Wednesday, 21 December 2011

What's the Big Deal with "Work it"?

As a rule, I tend to stay away from the politics of gender, but the fuss surrounding ABC's new "Work It" sitcom has me somewhat perplexed. Granted, nobody has actually seen an episode yet, but the premise itself suggest another poorly scripted 80s throwback sitcom that would likely have failed quickly, and then faded into obscurity after an episode or two.

Efforts to stop the show, however, have provided it with the kind of widespread media exposure that most shows would kill for. Check out the full-page ad GLAAD and HRC placed in Daily Variety:

Where my problem begins is with the premise of the show itself. Like Bosom Buddies (the 80s sitcom that launched Tom Hank's career), it's a sitcom about two men who decide to dress as women in order to get a job. They're not drag queens, they're not genderqueer, they're not transvestites, and they're not transsexuals. They are opportunistic scam artists who chose to adopt a costume . . . an obvious disguise.

From what I've read of the premise, these characters are portraying themselves as 100% natural women, and their coworkers completely buy the deception. These characters are NOT transgender, and are not trying to pass themselves off AS transgender. As a TV nation, Americans and Canadians may have atrocious taste, but I really do believe the majority of viewers are smart enough to make the distinction.

As somebody who proudly identifies as genderqueer, I would never EVER laugh at the difficulties faced by my transgender sisters and brothers, but I do get a few chuckles out of sitcom absurdity - recent case in point being when the Big Bang Theory gang dressed in superheroine drag after losing a bet. Honestly, I dare you to look at Sheldon awkwardly dressed as Wonder Woman, or Raj vamping it up as Catwoman, and not laugh . . . and I don't feel the least bit insensitive for doing so.

It all comes down to intent versus content, and to context versus subtext. I don't think people are any more likely to mistake the characters in "Work It" as transgender than they are to do the same with Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill) or the Wayans Brothers (White Chicks).

When it comes to politics, especially gender politics, you have to pick your battles. I just happen to think there are better ones to fight than this one.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Bayba Set by Roberto Baldazzini (Part 1)

Maybe it's the constant staring at the computer, working on press releases and proposals all day in the office, and then working on my novel all night at home. Then again, maybe it's just e-reader backlash, and a desperate attempt by my senses to once again experience the thrill of glossy a paper and the heft of a real book.

Whatever the reason, I went on a bit of a shopping spree last week, ordering copies of The Bayba Set by Roberto Baldazzini, Pretty Face, Vol. 1 by Yasuhiro Kano, Boy Princess Vol. 1 by Seyoung Kim, Click Volume 1 by Youngran Lee, and Kashimashi Omnibus vol. 1 by Satoru Akahori.

The good postal fairy delivered this afternoon. :)

Just because it's big, bold, and colourful, I decided to start by reading Domina in Red, the first of the 2 books in The Bayba Set. What a curious tale . . . not at all what I expected . . . yet somehow more delightful for it.

Basically, this is the tale of a young submissive shemale breaking into the world of porn. She's partnered with another shemale by the name of Red Domina, who has a hard time getting an erection (pun intended), and who speaks with a deliberate lisp. Maybe it's just the translation, but the imagery leads me to suggest she really is designed to be a rather lightweight domina, tentative, anxious, and really quite needy.

Bayba, on the other hand, is a submissive little whore - and proud of it! The more she's used, abused, tortured, and humiliated, the more she loves it. The best part of the book is the flashback to her early days as a sissy, and her discovery by the woman whose house she cleaned. There was some real domination there, and even a suggestion of forced coercion one her husband stepped in.

Along with the porno shoot storyline, there's also a developing romance that seems to end poorly when Bayba catches Red Domina giving up her ass to the producer, who loves it so much he promises to make her he star. The final panel redeems it all, however, when the humiliation leaves Bayba writhing on the floor and cumming all over herself.

The narrative is a little weak, and the dialogue awkward (especially Red's lisp), but the book looks gorgeous. The colours are stark (reds, browns, blacks, and fleshtones), and the whole thing has a vibrant, yet almost washed out look that adds to the atmosphere. The bondage situations into which Bayba gets put are glorious in their intricacies, and Red always looks stunning in her red latex. The pig-faced men are a bit strange, to be sure, but I'm guessing that's a trademark of Baldazzini's work.

All in all, a nice little graphic novel. I'm looking forward to giving the 2nd volume, Lady Brown, a read next.


