Friday, January 03, 2014

BDSM Reviews Likes In Control!

Very cool!  Check out this very cool review my new collection, In Control, got from the great folks at BDSM Reviews:

Although the book In Control is subtitled The Short Kinky Fiction of M. Christian, by today’s standards most of the 18 stories in this anthology aren’t all that kinky. That’s not to imply they aren’t well written, because they are. In fact, it would be safe to say that this collection of short stories has a decidedly cerebral and artistic flair not often found in erotica. 

The themes of the book’s stories vary greatly in both style and genre – sort of a smorgasbord effect. Many are straight forward erotica, while others touch on BDSM and same sex relationships. Some are really more romantic than they are erotic, and a couple could be categorized as mood pieces with erotic overtones. My favorite is an excerpt from the novel Brushes, which is a tale about the brother of an elite artist whose resemblance to his sibling enables him to seduce numerous art students that mistake him for his famous brother. While it doesn’t contain much erotic content, it is an interesting and thought provoking read. 

Whether or not readers will enjoy this book will depend largely on their sensibilities and what their expectations are. Overall it is a satisfyingly literate book that periodically includes well-crafted erotic scenarios.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Wild, Wild, WILD Year for Classes!

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

2014 promises to be quite the year for me and teaching: just check out this amazing list of events and such I have already booked for next year!

More info coming very soon - plus a very special announcement - but wanted to share what I have so far so folks can start to put them on their calendars.


January 16th, 2014: Teaching Creative Sexuality For Good Vibrations, Pol Street

January 23rd, 2014: Teaching
Impact Play: Beyond Floggers And Canes for SF Citadel

January 27th, 2014: Leading Polyamory Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

February 20th, 2014:
Teaching Basic Bondage: Tie Me Up On A Budget for Feelmore510

February 24th, 2014: Leading Relationships And The Scene: A Discussion/Support Group
for SF Citadel

March 13th, 2014: Teaching How To Write And Sell Erotica
for Feelmore510

March 18th, 2014: Teaching Magic Words: Using Erotic Writing To Explore Your Hidden Sexuality And Spirituality for SF Citadel

March 24th, 2014:
Leading Polyamory Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

April 28th, 2014:
Leading Relationships And The Scene: A Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

April 29th, 2014: Teaching Polyamory: How To Love Many And Well
for SF Citadel

May 29th, 2014: Leading Polyamory Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

June 23rd, 2014:
Leading Relationships And The Scene: A Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

July 22nd, 2014: Teaching Tit-Torture For Boobs: A Breast Play Intensive for
SF Citadel

August 25th, 2014:
Leading Relationships And The Scene: A Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

September 23rd, 2014: Teaching Basic Bondage: Tie Me Up On A Budget
for SF Citadel

September 29th, 2014:
Leading Polyamory Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

October 27th, 2014:
Leading Relationships And The Scene: A Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

November 11th, Teaching Sensual Caning: How To Use The Rod In New And Exciting Ways
for SF Citadel

November 24th, 2014:
Leading Polyamory Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

December 22nd, 2014:
Leading Relationships And The Scene: A Discussion/Support Group for SF Citadel

Terrance Aldon Shaw Likes 50 Writers On 50 Shades Of Grey

This is very sweet!  The always-wonderful Terrance Aldon Shaw - who wrote a kick-ass review of my book, How To Write And Sell Erotica - has this nice review of 50 Writers On 50 Shades Of Grey  featuring a lot about my own contribution.

Check it out:

What all the contributors here seem to agree on is that Fifty Shades has become a “game changer” both for publishers and readers, though what this contagious little meme actually conveys is not always clear. In her introduction, Fifty Ways to Look at Fifty Shades, editor Lori Perkins refers positively to the trilogy, going so far as to gush, “I am awed to see the birth of a new erotic classic”, and hope “. . . that these books will usher in a publishing tidal wave of female-centered commercially successful erotica, giving women a new voice for sexual, political and financial choices.” In her essay, Fifty Shades of Change, Louise Fury claims that “. . . what The Vagina Monologues did for women and their vaginas, Fifty Shades has done for women and smut.” In a piece appropriately enough entitled The Game Changer, M. Christian seems reluctantly to agree, though he laments, “It would just be nice that the paradigm shift in literature and publishing would have been better written.”  He goes on to say;

It’s still a total and complete game changer. For one thing, it’s pretty much the final nail in the old school old school world of print publishing. Sure, that model has been gasping and wheezing for a few years now, but for a teeny weeny and badly written book to do what New York dreamt of doing shows once and for all that they need to burn down their old ways and finally begin to embrace the lean, mean, and cutting edge world of e-books.

