from a thousand miles away; perform for her a melody of praise, or a stammering litany of desperate worth – perfectly, without the tiniest flaw; a quick athletic demonstration of physical merit – unattainable by even the greatest athlete; or become for her an avenging knight, a battle to defend her honor against some heinous offense – in combat against a killing machine.

And so the dragon passes by, a smile on her cold-blooded face. No one approaches her, no one is willing to come near. And so they live, by letting her just walk by.

She’s a doll, some might think: a porcelain figure, an ivory representation. Beneath the silks and satins would be a body as perfect as only a master artisan could create. Breasts both delicate and womanly, nipples as delicate as rosebuds, a belly with an ideal swell, hands with the grace of ten Noh performers, calves a perfect taper, thighs an entrancing form, back a clean surface of alabaster, neck a musical curve, feet delicate and precious, a behind highlighted with sacral dimples, and a female cleft that was a pale oyster and a tiny pink pearl.

Like a doll, she would belong to whoever buys her. Cash, credit, merchandise – the right amount and the woman would instead walk behind, following her owner towards palace or hovel, both with the same unmoving mask of her face.

Palace or hovel, she would walk in the door, standing still and quiet with an item’s posture. Maybe she’d look better in the living room window, where the afternoon would bathe her in golden light? Or perhaps she’d be better exhibited in the bedroom, where her kimono could be removed like one from a real woman.

Yes, the bedroom. That was where she would be best displayed. Moving past, it was clear in their eyes, the allure of her perfect submission. A thing. An object. A piece of feminine sculpture. Unable to disagree, unable to refuse, bendable in all kinds of imaginative ways. From behind, cock sliding between her cool ivory cheeks. Face to face, marble breasts for unimpeded kiss, licks, and sucks. On top, her tight thighs spread apart and welcoming upward thrusts. Anything you wanted, anytime you wanted.

Desire was a rippling wave behind her, a heat distortion in the warm city air. It was obvious in their eyes that there, in her, was a world without ‘no,’ a land without complaint, a woman without a soul.

Then they stopped, that wave of erections and licked dry lips chilled with a slap of frigid revelation. Stepping back with the rest of the crowd, these men retreated from the precise rhythm of her steps, with whimpering fear in their wide eyes, their shaking heads.

Ivory arms, marble legs, alabaster body: inflexible, unfeeling, stiff, unbending, unyielding, and -- worst of all -- cold. With her you’d never hear ‘no,’ never be refused, never be denied, but you’d also never hear the beat of her heart, the music of her voice, the chimes of her laughter, the moans and screams of her pleasure. You’d perform with her your deepest, darkest, most subterranean – and all she would do would be to look at you with inscrutably glass eyes.

She’s a tiger, some might think: a beast with the stripes of a traditional Japanese dress. Hidden beneath her Asian camouflage was a woman’s body, exercised into an extension of her erotic drive. Where other women had euphemisms and poetic alliterations, she had simple, direct, and powerful words to describe herself. Where other women had bosoms, she had tits of ideal jiggle and sway, covered in thrilling smooth skin. Where other women had nipples, she had a pair of dark brown direct connections to her clit. Where other women had posteriors, she had two plush muscular globes that clenched and released with the beating heat of her clit. Where other women had sexes, she had a demanding, insistent cunt.

To see and handle these differences would be more fortune than seduction. You did not take the tiger to dinner and slip hot words between dessert and coffee. You did not lay flowers at the feet of this hot blooded woman within the cool disguise of a geisha. You did not whisper poetry into the shell-like ear of this elegantly robed bitch.

There was no way to make her do anything, no way to slyly allure or simply trick her into a private room, no way to seduce her. The only thing anyone could do was to stand within the range of that sweeping predatory glance and hope that her eyes would positively estimate your worth as a device for her pleasure. Then, and only then, would her red-painted lips open ever-so, more than a whisper but less than full voice, and speak the one word you’d prayed to hear: “Come.”

Behind her, pulled along by her insatiable need, you would follow. It wouldn’t be a long journey, for her cunt has a very short attention span. Cheap hotel on the next street, expensive one even closer by, or just the nearest fetid and slimy alley – whatever was within range.

Patience was for ladies. Hesitation was for women. Tigers – even ones hidden within silks and satins – had no need for foreplay, patience, or hesitation. They wanted, so they took.

And if you were lucky, she would take you. Hands down to your cock, a squeezing judgment for size and firmness. Lips to yours, a tongue penetrating your mouth, am attacking kiss wanting nothing of you but to be kindling to her roaring heat.