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Importance of Back Story

As I sit here working through the final hardcopy edits of my Prayers of Perversion novella, I'm amazed by how much much of an impact the inclusion of a little back story can have, and by how much it can transform a story.

In hindsight, the original draft was a flat, linear narrative that introduced a pair of characters, took them through various events, and left them in a different place. It works fine as a sexual fantasy - which is how the story began - but it's somewhat lacking as a proper novella. It didn't strike me at the time of writing it, but without any back story for the characters, there's no significance to anything that happens. Without any significance, there's no hook (emotional or intellectual) to engage the reader. You can skim through the story, skip the narrative bits, read the erotic bits, and not really have the experience suffer.

It's actually kind of embarrassing to note, but I'll take solace in the fact that owning up to it is making me a better writer - or so my beta readers keep assuring me - and that addressing that weakness has resulted in a story of which I can be proud, rather than just satisfied.

Take a look at the 2 drafts of the same scene below:


Just then, he saw her. There was a sea of people between them, and he didn't even get a good look, but she had captured his soul just the same. Forgetting the fruitless job-hunting, he dropped the envelope of resumes from his suddenly-sweaty hand and made a beeline through the crowd.
"Hey, watch it!"
"Use some friggin' manners!"
"Where's the fire, asshole?"
His mind and body locked on one goal -- reaching her -- Paul neither heard nor felt the people into whom he was crashing. Plowing through the mass of early Christmas shoppers, he took the bumps and shoves in stride, not caring who got in his way. The level of his obsession was kind of frightening, but too powerful too resist.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, he found her.
Standing just inside the jewellery store, she seemed to somehow stand apart from everyone around her. The strange woman stood a little more than six feet tall, with a perfect body that couldn’t have possessed more than an ounce of fat. Slim, sexy legs gave way to a narrow waist, which blossomed into a spectacular, natural bustline that the greatest plastic surgeon couldn't hope to duplicate.
Awestruck, Paul could only whisper "Who are you?" from afar. Certain that he could never approach such an enchanted creature, he nevertheless screwed up his courage and took those final steps.
That was when he saw her.
There was a sea of people between them, and he didn't even get a good look, but it was her. He knew it. Her face, her hair, her figure, her very posture confirmed it. It didn’t matter that he’d never met her in person.
Fifteen years ago, long before he’d met his wife, she had been his dearest friend. Together, they had virtually encouraged the expression of each other’s femininity. It was she who had taught him how to apply lipstick, and he who taught her how to disguise a run in her hose; she who taught him how to adjust his bra straps to create the illusion of enhanced cleavage; and he who taught her the awkward art of tucking.
For years, she had been the only witness, other than the mirror, to the expression of his femininity. She had accepted and encouraged him, taking the time to help him develop, even as she struggled to finance her own transformation. That commitment was what initially set them, and ultimately kept them, apart.
He’d had his chance to be with her – more importantly, to be himself with her – but his cowardice had doomed him. She had wanted him to run away with her to Hollywood, just a pair of girls having fun with their lives, while she pursued her dreams of being an adult film star. As tempting as the idea was, he just couldn’t do it. He’d had plenty of excuses, most of them as transparent as they were lame, but she’d never called him on a single one.
Instead, she left him with the ultimatum that severed their friendship. Cut off and cast adrift, he had regretted that cowardice every day since, even as he looked up to her more than ever. For the next few years, right up to the night of his marriage, she had continued to encourage him from afar. Although they never talked again, no matter how life would bring him down, or how unfeminine he might be feeling, he had always been able to look to her as an example of what a braver woman might aspire to.
She was his transsexual goddess of transformation. More than that, as clichéd as he knew the thought might be, she was also his destiny.
Paul dropped everything – which, admittedly, wasn’t much more than an envelope full of creased resumes – and made a beeline for her through the crowd.
"Hey, watch it!"
"Use some fucking manners!"
"Where's the fire, asshole?"
He was focused on a single goal – reaching her before she disappeared for another fifteen years. He neither heard nor felt the people into whom he was crashing, even when a few boyfriends and husbands looked ready to drop him with a well-aimed fist. He ploughed through the mass of shoppers and took the bumps and shoves in stride, not caring who got in his way. If he’d stopped to think about it, the intensity of his obsession would have been frightening, but it was also too powerful too resist.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, he had found her.
It meant something. It just had to.
He wasn’t willing to accept anything less.
Standing a few feet inside the jewellery store, she seemed to somehow stand apart from everyone around her. As he approached, Paul realised his heart was racing, his throat was dry, and his hands were shaking. He was actually taken aback for a moment when he realised she was dressed like your average, ordinary housewife – assuming, of course, that your average, ordinary housewife came equipped with a 42 DD chest, 27 inch waist, and 38 inch hips – but he knew it was her.
He was completely awestruck by her. She was his destiny. He just knew it. Everything that had happened over the last fifteen years had been orchestrated to rectify his mistake and bring him back to her.
Fate had demanded its price, and how it was ready to give him a second chance.
Not only is it better written (I hope!), but the revised scene carries so much more weight, and has so much more significance for both characters. The original scene came just 377 words into the story, while the revised scene is preceded by five time as much set-up and back story. In this new draft, Paul is transformed into a far more sympathetic character, while his Goddess actually becomes a character, as opposed to just a stock icon in some female domination fantasy.

