Tag: Musing

Sinful Sunday: Cunt

“An ancient title of respect for women, the word “cunt” long ago veered off this noble path.”

– From Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, by Inga Muscio

Apparent 3/4 nude of author holding the book Cunt over her cunt.

I read this book a lifetime ago when I barely knew my own anatomy. Re-reading it now, I’m struck by how deeply it affected my thinking on feminism, semantics and the female body politic.

I love the word cunt. It’s strong and forthright. It stands straight with its shoulders back. It takes your measure and meets your eye. It’s the opposite of an apology. It’s the kind of word that owns itself, and asks you to do the same.

To see more Sinful Sunday, click the pretty lips….

Sinful Sunday

On Virginity, or A Case For Not Throwing It Away

Image of a man and woman sitting on a fence. His hand is going up her skirt while she looks away.

A Voyage of Discovery by Jack Vettriano

I would love to say that the loss of my maidenhead* was a magical experience. I’d love to say that it set a healthy tone for the whole of my sexual career. In reality, it went more like this:

I was nineteen and deeply frustrated. I’d had boyfriends but none who would go past second base with me, (I dated a couple of Irish Catholics. Confession was a thing). I was sexually aware to the point of discomfort, but I’d never gotten close to do anything about the live wires beneath my skin. I was massively frustrated and burdened with this thing that I didn’t want anymore. So, one night I decided to get it over with.

I met the guy through an acquaintance. I knew him just enough about him to feel relatively sure that he wasn’t going to kill me and dump my body in a lake. I say “the guy” because I don’t remember his name…Jason maybe? I’m not sure. I was sober, so I assume that I must’ve blocked it out. In fact, I’m fairly certain I did – not because anything terrible happened, but because, even at the time, I knew I was making a subtle but serious mistake. It was the start of a pattern that would do me no favors. But more on that in a second. For now, let’s stay with “the guy”….

In the end, his name doesn’t matter because it wasn’t about him. It was about me and the fact that I was approaching twenty and the only virgin left in the city (not really but it felt like it). So, there we were in the back of his mom’s minivan in a mall parking lot. The foreplay was minimal and consisted mostly of my going down on him briefly while he held my head. After that, we moved to the back seat where I gave it up to the age old rhythm of my head whacking against his baby brother’s car seat.

I lost my virginity with less care than some people give to cutting their hair. At the time, I remember feeling a grim satisfaction, one that I now recognize as a defense mechanism. I knew even before he dropped me off (in the minivan) that I wasn’t going to see him again, even if I wanted to (I didn’t). The fact that I’d been a virgin had thrown him. I literally saw him panic the second his cock hit my hymen.

Holy shit! A virgin! They get hella clingy! Finish this and get out of there!

So, the grim satisfaction was both for a job well done (I was no longer a virgin – Ha! Take that, virginity!) but it was also because I needed to own what I’d just done. I knew that wasn’t how it could have been.  I knew it wasn’t a good start.

Now, looking back with roughly eighteen years of sexual experience to call on, I can see that I set a pattern for myself that night – one in which I disregarded the rounded whole of my needs in favor of satisfying temporary dissatisfactions. That pattern is pretty much broken now, but not without effort and a nice collection of regrets.

Should I have taken more time and given myself a positive, even loving, first time? Ideally speaking, of course. I should’ve. But the truth is that I was wired for sex and self-injury. I can’t pretend that a different decision would’ve saved me from years of mistakes. That said, if I had waited and not pushed, I might have developed a sense of myself sooner, and that would have made a difference. Who can say….

Virginity is not a magical thing, nor is it a marker of moral, spiritual or physical worth. The loss of it is, however, a pivotal event in a person’s life. Your first sexual experiences set a tone, even if only subconsciously. Would my sexual development have been different were it not for the minivan and the parking lot and the goddamn car seat? I don’t know. I honestly don’t. And that’s the thing that stays with me. I will never know.

I have wanted to write that phrase into something for ages.