On her knees, she would take you. But only because that was what she wanted. Your come was not expected or important. A flesh device to penetrate an orifice, you would be used until she was bored and ready to move onto other penetrations of other orifices.

Or perhaps she’d require something else. Falling back, satin fabric pulled roughly aside, she might bare an insistent slickness, the gleaming lips and fast-beating clit, and demand your service. Failure to accept or in performance too terrible to contemplate.

At the end, your cock would be needed: hard, strong, and fast -- nothing else important to her. Burning hot, insanely wet, you’d enter and execute the task she’d ordered, working until her screams tore at your ears and her nails scratched along your back.

Then that would be it. Humiliating? Being reduced to only a device for someone’s pleasure usually is. But the blistering heat of her, the ferocious need of her cunt would put – and keep – a smile on your sweaty face.

But – and again men standing step back, retreat in shivering dread when she walks back – one does not ever tame a tiger, even after it is fed. Who knows what she might hunger for after? Meat, blood, flesh, dignity, any number of horrible violations – any of them within her grasp, and you too exhausted to resist.

Tigers are wild things, after all: enjoyable to watch in zoos, penned behind restraining bars, but far too bloodthirsty in bed.

She’s a machine, some might think: isn’t it wonderful what they’re doing with shape memory alloys, mnemetic plastics, optical fibers, and conductive polymers? Absolutely wonderful things coming out of Japan, India, the Wilding, and the young turks of the École Polytechnique, these days. Look up and there are dragonfliers pausing for location fixes before darting off at near-invisible speeds, packages clutched under their iridescent fuselages. Look down and there are myriad scurrying mechanisms trailing polished tracks of perfumed cleanliness through the city’s persistent grime. Look around and there are cinematics lazily scrolling across a lady’s fluttering fan, posters for the newest Malasian blockbuster cycling through tantalizing glimpses of furious martial arts and stiffly chaste duets, the hushed commuting fuel-cell and ethanol traffic, and the softly creaking carbon fibers of a prosthetic hand on a crumble-faced veteran of the Chinese genocide as he lays down a mah-jongg tile.

Look at her and you might see a device as carefully machined as a German car, a Swiss watch, a Japanese entertainment center, Indian software, or an African running shoe: breasts as ideal and resilient as silicone, skin of perfectly cured plastic, muscles as precise and strong as actuators, a genital-pleasuring interface between her thighs, a mouth with the same technology.

It was a safe bet that without her protective kimono covering, the pseudo-body of hers was as superlative as a supermodel, as sensuous as a Playmate of whatever month, as adept as an amalgamation of every courtesan who’d ever lived, as refined and machined as her manufacturers could make her.

Movement like the architecture in fine software, presence as authoritative as graceful as a jet fighter, skin as smooth as the polish on a fresh-from-the-factory-floor Ferrari, she passed by – and with her passing the tracking of lust and greed in the eyes of the male crowd, and sour envy on the faces of everyone else.

Here was the best of both of a man’s world: the twin allures of a clever device together with a well-articulated woman – or, to be more specific, as those men revealed so obviously, ‘coupled’ together, a mating between flesh and sex and advanced technology and power. Purchasing this – or simply leasing with an option to do the same – and putting it in the garage or the bedroom, would mean not just a product but also a woman of every dream, not just a sex partner but also a sophisticated piece of fine engineering.

But that wasn’t all. Look at them watching her move by. Lust was there, both for machine as well as woman, but there was also the dawning realization that there could be even more there: things that squeezed, buzzed, vibrated, hummed, heated, cooled, swirled, oscillated, tingled, and more, more, more so much more.

But then they pulled away, out of her way, out of her traffic, their fantasies dropping behind to be passed by the rushing acceleration of a nightmare, the barreling truck of a terrifying understanding.

Engineering, went their minds as they retreated, is fine and good, stimulating and thrilling. Sex, they thought as they ran away from her, is fantastic and wonderful. But to fuck a machine, to be intimate with gears and cogs, synthetics and electricity, hydraulics and radiators, could be good, but also could be like thrusting into a meshing, tearing, burning, shocking, scalding, blistering industrial accident.