I know it's hard to judge from just a snippet, but for those friends who remember the original, I hope this gives you a glimpse into how much the story has grown. For those of you just stumbling across my little blog . . . well, I hope it whets your appetite for the finished product!


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A Change in Our Marriage by Sara Desmarais

I’m not sure there’s any such thing as the perfect erotic novel, but Sara Desmarais comes damn close with A Change in Our Marriage. I can’t say enough good things about this read – it aroused me, amused me, intrigued me, and delighted me with every virtual turn of the page. It’s clear that a great deal of thought went into this book, both in terms of plot and theme, which is a level of professionalism we see all too rarely in electronic publishing.

Nearly all of my favourite fetishes are explored here: cuckolding, forced feminization, female domination, humiliation, mind control, pegging, cum-eating, and forced bisexuality. What makes it all work so well is the way in which Sara so careful develops the psychological coercion, alongside the physical domination.

Right from the start, Sara manipulates John into heading down the path she has chosen for their relationship. He thinks she’s stumbled onto his cuckolding fetish, and is so wracked by guilt that he’ll do anything to appease her rage. When we discover that it’s actually Sara who secretly turned him onto the fetish, carefully setting him up so that she can pursue her own twisted fetish . . . well, let’s just say my mind wasn’t the only thing that was blown.

Sara is in complete control every step of the way, but succeeds in breaking John’s spirit by granting him the illusion of control. Time and time again she leads him down the path of temptation, putting ideas into his head, and then teasing him to the edge of arousal, before suddenly turning the tables and forcing him to make a decision. She gives him the chance to either take things further, or to back out entirely, but always does so in such a way that there’s really no choice but to go forward. Sara gets inside his head, using the threat of post-arousal humiliations to make him readily accept them while still aroused and open to enjoying them.

For me, the turning point in the novel came rather late, with a bit of enforced role playing. Sara turns her bedroom into a brothel, her hubby into a whore, and herself into the well-hung stud she’s been cuckolding him with. As Steve, she not only physically reinforces their new roles (violating Julie orally and anally with her strap-on dildo), but she talks about their relationship from the bull’s point of view, reminding John of who he is and what he’s allowed his wife to do. It’s the first time she really treats Julie as a complete woman, and the first time she forces her hubby to be completely lost in the illusion of pleasing a man.

This is a read that’s as emotionally powerful as it is exhausting. Slowly and inevitably, John (a slightly submissive hubby with a bit of a transvestite fetish) is transformed into Julie (a caged cuckold with a hormonally-induced borderline transsexual condition). The gender roles in the relationship are slowly reversed, with Sara continually reinforcing Julie’s femininity. For me, that respect was the key to the whole story – she never treats him as a sissy, never mocks his submissive femininity, and never treats him as if he’s gay. Instead, she nurtures the woman hidden inside him, making it entirely natural and acceptable for him to desire a man (not another man, but simply a man). There’s definitely some question as to how much of Julie’s transformation is born of her own hidden desire, and how much is the result of Sara’s careful manipulation, but eventually it all blends together.

Finally, what puts the book over the top is the fact that Sara and John/Julie never lose their love for one another. Rather than looking to escape the relationship or destroy her husband, Sara is looking to adjust their relationship so that it can accommodate her sexual needs. Not just an arousing, amusing, intriguing, and delightful read, but a respectful and empowering one as well.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Some recent reads and reviews . . .

