Saturday, 31 August 2013

new stories

I have two new stories up in the Erotica Readers and Writers Gallery

A Wanted Man is a futuristic erotic story about hoarding, rock n roll, totalitarian government, and groupies. 

Changement is about a girl who wants to be a topless dancer and her affair with the 'sound guy' at the club, who is a woman. 

They'll only be up for the month of September, so if you want to read them, now's the time.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

don't look at me, you pervert

I've written before about certain heterosexual women's obsession with the male gaze. In this view, being looked at as sexually desirable by a man (objectified) is experienced as degrading, dehumanizing and defiling. 

And yet, as discussed in this article, being seen as irresistibly desirable is, for the typical woman, the most powerful sexual turn-on of all. 

How can these two seemingly contradictory facts be reconciled? I used to think that it was simply a matter of women lying. Either they were trying to keep men off balance with double-speak ("Don't my breasts look luscious in this black lace push-up bra? . . . Don't look at me, you objectifying pervert!"). Or else they were lying to themselves out of shame ("Isn't it horrible? That man found me attractive. Sexist pig! Now, why are my panties damp?")

The obvious (to me) truth was that women love being desired by particular men (the ones they find attractive) and hate being desired by men to whom they're not attracted.

And then, last night, it hit me. To many women, being desired is so powerful that they actually experience it as a sexual act. This is why, just like any other sexual act, it's luscious when done by someone to whom we're attracted, but can evoke powerful disgust when done by someone to whom we're not. Just like I might love having my earlobes licked, but I'd feel defiled if Howie Mandel did it.

Of course, my new insight comes no closer to solving the bind that women have put ourselves into. We've told men that we hate being looked at with desire, so the good guys don't look at us with desire (or at least they try to pretend not to). And yet being looked at with desire is what many of us most crave sexually. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

flash fiction: elusive little o

"Have you ever had a vaginal orgasm?"

"Penis only? No hands, no toys?" She took a drag from her cigarette, blew the smoke out into the moonlight. "Once, girlfriend. A long time ago."

Her friend raised a beer to her lips. She set the glass back down on the arm of her lawn chair. "What happened?"

"I was dating a guy who was awful in bed. Don't laugh. I mean, he was the worst. He'd get hard, shove it in, pump away for half a minute. Done. No foreplay, no afterplay. After a while, I gave up even trying to get turned on."

"Why'd you keep seeing him?"

"He was nice, I guess. Anyway, we were hanging out on a Saturday. Every couple of hours he'd want to screw again."


"Yeah, we were only twenty. The third time that morning, I was waiting for him to finish, just letting my mind wander when, Bam! I had an orgasm. Out of nowhere."


"It was just a little one, but still. He had no idea. I thought about telling him, but it would have been too awkward." She smoked and listened to the cicadas. "Have you ever?"

"Nope. Never have."

Friday, 16 August 2013

I was interviewed by Go Deeper Press

I was planning to post more about vaginal vs. clitoral orgasms, but that will have to wait because something much more exciting happened. I was interviewed for the Go Deeper Press blog!

I love Go Deeper Press. They're putting out some really hot, unique, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-wrenching erotica, AND they accepted one of my stories for an upcoming anthology, Shameless Behavior: Brazen Stories of Overcoming Shame.

My story, Mesmerized, is about a woman who doesn't even know she's suffering from shame. She's too busy feeling self-righteous and shaming and trying control other people. Here's an excerpt:

"Bobbi had a lot to do before the marriage enrichment retreat that weekend. She had volunteered to bring food for Saturday’s lunch, so she made a list and drove to the supermarket.
In the meat section, a girl bent over the freezers. She couldn’t have been more than 19 or 20 years old. Her straightened, blonde hair swung down and obscured her face, and her short skirt rode up in the back, all the way to the tops of her tanned, muscular thighs. Her platform sandals made the skirt look even shorter.
“Excuse me,” Bobbi said.
The girl stood up. Her white shirt was transparent, revealing a lacy, magenta bra underneath.
“You don’t have to dress like this,” Bobbi said. “You think the boys like it, but it makes you look like trash.”
The girl turned red. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out.
Bobbi continued, “When you go to the grocery store, you should wear a bra with some padding in it. It’s cold in here. Remember, modest is hottest.”
“Shut the fuck up, bitch!” The girl turned and clomped away.

Bobbi didn’t allow herself to be upset by the girl’s vulgarity. She must not have a mother who cares enough to teach her how to dress, she thought. Young people want discipline. They push the limits, but they’re only trying to get attention. Someday, she hoped the girl would come to her senses and be grateful that Bobbi had cared enough to counsel her."

Yep, the cycle of shame. If you can pass it along to someone else, you don't have to feel it.

Can someone like that ever recover? What would it take for Bobbi to accept other people's sexuality, and accept her own desires and fantasies as well? That's what Mesmerized is about.

your orgasms are wrong, part 2

As promised, I'm going to summarize Stuart Brody's research on female orgasm. It's important to note that he refers to any orgasm that occurs during penis-in-vagina sex WITHOUT touching the clitoris with the fingers or a toy a vaginal orgasm. And he refers to any orgasm that includes touching the clitoris with hands or a toy a clitoral orgasm. However, as I explained in my last post, these acts do not determine whether or not the orgasm was triggered by the head of the clitoris (e. g., many women orgasm during PIV sex by rubbing the head of the clitoris against their partner's body.)