What Lives On My Desk

Friday, June 29, 2012

How To Wonderfully WriteSex (18)

Check it out: my new post at the fantastic WriteSex site just went up. Here's a tease (for the rest you'll have to go to the site):
Back in the ‘good old days’ of smut – when pornographers had to haul their steaming piles of sexually explicit materials up four and five flights of stairs – a certain writer with a gleam of sexy potential in his mesmerizing green eyes … okay, I mean me … wrote a column for the fantastic Adrienne at Erotica Readers & Writers called “Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker.” 
Now one of the things I did was part of being a Streetwalker that really took off was a little series I did called “The Four Deadly Sins:” a playful examination of the things that smut writers could do but that could – to put it mildly – make their work a tough sell. The very same “sins” I’ve been posting here on WriteSex. 
Fast forward a … decade?! Sigh. Anyway, I had to put aside my Streetwalker days for other things but that little verboten list has always been by my side, especially since I’m now an Associate Publisher for the wonderful Renaissance Books (which includes Sizzler Editions, our erotica line). By the way [COMMERCIAL WARNING] my old columns are now in a dead-tree and ebook collection called How To Write And Sell Erotica [COMMERCIAL ENDS] 
The reason why those “sins” stay with me is because one of my Associate Publisher things is to consider books for publication – and still, today, erotica writers don’t seem to understand that while, sure, you can pretty much write whatever you want there are still some things that will more-than-likely keep your work from seeing the light of day. Just for the record, the four are underage (self-explanatory), beastiality (same), incest (ditto) and excessive violence (torture porn or nonconsensual sex). But I’m here to talk about a new one that’s popped up … or ‘pooped out’ to blow the joke.

The Frankenstein Penis

As you may have heard, an anthology I edited was just released by the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions (called, by the way, The Love That Never Dies: Erotic Encounters With The Undead) featuring some truly remarkable stories of ... well, as the description says:
Thousands of books have been written about love and sex between humans and werewolves, vampires, aliens, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures. But, what about the real, honest, and alluringly bizarre world of the undead.  Not just zombies - though a few are stumbling through this anthology - not just the once-alive - but also the differently-living?  In these pages you'll discover things shambling out of tombs, existing on whole new plains of existence, and more.  In the hands, and minds, of these deeply talented and wonderful writers nothing will be quite what it appears. Buckle yourself in and get ready for a ride will of unexpected twists and turns, where your libido and desires may go in one direction while your brain - screaming all the time "No no no no no no!" - goes the opposite.  Including stories from erotic writing celebrities like Laura Antoniou, Nobilis Reed, Jay Lawrence, Billierosie, PM White, Ralph Greco, Jr. - and science fiction/horror stars such as Jean Marie Stine, Ernest Hogan and Chris Devito! 
And, speaking of Ernest Hogan - who is a great, great guy as well as a fantastic writer - recently put up a very fun post about his submission, "The Frankenstein Penis" on his blog.  Here's a tease:
Just when you thought is was safe to read again, it's baaaaaaaack! 
I'm talking about my most infamous story, The Frankenstein Penis, once again available for sale in the anthology Love That Never Dies: Erotic Encounters With the Undeadeditied by M. Christian. It's an ebook, and a paperback is in the works! 
This is probably a good time for me explain why I wrote such a bizarre story. Fortunately, I've done it before here at Mondo Ernesto. The saga ofthe story can be found in And the Great Penis Rip-Off Goes On, and I discuss the two student films – and have links to them so you can watch them online – in The Frankenstein Penis: The Movie(s), and More.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My New Home

(via asylumseaker)
Living off the Grid in BC: Clayoquot Sound. Floating house (yes, owned by one family) in the Freedom Cove, BC. Completely self-sustaining. 

YNOT: The Smutty Hoax that Rocked the ’60s

As some of you might know - in addition to being the debonair, man-about-town, that I am - I'm also an Associate Editor for the adult entertainment site YNOT (who are wonderful folks, btw) - and here's a brand new one: a great little piece on the (ahem) infamous book Naked Came The Stranger....

Ah, the 1960s — or, to be more precise, the end of that decade: 1969. Richard Nixon was President of the U.S., the Beatles gave their last public performance, the Stonewall riots provided a rallying cry for gay-rights activists, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was born and.… Oh, yeah — man landed on the moon.  
During this frenzy of great achievement, an odd thing happened in the world of publishing. At the time, erotica was dominated by — to be polite — less-than-literary (or, for that matter, literate) fiction by writers like Jacqueline Susann (Valley of the Dolls) and Harold Robbins (The Betsy, The Carpetbaggers). But in 1969, a new star eclipsed the established firmament.  
Naked Came the Stranger by Penelope Ashe had it all: sex, sex, sex and even more sex. Sure it was badly written, but something about the novel caught readers’ imagination — more than likely all that sex, sex and more sex. Naked was the Fifty Shades of Grey of its day, skyrocketing up the sales charts until it spent a week on The New York Times Best-Seller List, the pinnacle of publishing success.  
But Naked Came the Stranger had what folks in the fiction-writing game call a backstory: a secret history to which readers were not clued in until late in the game. Penelope Ashe, you see, never existed. Naked was penned by a group of 24 professional journalists led by the redoubtable Mike McGrady of Newsday.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Those Mysterious Mima Mounds

The wonderful Bill Mills and the fantastic Jean Marie Stine of Renaissance/PageTurner Editions have just created a brand new Did You Know? in their video series promoting my new book, Welcome To Weirdsville!