It’s also another shovel of dirt on another corpse; the concept of old-school marketing. Fifty Shades didn’t succeed because of its brilliant prose, it’s immense advertising budget, or inspired publicity. It scored that coveted number one spot because “mom” E.L. James jumped right in, feetfirst, to social networking and viral marketing with a dogged persistence that’s, frankly, a bit scary. The only bad side of this is—sigh—that for the next five to ten years we’re gonna be bombarded not just with Fifty Shades knock-offs, but all those authors trying the same tricks James did.”    

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Nice Holiday Gift

This made my day (and then some): a wonderful little review/gift about my story in Stocking Stuffers:
"Under the Tree," by M. Christian

Speaking of awesome things under the tree, this next story from Stocking Stuffers: Gay Erotic Holiday Stories is a wonderful little tale from M. Christian that manages to balance some "aww!" romance with the racier bits. Roy wakes up to find that Joshua (his fella) is nowhere in sight, but there are some wrapped parcels offering up a surprise. That Joshua is known for these surprises (and Roy's remembrance of previous surprises is a lovely way to set the stage for both the character of Joshua and the ultimate reveal) just adds to the sense of anticipation Roy feels as he begins his trek to figure out what's going to happen.

As you uncover the history between the two men, you also move toward the resolution of this surprise, and as each package is opened and each envelope read, you'll find yourself smiling as the payoff gets ever closer. It's fun. It's light. It's sexy. And it's all wrapped up and ready to enjoy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing… Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

Fantastic!  A brand new Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker article just went up at the amazing WriteSex site - this time on the hows (and how-nots) of tweeting.  Enjoy!

Okay, to be honest: I used to be extremely anti-Twitter.

It’s not like I’ve done a complete turnaround—far from it—but I’ve begun to use it more seriously, and …I have to grudgingly admit that it can be an effective social media tool.

While I am still fairly new to tweet-tweet-tweeting, I can’t but help notice a lot of authors making what I think are serious mistakes. Part of that, of course, is because twitter is counterintuitive to the way writers think. Unlike blogs and other forms of social media, twitter is ephemeral: tweets coming and going in the space of a few seconds…with few people taking the time to backtrack on what anyone is saying.

This means that quantity is key to tweeting; zapping out a tweet, say, every few days or weeks or only when you have a book or story coming out is pretty much pointless. Even if you have a huge audience of loyal followers, tweeting infrequently means that you will have an very small percentage of that audience who happen to be looking at their Twitter feed for your short pearls of wisdom, or important book announcements, the moment you send them—and that moment, O infrequent tweeter, is the only one you’ve given yourself. To make effective use of Twitter you not only need to tweet every day, you need to tweet several times a day.

And then there’s the question of what you’re tweeting. Yes, you need to talk about your writing; yes, you need to post book announcements; yes, you need to praise your publisher; yes, you need to scream about good reviews…but you also need to come across as a person. So, share interesting information about yourself, share pieces of your writing that you aren’t necessarily trying to sell, talk to your followers as if they were friends (though, not necessarily the kind of friends to whom you’d say anything), rather than potential customers…get my drift? Your followers are interested in your work, but they’re also interested in you.

One thing I’ve been doing—though probably not as much as I should—is a Fun Fact thread: sharing tidbits about little ol’ me that people might find interesting. Hopefully it makes my feed seem a lot less stridently I’M A WRITER READ MY WRITINGS and more human, intriguing, and engaging.
Fortunately, frequent tweeting with varied messages isn’t as hard as it sounds. You don’t have log in to  your twitter account multiple times and send out each tweet manually. With the right tool you can post a half dozen tweets or more all at the same time, and have them sent out every few hours. One of the best tools I’ve found for this (and, no, this isn’t a commercial) is called Hootsuite; it’s a web-based twitter aggregator that allows me to post, schedule, track, and do other fun things, and from more than one Twitter account (which is handy, since I work for a publisher and send out tweets about myself as well about them). The scheduling feature is very handy: I can create multiple tweets and then copy and paste them into Hootsuite’s scheduler—and program them to pop up over the span of a few hours or even days.

Of course, you don’t want the tweets to be mind-numbingly similar and spammy. No one—ever—wants to listen to a commercial, let alone the same one several times a day. So flooding your poor followers with nothing but BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK is not going to sell a single copy, and will more than likely get you unfollowed. Give the repeated content some variety, switch the words around, say the same thing in different words, etc.
Here are four tweets I sent out for one of my books when Sizzler Editions was giving it away free one weekend:

He drank blood but wasn’t a vampire. Even he didn’t know what he was! Free 14-16thh Manlove novel @MChristianzobop

#Free 14-16th #Manlove #Vampire classic complete in one ebook Running Dry by @MChristianzobop

Like #Manlove #Paranormal #Romance? M. Christian blazes a new trail in Running Dry only @MChristianzobop

#Free this weekend only Lambda Finalist M. Christian’s gay vampire classic Running Dry

In addition to varying the wording of what is essentially the same information, you can parcel out different bits of information about the same event, in a way that’s easy for late-afternoon or evening tweet-readers to catch up on whatever you’d posted in the morning. Say you were going to a convention where you would be on a panel and also reading. Don’t write one tweet about it. Write a tweet about the fact that you will be there and the dates; another about being on the panel and when it is scheduled; a third about your reading, and when and where.