Mommy's Little Helper by Sinder Stone
Darker than I expected, this is a story that rides a gloriously taboo wave of sexuality. The affair between Mommy and her strapping young step-son may not be biologically incestuous, but it's as close as you can get without a blood relationship. The fact he's been spying on his parents' sexual adventures for years, imagining himself in his father's place, is definitely a bit creepy . . . but also incredibly sexy.

What puts this story over the top, however, is the creative (and realistic) use of bdsm elements. No, Mommy doesn't suddenly become the perfect closeted Mistress, but she does effectively dominate her little helper (at his insistence), complete with some face-sitting, pegging, and fun with restraints. Not only is he a willing participant, but he's the instigator of the affair, and only too happy to be used the same way his father was.

As for the darker elements . . . there's a hint that Daddy may have done something horrible to his first wife, and a very strong suggestion at the end that his son may be just as ruthless. It should cast a pall over the story, but it's handled so well that it actually enhances the taboo eroticism.


The Pegging Princess Diaries: Volume One by Lusha Lovelace
A very quick, very short read . . . more a fantasy scene than a complete story. Hot and exciting, though, with some nicely detailed foreplay leading up to hubby's first pegging. It's definitely a nice twist to have such a story written from the perspective of the curious wife, especially when it begins with her embarrassment, but it does prevent us from really getting inside the reluctantly submissive hubby's head.

I'm curious to see if Ms Lovelace has any plans to continue the story, taking it beyond breakfast table fantasy and into the bedroom. I'd love to see how her fantasy plays out in reality, especially since it clearly arouses her so. I suspect hubby would be even more reluctant than in her fantasy, but I think that could be a heck of a lot of fun to explore.


Down the Basement by Ryan Field
Oh my . . . what a gloriously hot read! Rush may not consider himself to be a cross-dresser, but he definitely knows how to put together and outfit and present himself as convincingly female. The thrill of passing comes across wonderfully, emphasized by his uncertainty and fear of being exposed. There's a definite danger in allowing himself to be led down to the basement with three hunky guys, but you absolutely cannot blame him for giving in to the temptation. I know I would!

It's the revelation of Kadin's intentions, however, that push this read over the top. I so wanted to be there in Rush's place, bent backwards over a couch, with a man at either end - one of who believes he is taking oral advantage of a hot sorority girl, and the other of whom knows he's taking anal advantage of a cute boy who dare not resist. Kadin takes him hard and fast, but clearly know as much about what he's doing as he does about Rush's secret. When our first-time cross-dresser experiences his first no-touch orgasm . . . wow!

I've already bought Santa Saturday and can't wait to revisit the boys!


Prison Boy Toy by Cain Berlinger
As much as the blurb turned me on (If the worst man in the prison wants him for a toy, at least the others will leave him alone, right?), I'm afraid the brutal violence and distasteful nature of the humiliation (scat & urine) forced me to keep my distance. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore a forceful man and don't mind the suggestion of being taken against your will, but the brutality went beyond sexual coercion and into pure sadism. It's probably more realistic than most prison fantasies, but I guess I'm just not aroused by realism.

While the writing was solid, and the power exchange between the two prisoners was well-played (with a nice twist at the end), it just pushed too many of the wrong buttons for me.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Natural Harvest - A Collection of Semen-Based Recipes

If you had ever told me that I’d be reviewing a cookbook, I would have said you were crazy. My genderqueer nature seems to lend itself to culinary extremes, with a slightly chilled glass of red wine and a nice peppercorn steak on the one end, and an ice-cold glass of Dr. Pepper (fountain only, please, and slightly flat) and a plate of chicken wings on the other. There’s a wide gap in between, and I’m just not one to fill it by experimenting with new tastes.

Besides, when a friend dropped Natural Harvest in my lap, I thought it was a joke. I mean, really, a collection of semen-based recipes? The very concept seemed absurd, if it was a joke . . . and unimaginably exciting, if it wasn’t.

Paul starts off by making a good point – if you look at civilized cultures around the world, we do eat a lot of very odd things on a regular basis. From rotten fish in Sweden, to blood sausage in Great Britain, to bovine mammary secretions (milk) in North America, we don’t even think about what we’re eating. Comparatively speaking, semen is not that unusual, and has the added benefit of being nutritious, cheap to produce, and readily available.