Character Limits

A purple reverse negative photograph of a vintage clock by Angela Bonilla

Ornate Vintage Clock in Deep Purple by Angela Bonilla

A few months ago I wrote a post called #DraftingIsHell. The title pretty much says it all. I’m one of those writers that drafts just to have something to edit. It’s only in edits that I find the threads that pull a story together.

In that post, I compared my writing process to sculpting, with drafting being the equivalent of making the clay. Recently though, the way I think about writing has changed. Working on my current project feels more like building a clock. Drafting is like digging through a big box of parts. Revision is figuring out how to assemble them and editing is the process of fitting them together and making sure they work properly.

Which brings me to my point. Twitter has made me a better editor. Or rather, it’s made me a more efficient writer.

I realize that efficient is a cold-sounding word. It doesn’t carry the throbbing creative impulse that fills your doc with a promising, fresh-faced draft. Efficiency is a different form of creative, more about refinement than creation. It’s the difference between drawing a clock and making a clock. When you draw a clock, you want to let yourself dream of the clock’s potential. But when you build the clock, you need efficiency to make sure the damn thing works.

So, back to Twitter. Have you ever gone over the character limit on a tweet? When you do, you get this little notification:

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 3.21.51 PM

It’s that “you’ll have to be more clever” that makes me smile. Not long ago, I realized how applicable that is to writing – not how clever are you? per se, but rather how cleverly can you say something?

Balancing your content in the most effective way is a sort of cleverness. It’s how you slide under a reader’s skin, rather than appealing to their brain. That’s what makes flash fiction such a pleasure to read – those little punches that make you feel before you think. Therein lies the beauty (and cleverness) of efficiency.

I’m not suggesting that there aren’t great advantages to expansive prose and rambling, evocative imagery. That’s some of my favorite stuff. What I have found though is that it’s good to be able to choose what sort of style serves a story best, and then execute on that choice.

Sometime over the past year or so, I began to think of every post and every story as a puzzle box that I fold up as tightly as I possibly can. Then, in the reading (if I’ve done it right), it’s meant to unfold and reveal more than the word count might imply. If a piece of writing is going to work like that though, the parts have to be balanced. It’s my job in editing to weight them out correctly. Every word, rhythm and pause has to have a purpose. There isn’t room for anything that doesn’t serve the design that came from that first creative burst.

There’s great freedom in boundaries like word counts and character limits, even when those boundaries are largely self imposed. After all, I could write a 5,000 word post but that wouldn’t feel as satisfying as saying in 1k (at least to me), just as I wouldn’t want to write an essay in an endless string of tweets. Context and form shape style and voice, even when (or especially when) the influence is a happy accident. Blogging and social media have taught me to say more by writing less. They force me to be efficient, and to figure out ways to say more than what is, strictly speaking, on the page.

#DraftingIsHell

Last week, I tweeted this:

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 4.40.15 PM

I know a lot of writers love drafting – the excitement, the exploration, the sheer creativity of it. I don’t. I hate drafting. In fact, writing first drafts is something I do because I need something to revise and edit. It doesn’t even matter than I outlined this book before I began to draft (for better or worse, I’m a planner). I’m just not happy until I have a mess to clean up.

My comfort is in brevity – flash fiction, short stories, articles and essays. As a writer, I like tight arcs and tiny details. I like snapshots in time, and little human moments that betray universal truths. I’m not good at being thrilling or even entertaining. I have no confidence in my ability to hold a reader’s attention past 5,000 words, which makes longer form fiction territory I need to explore. I have five novels simmering on the back burner, all unrelated, some erotic, some not. Every one of them is a demon I need to address, because I’m tired of being cowed by a word count.

But let’s go back to that whole, I hate drafting thing. This novel that I’m working on, tentatively called The Briary, is the simplest of the bunch, or so I thought. It was meant to be a fun, erotic romp through a Victorian manor house, but it’s turned out to be something else. The problem is that I’m not sure what the something else is, and that uncertainty froze me up.