Another feature of Twitter (and other social media platforms) that a lot of people ignore when sending out info is autosharing. In short, this means that whatever you post to one place gets automatically shared to others. Let’s say I have a blog. Using RSS Graffiti, whatever I post there is picked up on Facebook. Let’s also say I have a Tumblr (I actually have seven). With Tumblr’s built-in system I can share (or not) what I post on it to Twitter and then to Facebook. There is also a setting in Twitter that passes your tweets along to Facebook as well. These settings let you decide what’s automatically reposted where, so your aunt Betty doesn’t end up hearing about your new erotic novel unless you want her to.

It can be a tad confusing—to put it mildly—but it saves a lot of time and effort to automate these things. That said, one word of warning: you want to be careful with a quantity-driven thing like Twitter that you don’t choke your slower-rate social media places like Facebook with too many autoshared reposts—that’ll start to get pretty spammy. Hootsuite, nicely, allows me to post to Facebook as well as Twitter, so I can vary the number of posts I send out to match the nature of the media venue. It may take a bit of trial and error to get this all balanced for rate and time and such but it’s really worth the investment.

Pay attention, as well, to hashtags…though the #trick with #these is #not to overuse #them as your post will look really #silly. You can check trending tags and use those—but all that means is that yours will compete with millions of others. Far better to use them only for what you are really writing about, and then only a few per post.

And retweet items you find important, amusing or interesting. Remember, Twitter is supposed to be social media: meaning that the goal isn’t to talk at people but to them. Tweeting a lot but not actually communicating useful or interesting information is going to get you zilch.

Relatedly, don’t, as too many people do, ignore retweets of your tweets or mentions of your name. It’s not a quid pro quo situation, but it’s nice to pause and acknowledge that someone cared enough to spread your tweets further out into the world. Being ignored, specially by a writer whose career, or books, you have retweeted or shared…well, it doesn’t take much of that for a “follow” to turn into an “unfollow.”

Sure, Twitter too often sounds like a parrot who’s been sitting next to the television for too long and is about as deep as a Justin Bieber song—but the fact remains that, if you approach it intelligently and efficiently, it can be a valuable source of marketing for writers.

Just, as with all social media, try not to get sucked into spending so much time playing with it that you don’t #get #any #writing #done…

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Coming Up: Future Sex At The SF Citadel!

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

This is gonna be a blast!  I'm going to be teaching my very fun class called Future Sex for the always-great SF Citadel on December 10th.  Here's the info:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 · 8:00 PM –10:00 PM  

SF Citadel Community Center

181 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA

Cost: $20 at the door or $15 in advance using WePay:

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow! Sure, we have iPads, iPhones, Viagra, the staggering depths of the Internet, but what could the day after tomorrow bring? In this combination discussion and lecture, participants will share in some thought experiments on what sex may be like in the year year – or the next thousand years. Subjects included will be speculations on drug and chemical enhancements, extrapolation on current – and future – consumer technology, where gender and sexual orientation may be headed, the idea of artificial implants and enhancements, and even the prospects of intimate encounters with cyborgs, androids, robots, and artificial intelligences.

About the presenter:

M. Christian has been an active participant in the San Francisco BDSM scene since 1988, and has been a featured presenter at the Northwest Leather Celebration, smOdyssey, the Center For Sex and Culture, The National Sexuality Symposium, QSM, San Francisco Sex Information, The Citadel, The Looking Glass, The Society of Janus, The Floating World, Winter Solstice, and lots of other venues. He has taught classes on everything from impact play, tit torture, bondage, how to write and sell erotica, polyamory, cupping, caning, and basic SM safety.

M. Christian is also a recognized master of BDSM erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many other anthologies, magazines, and other sites; editor of 2t anthologies such as the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, and more; the collections Dirty Words, The Bachelor Machine, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, and more; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Finger's Breadth, Brushes, and Painted Doll. His site is

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker: "A Cookie Full Of Arsenic"

Check it out: I just posted one of my classic "Streetwalker" columns on the wonderful Erotic Readers And Writers site.

Here's a tease - for the rest click here

Ever seen Sweet Smell of Success?  If you haven't then you should: because, even though the film was shot in 1957, it rings far too much, and far too loudly, in 2013.

In a nutshell, Sweet Smell of Success (directed by Alexander Mackendrick from a script by the amazing Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman) is about the all-powerful columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) – who can make or break anyone and anything he wants -- and the desperate press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), who loses everything for trying to curry favor with Hunsecker for ... well, that Sweet Smell of Success.

