Friday, 24 July 2015
For the younger generation there is nothing so entertaining as shocking their parents and grandparents. This, they always do with a flourish; if they get a reaction, that is wonderful and is definitely worth the effort. In the years of George, the Prince Regent’s rule over London’s fashionable elite, the younger generation, shocked the older generation in a bold, extravagant gesture, with a brand new dance; the Waltz.
The year was 1815, the ending of the time of the Napoleonic wars. The government, led by Lord Liverpool, negotiated a peace settlement. The king had nothing to do with the details. Poor King George III had descended into madness and George, his son, the Prince Regent was too intent on going to licentious parties and generally having a pretty wild time, to be bothered with the politics of foreign policy.
Within the rural and urban counties of England, there was a mood of social and economic malaise, yet the Prince Regent and his entourage of the young aristocracy, exuded a mood of confidence, exuberance and expectation. There was an explosion of outrageously expensive design on an unprecedented scale. New styles were embraced. And then there was this decadent new dance craze.
The Waltz was a couples dance, as opposed to the traditional group dances. The gentleman actually clasped his arm around the lady's waist, giving the dance a dubious moral status. The Waltz was a dance born in the suburbs of Vienna and in the alpine region of Austria. It was foreign, that in itself was enough for the parents of the young, English aristocracy to view it with suspicion.
The shock of the new. Each generation thinks that they are the originators of this phenomenon, but it has been done so many times before.
Before the scandalous Waltz came along, dancing had been civilised. You danced in large groups, only occasionally touching each other. Flirting would be done with eye contact. In the Waltz, you held your partner in an embrace for a whole dance. Touching, whispering to each other; social rules were broken. A strong arm around a slender waist. Long, delicate fingers cling to a firm shoulder. Warm rounded flesh beneath fine, creamy lace, or translucent muslin. White thighs pushed apart with an insistent, probing knee. Breasts, yearning for urgent caresses, crushed against a broad chest. Waltzing was dirty dancing for the Regency teens. The impact of the Waltz would probably have had the same effect on the older generation, as any sweet grandmother today stumbling into a full on swingers party.
The waltz was criticized on moral grounds by those opposed to its closer hold and rapid turning movements. Religious leaders almost unanimously regarded it as vulgar and sinful. Continental court circles held out obstinately against the waltz, seeing depravity in every swaying, graceful move.
In July of 1816, the waltz was included in a ball given in London by the Prince Regent. A blistering editorial in The Times a few days later stated:"We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last ... it is quite sufficient to cast one's eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressure on the bodies in their dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is attempted to be forced on the respectable classes of society by the civil examples of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion." (Source: The Times of London, 16th July 1816)
Even as late as 1866 an article in the English magazine Belgravia stated: "We who go forth of nights and see without the slightest discomposure our sister and our wife seized on by a strange man and subjected to violent embraces and canterings round a small-sized apartment - the only apparent excuse for such treatment being that is done to the sound of music - can scarcely realize the horror which greeted the introduction of this wicked dance."
Reportedly, the first time the waltz was danced in the United States was in Boston in 1834. Lorenzo Papanti, a Boston dancing master, gave an exhibition in Mrs. Otis' Beacon Hill mansion. Social leaders were aghast at what they called "an indecorous exhibition."
I thought that the 1960’s generation made a pretty good case for shocking the older generation. It seems that they had nothing on those wilful teens of Regency England.
Friday, 17 July 2015
Necrophilia; it’s a tough one. Is it a fetish or a perversion? What do you think? It’s a strange and disturbing phenomenon. It’s haunting; it’s taboo. But let’s not be squeamish; we’re going to talk about fucking dead people.
Yes it’s tough, but because it’s tough and makes us squirm, that’s not a reason not to talk about it. I think it’s a good reason to talk about it. Google is always a good place to start, so that’s where I went. And going on what you can find on the Web, with just a basic search; there’s a helluva lot of folk, curious and wanting to know more.
Are they all shouting “disgusting” and running away? It seems not; they’re intrigued. Reading about it; writing about it. Yearning for it…
Janine Ashbless writes a great necrophilia story, in Montague’s Last Ride,” in her “Cruel Enchantment.” collection. Jan Vander Laenen writes another great necrophilia tale in his short story, “The Epistle of the Sleeping Beauty.”
So, necrophilia is there. It’s in the stories that we tell each other, from Classical Greek and Egyptian Mythology, to the Victorian Gothic. It’s in Fairy Tales and it’s in Popular Culture.
In the Greek legend of the Trojan War, the Greek hero Achilles slays the Amazon queen Penthesilea in a duel. Upon removing her helmet and seeing her face, Achilles falls in love with her and mourns her death. The soldier Thersites openly ridicules Achilles and accuses him of necrophilia. Achilles responds by promptly killing Thersites with a single blow. (In some traditions, Thersites' accusation is not unfounded—Achilles was so stricken by Penthesilea's beauty that he could not control his lust for her, even after her death.)
In Egyptian mythology, we are told of the myth of Osiris and Isis. It tells of the god Osiris, who had inherited his rule over the world from his ancestor Ra. Osiris was murdered and dismembered by his jealous brother Set, a god often associated with chaos. Osiris' sister and wife Isis reassembled Osiris' body so that she could impregnate herself and conceive an heir.