Over the past 2 week’s I’ve tried several of the recipes in the book. Even as a polyamorous lover with an admitted cum-fetish, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how wonderful some of the recipes tasted. For the sake of experimentation, I tried them both with and without the semen, and I can honestly say there was a palatable difference, although the taste was not at all what I expected. In a sense, semen seems a bit like tofu – the taste varies widely by both the donor’s diet, and by the ingredients with which it’s mixed.

As far as Drinks go (Chapter 1), I loved the Almost White Russian and the Irish Coffee with Extra Cream may just become a breakfast staple. In terms of Appetizers (Chapter 2), the Grilled & Glazed Salmon was quite good although I will admit to a few substitutions (haddock for salmon) and a few omissions (soy sauce and mustard). When it comes to the Main Courses (Chapter 3), the Roasted Lamb with Good Gravy was just wonderful, and the Chicken Soup was as much fun to eat as it was to make.

I almost skipped over the Sauces (Chapter 4), figuring they were kind of no-brainers, but the Special ‘S’ BBQ Sauce is the most amazing thing I have ever tasted! If there were one recipe in the book that I’d love help with making in bulk, it is that one! Surprisingly, the Deserts (Chapter 5) didn’t appeal to me as much as I expected, but Cum Crème Caramel was absolutely succulent, and I have a friend coming over tonight to help me make the Chocolate Truffles with White Creamy Centers.

I’ve always joked with my lovers about semen being a nutritious snack, but I was quite surprised to find out just how true that is. If you’re at all sceptical about concept of Natural Harvest, consider this – as Paul points out in the back of the book, semen actually meets the criteria for a low-carb food, complete with a healthy dose of zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and even vitamin B12.

Not only that, but it’s a lot more fun to collect than grocery shopping could ever be!


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Procrastination, Alliteration, and Distraction

Procrastination, Alliteration, and Distraction . . . my three deadliest sins.

At the moment I have four projects on the go, at least one of which I really want done and published prior to the winter holidays. It'd be so much easier if I could just stick with one project, but I keep jumping around as inspiration strikes.

The first is a novella-length BDSM tale, tentatively titled Faithfully Feminized Prayers of Perversion. It's the story of two teenage cross-dressers who, after 15 years apart, are accidentally reunited. One is coming off of a bitter divorce, having spent those years struggling with the closet, while the other left the closet behind long ago, having become a very successful transsexual model/actress and escort. She agrees to take him under her wing, to complete the transformation he once lacked the courage to embrace, but only if he is willing to surrender to her completely . . . and to help her take revenge on the crooked, deviant, high-profile televangelist who is buried at the heart of each of their darkest moments.

On the one hand, you'd think that would be an easy title to knock off, since it's an update of a novella I published a very long time ago under a mail-order fetish imprint. On the other hand, I see so much potential beneath the surface, so many opportunities to turn a 'good' story into a 'great' one, that I can't resit thoroughly reworking it. The new version is coming along very well, and is substantially different in content, yet still retains the tone and personality of the original. There's more back-story for all of the characters involved, more page-time for the secondary characters who unknowingly drive the primary transformation, and a stronger exploration of the two primary themes.

The second is a novella-length piece of cum-fetish erotica featuring a genderqueer protagonist. Tentatively titled Black-Bred Momma's Boi, it intentionally plays to the expected cliches - or so it appears. The real fun of it is in queering those cliches (and the reader's expectations). This is not the typical story of a woman who becomes a whore for black cock, but about her virginal genderqueer son, who chooses to follow in Momma's footsteps. I had published rough drafts of the first two instalments online, and the response was so overwhelmingly positive that I decided to flesh out all five instalments, add more narrative around the erotica, and pull it all together into a cohesive story, complete with a new motivation for the main character that hadn't originally occurred to me. What was originally just an excuse to get covered in cum has become a surprisingly sweet (and incredibly sexy) coming-of-age story that celebrates a mother's wholehearted acceptance of her child's gender and sexuality.

Next is a new short-story, tentatively titled Genderqueer Gokkun. As you might expect from the title, it's about a genderqueer character who, on a whim, chooses to attend the casting call for a new bukkake/gokkun movie being filmed in an abandoned strip-club. To say any more would be to ruin the story, but I'm having a lot of fun with both the atmosphere of the place, the contrast of the bright lights and broken down stage, and the erotic exploration of a fully-clothed, exquisitely feminized, soon-to-be porn-star.