To avoid perpetuating his error, I'm going to refer to the types of orgasms he studies as PIV-only orgasms versus direct-stimulation orgasms. The terminology still isn't perfect, but bear with me.
Here are his findings:

You can probably guess what Brody's take home message from all this is: He believes that PIV-only orgasms are "better."

I'd like to suggest an alternative interpretation. What I'm getting from this data is that PIV-only orgasms are MUCH more difficult to achieve than direct-stimulation orgasms. If you're a woman, and you have anxiety, or psychological problems, or a smallish bump in the middle of your upper lip, or low sensitivity to touch, or a problem with your spine or pelvis that restricts your gait, then you may not be able to have orgasms from PIV sex alone. If intercourse with your partner doesn't last very long, or if you're not very happy with your life, you may not be able to orgasm from PIV sex alone. Or, at least, you may not be able to do it very often.
But wait, there's good news too. None of these issues are likely to prevent you from having orgasms, as long as you use direct-stimulation of the clitoral head!

Let's go back, for a moment, to the thought experiment I proposed in the last post. It was to see how many men could have the equivalent of a vaginal orgasm. This would mean the man would have to orgasm from stimulation of only the penile shaft, no touching the head of the penis allowed.

What would happen if we tested men on the variables I listed above? I'll be we'd find almost exactly the same thing as with women: Men who are anxious, or have low sensitivity to touch, or problems with their spine that affect their gait, would be less likely to have shaft-only orgasms. And if we did find this, what would it mean? Would it mean that shaft-only orgasms are superior, and are the best and only kind of orgasms for men to have? You can see how ridiculous this logic is, can you not? But again, men would never put up with being told that their orgasms are 'wrong.' 

Monday, 12 August 2013

your orgasms are all wrong, part 1

You know what's been pissing me off lately? The need to dictate how women should have orgasms. Specifically, I'm talking about the controversy over clitoral vs. vaginal orgasms.

For years, Stuart Brody has been doing research, purporting to show that vaginal orgasms are superior to clitoral orgasms. But, goddamn it, he can't even get his terminology right. He defines a vaginal orgasm as one that occurs during penis-in-vagina sex, without simultaneously 'masturbating' the clitoris. The problem is, this definition tells us nothing about whether the orgasm was triggered through clitoral stimulation or vaginal stimulation.

Here's how I know. A male friend told me about an ex-girlfriend who was amazing in bed, because she could have 'vaginal' orgasms. Of course, I wanted to know her secret. He said she had to be on top, and she would grind her clit against his pubic bone until she got off. How was this a vaginal orgasm? It wasn't. It was a penis-in-vagina orgasm, it was a NO HANDS orgasm, but it was obviously clitoral in origin. A true vaginal orgasm is not simply one that occurs during PIV sex. It needs to be triggered by something other than the clitoris.

Let's look at some female anatomy. What we call the clitoris is really just the head of the clitoris. Most of the clitoris is internal to the woman's body. The clitoris develops out of the same fetal tissue that forms the penis in males. The head of the clitoris is analogous to the head of the penis. The tissue that, in males, develops into the shaft of the penis, in females, develops into the shaft and legs of the clitoris. The clitoral shaft is inside the woman's body, and extends back from the head of the clitoris, splitting into two legs on either side of the vaginal opening.

When a woman has a  vaginal orgasm, meaning an orgasm that isn't triggered by stimulation of the head of the clitoris, it is actually triggered by stimulation of the root of the clitoris (which comes close to the front wall of the vagina) or stimulation of the legs of the clitoris (on either side of the vaginal opening). That's right, a vaginal orgasm is still brought on by parts of the clitoris.

Let's do a thought experiment (even better, if you are a man or if you have a man handy, you could try this experiment in real life). Can a man have an orgasm through stimulation of only the shaft of the penis, with no touching of the head of the penis? This would be equivalent to a vaginal orgasm.
My guess is that, yes, many men could have orgasms by stimulating only the penile shaft. In fact, I would venture to hypothesize that the percentage of men who could have orgasms in this way would be almost identical to the percentage of women who have vaginal orgasms! That is, about 25% of women have never had a vaginal orgasm, another 75% occasionally or sometimes have one, and 25% almost always have one.
So why don't we have any real data about men and their ability to have penile-shaft-only orgasms? Because men don't stand for this kind of crap, that's why! If anyone is telling men that their orgasms are 'wrong,' men aren't listening.

Next post, I'll summarize Brody's research on vaginal orgasms. It's actually quite interesting, even though the conclusions I would draw from his data are diametrically opposed to the conclusions he draws.  

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Really fun erotica

I just finished reading Huddle, a new, super-fun, sexy erotic anthology. All five of the stories in it were great, but my favorite is Lucky Mascot, by Tamsin Flowers. It has a refreshing exuberance and style. Several times while I was reading it, I had to laugh out loud, not even out of humor, but because of the sheer delight in its originality and joyful spirit.

I have a couple of new pieces up too, on the Erotica Readers and Writer's Website. The Critics, is a super-short that pretends to be instructions for doing a strip-tease, but is really about writing, especially writers who critique other writers' work.