The wise thing to do would be to keep drafting and not worry about it. Explore. See what happens. But I’m a control freak and that’s easier said than done. Drafting is difficult for me, regardless of length – 500 or 50k, it doesn’t matter. I don’t like finding out how a story ends. I like knowing so I can  figure out how deep it goes.

Pygmalian and Galatea by Jean-Leon Gerome ca. 1890. Image courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pygmalian and Galatea by Jean-Leon Gerome ca. 1890. Image courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

When I was an undergraduate, I took a handful of courses in the classics, and read a lot of Aristotle along the way. In addition to the Poetics, which I think every writer should read if only to understand the foundations of narrative structure, the thing that has most affected my writing was his philosophy of causality and the example commonly used illustrate it – that of a sculptor working in bronze or marble.

Around that same time, I spent many afternoons at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, journaling in the sculpture garden, so this notion of the creative  process being a tangible series of causes and effects wove itself into my subconscious and became fundamental to the way I work. Here are the Four Causes applied to my writing process:

1. Material Cause: Out of what has a thing come?

What’s the germ of the idea? In the case of The Briary, I had originally thought it was just my love of Victorian literature and threesomes (because threesomes are great), but once I began digging into it, I realized that the foundation of this book is a relationship I once had, and my need to work through unfinished business.

2. Formal Cause: What is it?

Could I tell this story, this germ of an idea, as a short? A novella? Fuck me, no. It has to be a novel. Time to get over that fear of running the writing marathon then.

3. Efficient Cause: Who makes it? Who causes the change?

The writer. The artist. The sculptor. As applied to any art, it’s the creator who molds the idea into its proper form. Sculptors have a block of stone to start with, but writers have to create the material they are going to change. Which means drafting. A lot. Fuck me, again.

4. Final Cause: Why? To What purpose?

Why do you create what you create? For writers, this is authorial intent, which is usually a form of communication – the subconscious dialogue between you and whoever receives your work. Do you want to make people think? Feel? Do you want to turn them on? The answer is unique to the writer and the story, but for most writers (though there are exceptions) the writing is, at least in part, done in service to the affect she hopes her work will have.

The Final Cause is what I love most about writing. It’s what drives me happily through multiple edits, because that’s where I uncover what the story wants to say. Many writers are able to find this in drafting, but for some reason I’m not. For some reason, my process is to coax the story open later, once it’s no longer a figurative block of stone.

This is where the sculpting metaphor comes in handy. I can’t sculpt the story out of nothing, so I need an idea, a foundation and a ton of material – what I call narrative clay, for lack of a better word. Writing the initial draft is where the clay comes from. For me, it’s lumpy, messy, chaotic, and yes, full of promise, but also in desperate need of refinement. I get impatient to dig in – I want to find the form hidden inside the lump.

Once I have that great lump of clay, I slough off the mess and slowly uncover the story underneath. This is where I feel like a writer, (whatever that means). This is where I hit my dreamy, natural stride, chiseling away like an archeologist on 12 square inches of Roman wall. Once I can see the thing for what it is, I edit for style, which is totally satisfying in a different way. And when I’m finally done, I have the final cause  – a finished story that will hopefully connect with its reader.

This novel, The Briary, got off to a difficult start. I began it last year, but put it aside several times because of deadlines, work and other obligations. In that time, it became a bogeyman, the symbol of a marathon I didn’t feel I could run. But I am running it now, very slowly, chapter by chapter (because I’m a sprinter so I have to trick myself 5k at a time).

I’m about a third of the way in now and beginning to hit my stride. I still don’t know what this book is going to be, but I need to learn to suck that up like I do with shorter works. I’ll uncover it revisions. Right now, I have to focus on making the clay.

Jade & Malin Talk 50 Shades

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Hello everyone! I’ve got a bit of a departure for you today. Over the week-end my lovely partner in crime and platonic valentine, Jade A. Waters, and I saw The Movie. We got to talking about it over lunch, (of course), and decided that, in the face of so many proper reviews and opinions, we’d skip writing anything truly critical and record an off-the-cuff conversation instead. We meandered, we drifted, we laughed a lot, (we might have even snorted). Most of all, we had a lot of fun making this recording. A few notes before you press play:

1. We went into this with a particular context in mind – that FSoG is a formula romance, and the kink / BDSM elements were going to be geared for a primarily vanilla, mainstream audience. Also, R rating.