And here, straight from the book, is the original article - a slightly different version than the one that originally appeared on the always-wonderful Dark Roasted Blend. Enjoy!


Scientists love a mystery.  Biologists used to have the human genome, but now they have the structure of protein.  Physics used to have cosmic rays, but now they have the God particle.  Astronomers used to have black holes, but now they have dark matter. 
And then there's the puzzle, the enigma, the joyous mystery that dots the world over: the riddle of what's commonly called Mima Mounds. 
What's an extra added bonus about these cryptic 'whatevertheyares' is that they aren't as miniscule as a protein sequence, aren't as subatomic as the elusive God particle, and certainly not as shadowy as dark matter.  Found in such exotic locales as Kenya, Mexico, Canada, Australia, China and in similarly off-the-beaten path locations as California, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and especially Washington state, the mounds first appear to be just that: mounds of earth.
The first thing that's odd about the mounds is the similarity, regardless of location. With few differences, the mounds in Kenya are like the mounds in Mexico which are like the mounds in Canada which are like the ... well, you get the point.  All the mounds aer heaps of soil from three to six feet tall, often laid out in what appear to be evenly spaced rows.  Not quite geometric but almost.  What's especially disturbing is that geologists, anthropologists, professors, and doctors of all kinds – plus a few well-intentioned self-appointed "experts" – can't figure out what they are, where they came from, or what caused them.
One of the leading theories is that they are man-made, probably by indigenous people.  Sounds reasonable, no?  Folks in loincloths hauling dirt in woven baskets, meticulously making mound after mound after ... but wait a minute.  For one thing it would have been a huge amount of work, especially for a culture that was living hand-to-mouth.  Then there's the fact that, as far as can be determined, there's nothing in the mounds themselves.  Sure they aren't exactly the same as the nearby ground, but they certainly don't contain grain, pot shards, relics, mummies, arrowheads, or anything that really speaks of civilization.  They are just dirt. And if they are man-made, how did the people in Kenya, Mexico, Canada, Australia, China, California, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and especially Washington state all coordinate their efforts so closely as to produce virtually identical mounds?  That's either one huge tribe or a lot of little ones who somehow could send smoke signals thousands of miles. 
Not very likely.
Next on the list of explanations is that somehow the mounds were created either by wind and rain or by geologic ups and downs – that there's some kind of bizarre earthy effect that has caused them to pop up.  Again, it sounds reasonable, right?  After all, there are all kinds of weird natural things out there: rogue waves, singing sand, exploding lakes, rains of fish and frogs – so why shouldn't mother nature create field after field of neat little mounds? 
The "natural" theory of nature being responsible for the Majorly Mysterious Mima Mounds starts to crumble upon further investigation.  Sure there's plenty of things we don't yet understand about how our native world behaves scientists do know enough to be able to say what it can't do – and it's looking pretty certain it can't be as precise, orderly, or meticulous as the mounds.
But still more theories persist.  For many who believe in ley lines, that crop circles are some form of manifestation of our collective unconscious, in ghosts being energy impressions left in stone and brick, the mounds are the same, or at least similar: the result of an interaction between forces we as yet do not understand, or never will, and our spaceship earth.
Others, those who prefer their granola slightly less crunchy or wear their tinfoil hats a little less tightly, have suggested what I – in my own ill-educated opinion – consider to be perhaps the best theory to date.  Some, naturally, have dismissed this concept out-of-hand, suggesting that the whole idea is too ludicrous even to be the subject of a dinner party, let alone deserving the attention and respect of serious research.
But I think this attitude shows not only lack of respect but a lack of imagination.  After all, was it not so long ago that the idea of shifting continents was considered outrageous?  And wasn't it only a few years ago that people simply accepted the fact that the sun revolved around the earth?  I simply ask that this theory be considered in all fairness and not dismissed without the same serious consideration these now well-respected theories have received.
After all, giant gophers could very well be responsible for the Majorly Mysterious Mima Mounds

YNOT: A Shout or a Whisper

As some of you might know - in addition to being the debonair, man-about-town, that I am - I'm also an Associate Editor for the adult entertainment site YNOT (who are wonderful folks, btw) - and here's a brand new one: an interview Sherry Ziegelmeyer and Jay Moyes come in. The owners and operators of Black and Blue Media

YNOT – Let's face it: No business, adult or otherwise, can make a dime if no one knows it exists. This is why it's important to listen to people who know what it takes to take an enterprise from obscurity to popularity, especially in these days when social media distracts and anyone can call himself a marketing guru.