Last, but most certainly not least, is a novella called Cosmic Candy Coating. While this is the project that's furthest from completion, it's also the one that I'm most excited about at the moment. It's an erotic sci-fi tale of alien abduction, featuring a straight male protagonist (shocking, I know) and the hermaphroditic captors who want to breed him (you knew the gender element was coming somewhere). The aliens are deliciously peculiar, as is their hidden role in human history. I'm cautious of saying too much more at this point, as there's a lot of development to go, but I am really having fun with the candy.

Since setting my own goals and deadlines doesn't seem to have much of an impact, I'm hoping a public declaration will do more to keep me on track. I guess time will tell . . .


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was first set aside 13 years ago to memorialize those friends and loved ones murdered out of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held every November, in honor of Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 prompted the first vigil. Sadly, her case has yet to be solved.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten, and reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers.

It would be lovely if this could be the last Transgender Day of Remembrance, but unlikely. So, please, join me in taking a moment to quietly reflect, and to remember those lost.

 A list (far too long) of those lost in 2011 can be found at Memorializing – 2011 while a list of public vigils and events (far too short) can be found at TDoR Events and Locations 2011.


Friday, 18 November 2011

The Forbidden Fantasy of Being Forced

I am proudly genderqueer, entirely comfortable with my pansexuality, and what I like to call 'naturally' submissive. There may be a lot I haven't done in life sexually, but there's not a lot I wouldn't try, given the opportunity. With no social or religious hangups to restrain me, I am as open to the idea of pleasure, in all its forms, as a human being can possibly be.

Despite that, I still find a great deal of pleasure in stories of forced sexual acts and reluctant participants. 

Forced feminization has always been a major fantasy for me, dating back to the days when a painted baby toenail on each foot and slightly longer hair were as 'out' as I was comfortable being with my gender diversity. Similarly, fantasies of being pegged by a woman (usually an older woman) with a strap-on dildo, and of being forced to suck a man's cock (usually after being forcibly feminized) were always a guilty pleasure. After I started dating, those fantasies got even stronger, and when I discovered the concept of cuckolding . . . well, the fantasy suddenly included being forced to eat a man's cum from my date's pussy, after she forcibly feminized me, and before she pegged me at one end while she forced me to suck his cock at the other.

I voluntarily (and publicly) feminize myself every day, yet I still crave the fantasy of forced feminization. I absolutely love anal play, and will gladly do the deed to myself (a plus-sized harness fits a dining room chair very well), but I still dream about being pegged against my will. At this point in my life I've probably had as many boyfriends as girlfriends, and yet I still get all tingly when I think of being ambushed at the gym and forced to deepthroat the guys in the shower. And, as odd as it may sound to some people, I am completely fascinated by the taste/texture/smell/feel of cum, but the fantasy of being forced to eat it remains as powerful today as it was so many years ago.

So why is it I still find so much pleasure in the fantasy of being forced?

If you're expecting some mind-blowing revelation, or clinical diagnosis, then I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. The fact of the matter is, I don't know . . . and I'm not sure I really care to know. It may have something to do with being naturally submissive, or it may have something to do with some lingering subconscious taboo of my youth.

I suspect it has something to do with the removal of responsibility, the denial of accountability. With the illusion of choice taken away, any sense of guilt, shame, or even embarrassment goes with it. Even when you're willing (hungry even) for the fantasy, being forced to endure it is like being granted permission to enjoy it. Then again, for all I know, it may simply be a fetish on its own, and being forced to clap my hands and turn in a circle may be just as arousing as being forced to clean out a date's used condoms.

As I've been looking over my old fiction, pulling some favourites together to publish a collection, it struck me just how much of my fiction deals with themes of being forced. Lately, my work has focused more on themes of being a slut, of being openly promiscuous and perverse, but the appeal of being forced is definitely still there.

I want to be forced - could there possibly be a more exciting contradiction?


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

An Homage to the Ladies of Nexus Publishing

Nexus was a line of erotic fiction from Virgin Publishing that originated in the UK in the mid-to-late 90s. The covers all had a very distinctive look, either white or black, and dominated by a fetish-attired model (or two, or three), often in some sort of bondage. The oval Nexus logo was always found in the bottom corner, while the italicized title appeared along the top, just above the much-smaller author’s name.