2. We tried to consider it through the lens of the audience it’s intended for, (rather than our own erotica writer / kinky person perspective)

3. The most pornographic moment in this film was the opening credits with Christian Grey’s wardrobe. See #1 on context and rating.

4. We get kind of loud at points so apologies if we laugh you out of your earbuds.

5. There are outtakes at the end! Listen on through if you can!

And now, without further ado, Jade and I talk 50 Shades. Thanks for joining us – we hope you enjoy the conversation at least half as much as we did.

xx.M

Kiss Me Like You Mean It

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (c. 1907)

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (c. 1907)

There are kisses, and then there are kisses. Regular, non-italicized kisses are lovely – they say anything from “hello, nice to meet you,” to “I want to fuck you against this wall.” Kisses though…kisses are different.  Kisses get italicized when they’re the culmination of a moment. When they transcend the promise of sex and become whole and complete on their own – fragile, intimate moments that end as inevitably as they begin.

I was once stuck at the airport in Boulder, Colorado. There was a blizzard, (of course), and all flights were canceled for hours. As a result, I found myself at loose ends along with all the other optimistic souls who had scheduled flights through the Rockies in January.

It was late in the evening, so after lurking around uselessly, I went to the only thing still open – an over-dressed bar that didn’t seem to know it was in an airport in Colorado instead of midtown Manhattan. I ordered a gin and tonic and nursed it while I read something or other. I don’t remember what. What I do remember is that someone sat down next to me, ordered a beer and started reading the same book, except that his copy was tattered and falling apart.

We got to talking, as people in airports do, first about the book, which he read once a year, and then more personal things, like the fact that his girlfriend had just broken up with him.

I don’t generally ask strangers personal questions. I don’t like prying, and that night, especially, I didn’t feel like seriously engaging a person I’d never see again. And yet I still asked him why. Why had his girlfriend broken up with him? Something about the hunch of his shoulders coaxed the question out of me.

“She said I never kissed her like I meant it.”

He gave me a wry sort of self-deprecating smile, but it was hollow.

“What were you supposed to mean,” I asked. “That you loved her? Or that you wanted to be kissing her?”

“Both, I think,” he said.

“Did you,” I asked, meeting his eyes, and I realized that I couldn’t see what color they were in the bar’s relentlessly blue light. “Did you kiss her like you meant it?”

“Not enough,” he said. “Not as much as I should.”

I should have ended the conversation there. I didn’t want to be talking to a nice looking guy with a tattered copy of the book I’d gotten for Christmas. I wanted, quite honestly, to stay curled up in my shell. And yet, we had turned on our stools and our knees were nearly touching. My pulse felt heavy and promising in my throat. I was getting drawn in…pulled along by his sadness, which mirrored my own at the time.

Do you want to do this? Are we doing this? Yes, we’re going to do this….

We leaned into each other. His book was sitting on the bar, not quite next to mine. He still hadn’t touched me, but his hand was on the arm of my chair. We were negotiating the inevitable. Drifting, swaying…we kissed, lightly at first, still negotiating.

Are you sure this all right?

Then he cupped my cheek, and suddenly everything was all right. He kissed me because he wanted to. I could feel how much he wanted to in the touch of his tongue, and the jump of his pulse. And then it very gently ended. He smiled and kissed my forehead. I smiled and kissed his cheek. Then he picked up his book and left.

That kiss was an italicized kiss. It unfolded naturally, though it could have been scripted, and ended without a word. A kiss like that can be as intimate as sex, but you have mean it.