That’s where Sherry Ziegelmeyer and Jay Moyes come in. The owners and operators of Black and Blue Media, Moyes and Ziegelmeyer operate quietly behind the scenes of several well-known companies and individuals — companies and individuals they’ve helped transform from unknowns into household names.

Never heard of Black and Blue? There's a reason for that. The company has been around since 2004, but Ziegelmeyer and Moyes cling to an odd notion that what they do is about their clients, not about them. Consequently, you’ve probably seen more evidence of their work than you realize. 


Okay, okay, I admit it: Me (the immovable object) finally have surrendered to Facebook (the irresistible force).  You can fins my "personal" page here, though I prefer it if people 'like' and follow my author's page.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Queen Of Sin!

And since you can never talk about the Hellfire Club without at least mentioning Diana Rigg's (ahem) memorable appearance in The Avengers episode "A Touch of Brimstone" - which was about a modern reincarnation of the club - as The Queen Of Sin!


Since the wonderful Bill Mills and the fantastic Jean Marie Stine of Renaissance/PageTurner Editions were so wonderful to create the Did You Know? video series to promote my new book, Welcome To Weirdsville, I thought the least I could do was share my article about the Hellfire Club from the book ... so here it is. Enjoy!


History has not been kind to them.  If you can even find references to their Brotherhood it's usually shaded with Christian hysteria, whispered tales loaded with the usual Catholic shockers of Satanism, sacrifice, the black mass, rituals – you name it.  They say that the winners write the history books – well, I consider it a bad sign that it takes a lot of digging to uncover the truth: while they haven't won they certainly have a good enough foothold to pretty badly taint the memory of the Amorous Knights of Wycombe.
Even if you travel to their later meeting place, the sleepy little hamlet of West Wycombe, the locals spout the nonsense – telling tales laced with those Christian bogeymen images: hooded figures droning a litany of forbidden words while a naked offering is laid out on cold granite, awaiting the ritual blade in the hands of a Satanic Priest. 
While the truth about the membership of the Monks of Medmenham, and later the Amorous Knights of Wycombe, isn't as – well – Hammer Films material, the tale of its founding, membership, and rites is fascinating.
Oh, to be in England in the 1760s.  The Colonies were behaving themselves, the Great British Empire was just that, and everyone – so it seemed – belonged to a club.  There was one for just about every class, interest, or occupation: The Lying Club, where the truth was banned; the Ugly Club where the qualifications for membership were unhandsome, at best; the Golden Fleece where members took on such names as Sir Boozy Prate-All, Sir Whore-Hunter, and Sir Ollie-Mollie. 
Then there was the Monks of Medmenham Abbey.  Meeting clandestinely on a spot of land somewhere along the Thames near London, this circle of Gentlemen came to typify the age, the era of the Great English Clubs. 
Sir Francis Dashwood is one of my heroes – roguish, yet always the stalwart Gentleman; a prankster and jape, yet the author of the Book of Common Prayer – Sir Francis was the center and guiding force behind the very special club, the one later to be known by the misnomer, the Hellfire Club. 
Born in 1708, and an indirect descendent of Milton ("tis better to rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven"), Sir Francis was a great supporter of reforms as well as artistic advances.  His estate at West Wycombe became an example progressive architectural design and intelligent land management.  He was elected an MP 1762, in appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer the following year – and then the year after that elevated to the House of Lords.  To add to these wonderful accomplishments, in 1766 (under Pitt) Dashwood was appointed Postmaster-General.  Sir Francis, you see, was a man of accomplishment, of intelligence, ability, and – most certainly – wit.
Oh yes, for while Sir Francis was elevating his way through Parliament, he also created, and pretty much single-handedly maintained, his own special club.  Unlike those other eccentric clubs of the time the Monks of Medmenham Abbey was a special organization – one dedicated to japing the Papists, providing a place where a gentleman of wit and sophistication might find a place to meet, drink, and – in general – raise a little hell.
The Monks certainly did that.  First at their hidden little island, set inside a false ruin of an old Abbey, they met – clandestine greetings across the cool waters of the Thames, lanterns and torches lighting the way, the Monk-robed members gathering together to eat, drink, share amusing anecdotes and fuck like bunnies.