These were my first exposure to the realm of erotic reading, not to mention the books that first inspired me to try my hand at writing erotica. It was through Nexus that I discovered the likes of Lisette Ashton, Yolanda Celbridge, Arabella Knight, Aishling Morgan, Jennifer Jane Pope, Christina Shelly, and Wendy Swanscombe. I actually had the great pleasure of becoming online friends with Ms Pope and Ms Shelly over the years, getting a sneak-peak at a few of their titles, as well as some valuable advice on getting my own work out there. Even now, years later, those conversations still resonate within me.

Having only been exposed to the very vanilla, very heterosexual, very male-dominated world of newsstand magazines like Playboy, Penthouse, Club, Hustler, and Swank (most of which were heavily censored with big black dots for most of my youth), these novels were eye-openers for me. They called to me, spoke to something deep inside me, and awakened an awareness of what it was I’d been trying for so long to define. In the pages of the Nexus line it was okay for men to be submissive to women, to dress in sexy lingerie, to be physically transformed by women, and to be ‘forced’ to please other men.

Suddenly, gender was no longer restricted to the male/female binary, and sexuality was no longer limited to gay/straight. As a reader who identified as genderqueer (even if I didn’t have a name for it at the time), I discovered something in the sissies and the shemales of the Nexus line that spoke to me. These were not just men who liked to dress like women, or who wished to become women. Instead, these were sexual creatures of a third, middle, blended gender. These were characters who were who were happy to be something other, content to be something different. They weren’t waiting for some gender transformation or metamorphosis – they were already complete, just as they were.

Through these authors and these characters (who so closely and gloriously resembled myself), I found an early form of acceptance that still resonates with me today.

As I work through the final draft of what I had once hoped would be my debut Nexus novel, I can’t help but mourn the lost opportunity to join the ranks of Lisette, Yolanda, Arabella, Aishling, Jennifer, Christina, and Wendy. It’s been several years since Virgin last published any titles under the Nexus banner, and the imprint no longer even appears on their site. While I look forward to joining those wonderful ladies in finding new life under new publishers, it will never be quite the same without that eye-catching cover.


Friday, 11 November 2011

Hello . . . and welcome to my genderqueer world!

I've been planning to launch this blog for months now, but never quite knew where to begin. I knew I wanted to create a home for my genderqueer thoughts and expressions . . . a place to share my explorations of the glorious realm between the gender binaries of male and female. I also knew I wanted place to share some snippets of my writing, and to showcase my (soon-to-be) published work.

As I was arranging my new friends upon my desk this morning, it suddenly hit me - why not begin at the beginning? Not literally, of course, but my smile this morning has a lot to do with my earliest memories of being genderqueer, which gives me that perfect reason to post.

Before I get started, however, please allow me to introduce you to Rarity and the Twinkleshine sisters, the proudest & prettiest additions to my unicorn collection (from the My Little Pony universe).

I absolutely love unicorns. I always have. When the other boys at school were playing with dragons and dinosaurs, I was playing with unicorns. There's just something so magical about them, a perfect balance of pretty and powerful that appealed to me on the deepest level - and still does.

There's a common stereotype about transgender children - those who identify with a gender opposite their own - being obsessed with mermaids. Apparently, or so the theory goes, it's because the ambiguous genitalia (nothing below the waist but a tail) is supposedly appealing to a child who isn't comfortable with what's between their own legs. I've never understood that, and certainly never shared the fascination. After all, when I was a child, genitalia was the furthest thing from my mind. Yes, I knew boys and girls were different down there, but that wasn't a visible difference.

There's another (less common) stereotype that genderqueer or androgynous children - those who see themselves as either both genders or neither - are obsessed with unicorns. It doesn't get as much press, probably because it confronts (rather than disguises) sexuality, but the theory there is that it's the visible blending of genders (a female horse with a male phallic symbol upon her head) that is appealing. It's no less awkward a theory than the one about mermaids but, as an adult, I can definitely see and appreciate that attraction.

If I had a dollar for every fantasy that involved being penetrated by a unicorn's horn and magically transformed by the experience, I'd be rich!

All theories and stereotypes aside, however, it was my love for unicorns that first marked me as different. It's the first memory I have of queering away from the gender binary, and one that remains special and precious to me today. Even when I'm in the office, trapped in the masculinity of a suit-and-tie (albeit, softened with the femininity of a woman's blouse beneath the tie, and my long hair and hoop earrings above the collar), I can look at my unicorns, smile, and be reminded of who I am.