What do I mean by “mean it?” Not love. Not necessarily, though love never hurts. What I mean is that you have to want the kiss – not as a preamble to sex, but for its own sake. When I write erotica, it’s easy to forget that I’m not actually writing about sex. I’m writing about intimacy and affinity and connection, (or lack thereof), in the form of sex. It’s those three things that create the life and tension in the act that contains them, whether it’s kissing, fucking, spanking, or the softest touch, (think of that moment when Daniel Day-Lewis unbuttons Michelle Pfeiffer’s glove in The Age of Innocence. That, and the kiss that follows, is heartbreaking and hot).

If I had written that kiss in Boulder as a story I could easily have used the kiss as a prelude to a quickie, but that would have been a mistake. I would have missed the real story – the slow build towards that kiss and the humanity that went into it. The reality is that it ended as it should have, quietly and without a word. No numbers exchanged. No hands on thighs. I never even knew his name. I knew everything that the moment required, and then we let it go.

It was a hell of a kiss.

Romancing the Brit Babes!

Hello, lovelies! I’m over at the Brit Babes blog today talking about erotica, romance and life beyond “happily ever after.” These ladies know erotica, left, right and sideways, (and many other positions, as well), so it was a special treat when the lovely Tabitha Rayne invited me over for the day. Click here to read the whole post, and do check out the rest of their blog. Fair warning though. The Brit Babes know sexy – do try to stay calm. xx.M

bright pink sign in "stay calm" meme.

Image courtesy of http://www.thebritbabes.co.uk/

The Good Stuff

vintage red headed pin up with long legs, garter and typewriter

Pin-up by Gil Elvgren, circa 1945

First off, I have to say that August kicked my ass. Seriously. I still have the boot print August left on my ass, and September’s shaping up to be quite the fighter too. That’s okay though, because so am I.  This is my way of saying that this post is going to contain less in the way of cogent thought, and more in the way of mindless updates. But hey, updates are important too, especially when nice things have been happening.

Nice Thing #1Among the Stars, edited by Lynn Townsend

“The Power of Positive Thinking” is my contribution to the lovely Lynn Townsend‘s forthcoming anthology for Coming Together, Among the Stars. The whole collection is chock full of hot, sci-fi erotica written by authors who kick serious ass. Needless to say, I’m really happy to be have my story included, especially as it’s the first time I’ve tried my hand at science fiction. The story is my take on what might happen if the love child of Han Solo and Jason Stackhouse became a sex slave on a distant planet. The anthology is to benefit a charity for Stills Disease, so I’ll be keeping you posted as it gets closer to release. I love smut for a good cause.

Nice Thing #2 – Best Erotic Romance, 2015, edited by Kristina Wright

There are little goals I set myself when I started writing erotica seriously. One of them was to work with Kristina Wright. Ms. Wright is one of the leading editors in erotic romance right now and, while romance, as a subgenre, isn’t usually where I end up, I wanted to see if I could write an erotically romantic story that both appealed to me and was good enough to appeal to Ms. Wright. So, I wrote a piece called “The Couch” about a married couple who grabs a high-class quickie on a very large couch during an extremely formal cocktail party. I sent it off, not expecting much, so I was thrilled to the point of stupidity when it was accepted for Best Erotic Romance, 2015. The collection isn’t getting released until early 2015, but it’s available for pre-order at Amazon now, so go check it out! I’m even mentioned in the blurb, which made both me and my mother quite proud. 😉

Nice Thing #3: Fencers!

Recently, Sweetmeats Press was lovely enough to solicit a piece from me, (first time that’s happened with fiction), for their upcoming “sport” anthology. Outside of being a dedicated runner, I’m not what you’d call a sporty gal, but I do love fencing, so… if mind games, D/s and sweaty mean with swords are your sort of thing, you’re going to enjoy this one. It’s called “The Master” and it will be joining stories by Lexie Bay, Emerald and several other excellent authors in what’s looking to be another fabulous collection from Kojo Black. Of course, the release isn’t til 2015, but I’m excited so there it is. Details coming as I have them!