So the template for necrophilia is there, in our oldest stories. Mythology gives us permission to explore those dark and secret ideas.
And what about our current obsession with vampire stories? Starting with Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, are they not a fantasy about a physical union with the un-dead?
And as for Heathcliffe in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, he sure as hell didn’t dig up Cathy’s body to gaze on her beautiful face.
And there’s so many more. In Cormac McCarthy's Child of God (1973), the protagonist Lester Ballard finds a dead couple in a car, and carries the female corpse back to his cabin to engage in sexual acts with it. After losing the corpse in a fire, he begins murdering women to create dead female sex partners for himself.
Georges Bataille's gruesome novella Story of the Eye ends with the main characters performing perverse and sacrilegious sexual acts on a passive priest, who is raped and strangled to death as he climaxes. After murdering him, the characters continue to perform sexual acts with his dismembered eyeball.
Edgar Allan Poe once described the death of a beautiful young woman to be one of the most beautiful images. (By this, he was not saying that it is a good thing for young women to die; to him melancholy and pain were sources of beauty.) Also, his poem
"Annabel Lee" includes, towards the end, possible necrophilic imagery. As does his short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
Oscar Wilde's scandalous play, Salome, based on the Biblical story of a Judean princess who performs the Dance of the Seven Veils for the Tetrarch, Herod, in exchange for the head of John the Baptist. When Salome finally receives the Christian prophet's head, she addresses it in an erotic monologue that has highly suggestive necrophiliac overtones.
And coming closer to today’s literature.
In Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon, (1977) Macon Dead is explaining to his son Milkman that he is disturbed by the relationship that his wife Ruth had with her father, Dr. Foster. Shortly after Dr. Foster's death, Macon caught Ruth lying naked in bed with her father's corpse, while sucking on his fingers.
In Canadian author Barbara Gowdy's short story, "We So Seldom Look On Love", a funeral parlour employee learns how to make the penises of recently dead men erect, and she commits sexual acts on the corpses until she is caught. In 1996, the story was adapted into the film Kissed.
Can’t leave out Fairy Tales either. Some Commentators like Marina Bychkova read the story of “Snow White”, as having a necrophiliac theme. Disney has sanitised it, just as he has done with “The Sleeping Beauty.” In a much older version of the story, the handsome Prince doesn’t just kiss the sleeping/dead princess, he rapes her.
From the Web.
“Sigmund Freud maintained that our deep childhood experiences (or lack of them) affect our adult lives in a profound way. In other words, when people are highly functional in their childhood experiences, this mirrors their adult reality, and when adult people are highly dysfunctional as children this, too, mirrors and mars their adult experiences.
There seems to be strong indications to support this concerning necrophilia. The list of necrophiliacs seems to clearly support Freud’s viewpoint. Here is a brief list: Ed Gein, Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Albert Fish, Denis Nilson. All of these personalities had strained strange childhoods, felt abandoned, felt rejected and felt worthless. According to Dr. Jackson it is the perverted and extremely aberrant feelings of loneliness, rejection and abandonment, this feeling of total isolation, and total inability to connect to another human being that propels necrophilia.
As disturbing as this approach might be for some, in a nut shell what is being said here is that the necrophilia evolves to a state where the surest and easiest way to have total control, total acceptance, and total success in relating to another human being tragically descends to the point that the human being which is to be the object of intimacy is, of all things, a corpse.”
From the Web again.
“Erich Fromm, the psychologist and philosopher considered that necrophilia is a character orientation which is not necessarily sexual. It is expressed in an attraction to that which is dead or totally controlled. At the extreme, it results in hatred of life and destructiveness. Unlike Freud's death instinct, it is not biologically determined but results from upbringing. Fromm believed that the lack of love in the western society and the attraction to mechanistic control leads to necrophilia. Expressions of necrophilia are modern weapon systems, idolatry of technology, and the treatment of people as things in bureaucracy.”
It’s described as “the highest taboo,” worse than rape, paedophilia, bestiality. So what’s going to happen if you do get caught fucking a corpse? The law in the United Kingdom says that fucking a corpse is very definitely illegal.
“In the United Kingdom, sexual penetration with a corpse was made illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This is defined as depictions of "sexual interference with a human corpse" (as opposed to only penetration), and would cover "depictions which appear to be real acts" as well as actual scenes (see also extreme pornography).
As of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, it is also illegal to possess physical depictions of necrophilia, electronic or otherwise. Necrophilia-pornography falls under the governmental description of extreme pornography, of which, possession is classed as illegal under the aforementioned act.”
So in the U.K. you’re not only breaking the sexual offences act law if you indulged your profane urges and fuck a corpse, you’re going to be hauled up for possessing “extreme pornography” as well.
In the United States, there doesn’t seem to be a blanket law covering the whole country. The law varies from state to state. As of May 2006, there is no federal legislation specifically barring sex with a corpse. Here’s a few examples of how the states differ in their application of the law.