So ... 1957 to 2013.  A lot's changed, that's for sure.  But recently rewatching this, one of my all-time favorite films, gave me a very uncomfortable chill.  But first a bit of history (stop that groaning): you see, J.J. Hunsecker was based – more than thinly – on another all-powerful columnist, the man who once said, about the who he was, and the power he wielded as, " I'm just a son of a bitch."

There was even a word, created by Robert Heinlein of all people, to describe a person like this: winchell – for the man himself -- Walter Winchell.

A book, movie, star, politician – anyone who wanted success would do, and frequently did, anything for both Walter and his fictional doppelganger J.J. Hunsecker.  Their power was absolute ... even a rumor, a fraction of a sentence could mean the difference between headlines and the morgue of a dead career.  As Hunsecker puts it to a poor entertainer who crossed him: "You're dead, son. Get yourself buried."


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Terrance Aldon Shaw Likes How To Write And Sell Erotica

This is ultra-cool!  The very fun Terrance Aldon Shaw - on his Erotica For The Big Brain site - has this very flattering, and thoughtful, review of my book, How To Write And Sell Erotica.

Here's a taste (for the rest click here)
M. Christian’s How to Write and Sell Erotica is a collection of short essays drawn from his regular blog postings on the ERWA website. As one might expect from their origins in the blogosphere, the style of these pieces is personal, pithily opinionated and, at times charmingly irreverent; informal but always informative. Topics are wide ranging, touching on numerous issues of concern to established and aspiring writers of genre (i.e. non-literary) erotica. I especially like Christian’s definition of erotica as works that “do not blink” when it comes time to describe sexual activity—a healthy counterweight to the sort of prissy detachment on display in Benedict’s book. His repeated observation that, in our society, if you cut off somebody’s head “you get an R rating; if you show someone giving head, you get an NC-17” is right on the money in addition to being funny as hell because it’s so maddeningly true. I find moving his suggestion that, perhaps, someday society will achieve such a level of enlightenment, frankness and maturity that erotica will disappear as a separate genre—would that it could be so in our lifetime. Like Bright, Christian does his share of cheerleading, offering encouragement and inspiration, though usually with a healthy dose of realism and a plea to maintain a set of realistic expectations. There are so many marvelous quotable passages in these essays I find it hard to choose only one; so updating the ancient practice of sortilegium for the Age of the E-Reader, here’s one at random:
One more thing you could do [by writing erotica] is help people. We don’t like sex in this country. Sure, we sell beer and cars with it, but we don’t like it. We’re scared of it. Living in this world with anything that’s not beer and car commercial sexuality can be a very frightening and lonely experience. Too many people feel that they are alone, or that what they like to do sexually is wrong, sinful or sick. Now, I’m not talking about violent or abusive sexual feelings, but rather am interest in something that harms no one and that other people have discovered to be harmless or even beneficial. If you treat what you’re writing about with respect, care and understanding, you could reach out to someone somewhere and help them understand and maybe even get through their bad feelings about their sexuality—bad feelings, by the way, that maybe have been dished out by the lazy and ignorant for way too long. 
As with any book of this type, readers will not always agree with the author on every point—and that’s as it should be. For instance, I don't agree with Christian--or Stephen King for that matter--who argue that a writer should never resort to a thesaurus. (As the compiler of The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus on this site, you can bet I disagree!) Nor does Christian like the idea of constantly “changing up” descriptive words in a text, especially where bodily parts are concerned. Others may be horrified, recalling nightmare critique sessions in creative writing class where they were admonished to avoid repetition and parallelism like the plague. Christian could have a point, although his tone may be a tad too ex-cathedra not to wrinkle a few noses, I remain skeptically neutral on this particular issue, while Christian is happy to inform his readers that he never got much out of those creative  writing courses. He also doesn’t particularly like being reviewed—“shut up!” I think were his exact words. All I can say is; tough titties, dude; the book is recommended, so suck on it!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Billierosie Likes Brushes!

This comes from my very sweet friend, Billierosie:

Through a variety of protagonists M Christian explores the character of the enigmatic and charismatic Artist, Escobar. The story is a step away from Christian's futuristic erotic fantasies, which were a delight in THE BACHELOR MACHINE and another new novel from Christian, THE PAINTED DOLL.

In BRUSHES we are taken into a new and succulent territory which is overwhelming with its elegant prose. The characters are exotic, strange but familiar too, with the reader relating to each protagonist's confusion, as he or she tries to unravel the mystery that is Escobar. Set in France, there is no doubt that Christian cherishes and knows that country well; in fact his style is worthy of travel writing at its best, being worth a comparison with Paul Theroux. As with Theroux's work you see the country in the prose. Christian's France isn't always beautiful, sometimes it's downright dirty; but it's always what can always be expected from M Christian; very, very sexy!

Yet More Philosophy