Nice Thing #4: Rose Caraway and The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica Book Tour

I love it when I read something that makes me so happy that I lose my cool and act like an idiot fan girl about it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, that book’s got me for life. That is exactly what happened with Rose Caraway‘s first print anthology, The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica. I’m going to rein myself in now, because I’m having Ms. Caraway on my blog later this month to talk about it, but let’s just say that this one is going on my permanent shelf, which is why I was so damn tickled when the sexy librarian invited Jade A. Waters, Lily K. Cho and myself to participate in the tour as readers.

The book tour was launched at the antique vibrator museum at the Polk St. location of San Francisco’s premier sex toy store, Good Vibrations. If you’d like to see details and pictures, click here to read Ms. Caraway’s after action report. It was a hell of a good time with a hell of a group of people, and that Ms. Caraway is one of the most genuine human beings I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting, which is why I’m so excited to be reading at one more event!

So, if you’re in the Bay Area and can make it to Books, Inc. on Castro St. on Wednesday, September 24th at 7:30p, come on down and here a selection from some of the best erotica in print! Or, you can click here to see a list of other events in the tour.

There’s more–adventures in strip clubs, stories about aphrodisiac chocolates and upcoming collections that I’m chomping at the bit to reveal, (all I’m going to say for now is Rose Caraway and Violet Blue),–but I’m going to cut myself off there and save all of that for another post. Suffice to say, good things are happening and I’m damn grateful. In the meantime, thanks for hanging out with me. I’ll try to keep the good stuff coming. xx.M

PS – I can’t end a post about good stuff without mentioning Pillow Talk, my partnership with two amazing authors, Tamsin Flowers and Jade A. Waters. We recently did a session on promiscuity in heroines and reader expectation in erotica vs. erotic romance. It was great conversation and I loved discussing the subject with these ladies, whom I’m so lucky to call friends. To check out the head on over to the Pillow Talk website or sign up for our newsletter. And keep your eyes peeled–we have more coming up.

Pillow Talk Secrets: She’s a One Man Woman – But Does She Have to Be?

Hello everyone! It’s time another installment of Pillow Talk Secrets in which Jade A. Waters, Tamsin Flowers and I chat about erotica, writing and sex. This time around, Tamsin is our host for a discussion on why, in mainstream erotica, a heroine must often be justified in sleeping with multiple partners or risk be considered unsympathetic. It’s a knotty question, and it was a great deal of fun to tackle with these ladies. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation below. I hope you enjoy… xx.M

Pillow Talk Secrets

 

Tamsin: Hello, girls. Nice to see you!

Jade: You as well! How are you?

T: Great!

Malin: Hi ladies! I’m here!

T: Hello, gorgeous!

M: Ah, now this is how I want to start a day – chatting with the two of you. Nothing tops it.

J: So true! Now, who’s leading us today?

M: Our lovely, Tamsin, I believe! And I think she’s got something really interesting in mind.

J: Bring it, T!

T: Okay, I’m going to launch us straight in to today’s topic: Is it all right for the heroine of your book to sleep with more than one partner? This is a question that’s been batting around my brain for quite some time now. As you two know, I’ve just finished the first draft of my sexy spy thriller, Honeytrap, and my heroine certainly gets called upon to cosy up with the villains as well as the good guys. But I remembered reading somewhere that it’s a big no-no to readers if the heroine sleeps with multiple partners. How would you two handle this dilemma?

M: So, I have a couple of thoughts right off the top of my head. The first is that context is probably critical – how and why is she sleeping with multiple partners seems to make quite a difference in how readers respond… What do you think, Jade?

J: I agree. There are so many variations here – is she a free bird, is she cheating, is she in a negotiated polyamorous situation? Maybe we should focus on one at a time.

T: Ooh! Free bird is a new expression for me. I like that!

Why should she choose between them?

Why should she choose between them?

J: I just made that up. 🙂

M: I love it! Interestingly, I think the free bird scenario is the trickiest for writers. There’s still  surprising amount stigma attached to a female character who sleeps with multiple partners for no other reason than she wants to. Her own desire might be perfectly valid justification, but that doesn’t seem to settle well with readers in general. It’s a real shame, actually. There’s a lot in that restriction that doesn’t sit well with me.