While there were definitely intellectual intercourse at those meetings of the Monks of Medmenham Abbey, it was rather plain-old-simple intercourse that kept them coming back.  After 1763, when the cloaked and torch-bearing Monks had attracted some undue attention, they moved local to Dashwood's own estate in West Wycombe – where the Lord de Despencer had constructed a veritable erotic, playful interpretation of Hades on – and under – Earth.
The hills around West Wycombe are soft chalk, ideal for tunneling – and that's just what Sir Francis did.  With his artistic and architectural eye he created a veritable maze of tunnels, underground rivers, chambers and gardens on his property, decorated with elaborate erotic sculptures, teasing portraits of the Knights of Wycombe (such as depicting Sir Francis with halo), and many small chambers for intercourse of both kinds.  It was at Wycombe that the real Hellfire club began, a festive playground where the political, artistic, and intellectual elite of England met – engaging in dalliances with some of the most famous of London prostitutes.  My favorite little jape of the society is that while it is pretty much incontrovertible that Ladies-of-Rentable-Virtue were present, it is also believed that – since both 'Monks' and 'Nuns' wore veils or masks, and identities kept very secret – lovers, wives, sisters, and daughters of other members were also there.
Now before you imagine (you filthy creature you!), English artists and intellectuals running around in a white-wig version of Porky's, let me reassure you that while Eros was a major focus of the Knights, it was handled with grace and dignity – the Nuns could refuse any offer, or accept any offer, as they saw fit.  It was a place of playful perversity, where free-thinkers could gather together to titter and mock the oppressive Jacobites and their domineering Pope.  Rituals were held, yes, but with all the seriousness of rowdy jesters. 
And what jesters they were – and this is what elevated the Amorous Knights of Wycombe to memorable heights.  I've told you of Sir Francis, peer by day, Monk by night, but the other members – particularly the inner circle – shine with their own randy double-lives.  Just listen to this litany of the famous and infamous who all took part in the elaborate games and fanciful parties in and under West Wycombe hill: The Earl of Sandwich (for whom the food was named), First Lord of the Admiralty; Thomas Potter, Paymaster-General, Treasurer for Ireland and son of the Archbishop of Canterbury; John Wilkes, MP, and Lord Mayor of London; Frederick, the Prince of Wales; Horace Walpole, Politician and author; Edmund Duffield and Timothy Shaw, the Vicars of Medmenham; Chevalier D'Eon de Beaumont, French diplomat; and – even possibly – our own bawdy intellectual, Benjamin Franklin.  In addition to these noteworthies, West Wycombe also admitted the well-spoken rake or two, and some famous artists such as Giuseppe Borgnis, and Robert Lloyd.
Alas, nothing is forever – the tide turned, and when the now-Papal friendly popular opinion discovered the existence of our festive Monks, the scandal almost brought down the government with them.  Even its own sense of nasty jape seem to have had a hand in the club's fading.  During one particularly intense mock black mass, ever-the-rogue John Wilkes took an ape, affixed it with a devil mask and released it during the service.  The outrage was wonderfully hysterical – though telling that the Earl of Sandwich (said by many to be very ugly, and very ugly tempered) was said to have fallen to his knees and said, "Spare me, gracious devil.  I am as yet but half a sinner.  I never have been so wicked as I pretended!"
The last meeting took place in 1762, shaken by scandal, internal conflicts, the Monks simply fell apart.  The caves fell into disrepair after the death of Dashwood, and soon the horror stories of the evil rites held there had hidden the truth; that it was once the festive and mocking domain of the Amorous Knights.
On a closing note, I have to relate one of my favorite events during the later part of the society.  In a bitter hypocrisy after the foundering of the club, that disreputable Earl of Sandwich had the notorious wit John Wilkes on the stand – in no doubt an act of revenge.  Proving himself beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was completely, utterly wicked, Sandwich belabored his previous fellow-monk until, in a fit of frustration at Wilke's calm and witty rejoinders proclaimed, "Sir, you will either die on the gallows, or by the pox!"
To which, in a perfect closing to this tale of elegant mischief, Wilkes responded, without batting an eye: "That depends, Sir, on whether I embrace your principals – or your mistress."