J: I think that’s still, sadly, largely due to the real life cultural view on women having multiple partners – and it translates directly into people’s reading.

T: And this is where the question is interesting. Obviously, if someone buys a menage story, they’re expecting multiple partners. But there seems to be a real move in the market towards erotic romance rather than plain erotica at the moment – and with it comes a demand for the heroine to be, how shall I put it, better behaved or in lurve!

To read the rest, click here!

On Prowess

Leopard Staring by Nick Brandt. 2010. Image courtesy www.faheykleingallery.com

Leopard Staring by Nick Brandt. 2010. Image courtesy www.faheykleingallery.com

This is a much more confessional piece than I normally write, but I feel that, as with most of my writing, my sexuality is inherently tied to my work, so I’m calling this fair game. Consider yourself warned, (she said, cautioning her cagey self far more than you).

Every now and then, I realize I’m wired a bit differently, (though I am, by no means, unique). Occasionally I see myself from the outside and literally think, huh. That’s kind of weird. Those moments don’t happen often, but when they do, they make me think. Recently, I had one of those realizations.

You see, I love prowess. I love prowess in all things–athletics, the arts, intellectual pursuits–but I love sexual prowess most of all. I love it so much, I’ll say it again. I LOVE sexual prowess.

Well, of course, you might be thinking–who doesn’t love sexual prowess? Sexual prowess is great, especially when you’re on the receiving end. This is where my realization comes in. While I do love being on the receiving end of sexual prowess, (because really, who the doesn’t?), I also love watching someone I’m involved with exercise their prowess. In other words, I love watching a lover successfully seduce someone else.

I suspect this goes back to one relationship in particular. When I was in my mid-twenties, I was involved with a man who owned his prowess. He owned himself, and that gave him a magnetism that was difficult to ignore. We used to sit bars, sip Johnny Walker Black, and play a game…well, not really a game. It was more of a wink and a nod, fueled by the fact that we each loved watching each other seduce a pretty someone. Sometimes we’d bring that someone else home with us, but more often than not, we didn’t. The point was to see if we could. The end result was secondary, because regardless of who did, (or did not), end up in the bed, we would go back to his place and fuck, fueled by the charge we both got from watching each other in action.

Side Note: This is the answer to the question, how do two dominants make sex work? (Aside from very well, thanks). The answer is, they hunt together. There are many other answers, of course. This is just one of the answers that has always worked for me. But back to the issue….

My relationship with this man was unlike anything I’d experienced up to that point, and it seeded in me a love of something that, in many people, results in jealousy. I’m a voyeur to begin with, but when you add to that watching a man I’m involved with exert his dominance over someone else–whether in a purely top/bottom situation, or in a far more openly sexual way–it’s like catnip to me. He will have my attention and keep it as surely as ice cubes melt in gin. And the converse is also true. I love it when my partner responds to and appreciates my predatory instincts not with jealousy but with insatiability*. That response is, in and of itself, a turn on.

Since that first relationship, I’ve had a handful of partners who shared my love of prowess, but whether it’s watching my partner exercise his dominance over another, (“how many clothespins is she wearing?”) or my partner acting as an extension of my will, (“that pretty girl there. See how far you can get.”), it’s the shared experience–the mutual enjoyment–that creates the turn-on. In a way, it’s the acknowledgment of an affinity more than anything else that keeps that craving alive.

Which is why my head was turned by a lovely recounting of sexual prowess that in no way involved me. I like knowing that my partner can make a woman, (or man), want him, (or her), to distraction. I like witnessing it, even if only after the fact. It’s an entirely different sort of pleasure than being with that person myself. It’s the pleasure of the watcher, and while that isn’t to everyone’s taste, it’s tailor made to mine.

*NB 9/21/15: While I still agree with myself, something in my perspective has shifted on this point, or rather, I’m aware of a nuance that I wasn’t aware of before. Will very likely follow this up with another post.

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