In Arizona, It is unlawful for a person to engage in necrophilia. A person engages in necrophilia by:
1. Having sexual intercourse with a dead human body.
2. Having sexual contact with a dead human body, other than the contact normally required to store, prepare, disinfect or embalm a dead human body according to standards of practice in the funeral industry.
1. "Sexual contact" means any direct or indirect touching, including oral contact, fondling or manipulating of any part of the genitals, anus or female breast by any part of the body or by any object.
2. "Sexual intercourse" means penetration into the vulva or anus by any part of the body or by any object or masturbatory contact with the penis or vulva.
F. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 4 felony.
In California, you can get up to eight years in prison, for the act of necrophilia. In the state of Georgia, you can get ten years in prison, for the same offence. In Nevada it’s considered a Class A felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison.
I still don’t know whether necrophilia is a fetish or a perversion. Certainly the sub-text in the Sigmund Freud statement, and the quote from Erich Fromm, seem to see necrophilia as something that needs to be “cured.”
So I’m lost for a proper conclusion.
How would I feel if a relative of mine who had passed, was “played” with? I would not like it at all. I would be distressed, incensed, livid. But, as I don’t think I’m likely to come across a necrophiliac any time soon, that’s as near to making it personal as I can get.
And not forgetting contemporary literature; Post Mortem by Rose W. Sweetly gentle; a dying woman's last wish. Post Mortem is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US
Friday, 10 July 2015
The Rape of Ganymede; Peter Paul Rubens (1611)
I think a lot about our erotic fantasies, those wonderful tales that we tell ourselves. We cast ourselves as the hero, or heroine as we delve into our deepest, darkest desires. Yearnings that teeter on the edge of the profane, the taboo. I talk to friends about their fantasies; sometimes, I put their fantasies into my stories.
Some of us fantasise about being raped. Not just about relinquishing control, about being forced. I am talking primarily, from a feminine perspective; some women have rape fantasies, but I’d never considered that men might have rape fantasies too. And I don’t mean a male being controlled and forced to serve, and service a beautiful woman, or women; there’s plenty of those stories on the web. I’m talking about a man fantasising about being raped by a man; being forced, being violated.
I hadn’t thought about that, until I had a conversation over a bottle of wine, with Justin.
I’ve known Justin for years, I was often a guest at his home, when he was married; like so many of us, he’s now divorced. I was friends with his wife, and with his two great kids. Justin drifted a bit after the divorce, he’s a freelance photographer, so he can find work wherever he goes. He’s unusual, rather than good looking; sort of Scandinavian, with silky, straight pale blond hair and stunning eyes. Watchful eyes, dark grey and heavily lidded. When he’s old, with his angular bone structure, he’ll look like an eagle.
Justin and I always end up talking about sex. We’ve never had sex, not with each other, but he knows about my stories and I’m aware of the private portfolio of his work. He told me about a book he’s putting together for a guy he knows who is a Dominant. Justin has photographed the Dom’s favourite slave girl, in every intimacy imaginable. The book will be exclusive. It will be a piece of pornography that collectors will kill for. Probably only a dozen or so copies will be made.
We were silent for a while. I poured more wine, then Justin told me about his own fantasy. Justin fantasises about being raped. Raped by a man. Violated.
I wasn’t shocked; there’s not a lot that shocks me these days.
There’s not a great deal on the web, but I found this.
“I know this is screwed up and unbelievable but I have no sexual attraction to men at all, only women, but for some reason, every time I get really horny, I have fantasies about someone bigger then me dragging me in an ally, pulling down my pants and raping me, especially when I stop masturbating all together, I have wet dreams about it.
It's taking over my life, I want to be raped; nobody knows this because I'm afraid someone might stage a rape and that's not what I want, I want it to hurt, be real and walk away…”
It's taking over my life, I want to be raped; nobody knows this because I'm afraid someone might stage a rape and that's not what I want, I want it to hurt, be real and walk away…”
Cory James. Ask.com
Male rape is acknowledged in the Greek myths.
Ganymede, the youngest son of Tros, the King of Troy, excelled in physical beauty. He was looking after the flocks of sheep, when Zeus, having fallen in love with him, swooped down in the form of an eagle, seized him and took him to Mount Olympus.
“When the gods in classical mythology fall homoerotically in love, they never do so with other gods or with adult human males; rather they always do so with a mortal youth. They enter into liaisons in which they, like Zeus, act the part of the erastes to an adolescent who, like Ganymede, serves as the eromenos. The sexual acts imagined to be performed by the divine-human lovers, though not described in detail, can be assumed to conform, just as the structure of the relationship does, to the cultural ideal of pederastic unions.”
“In Greek mythology, the rape of women, as explained by the rape of Europa, and male rape, found in the myth of Laius and Chrysippus, are mentioned. Different values are ascribed to the two actions. The rape of Europa by Zeus is represented as an abduction followed by consensual lovemaking, similar perhaps to the rape of Ganymede by Zeus, and went unpunished.
The rape of Chrysippus by Laius, however, is represented in darker terms, and was known in antiquity as "the crime of Laius", a term which came to be applied to all male rape. It was seen as an example of hubris -- pride and arrogance, and its punishment was so severe that it destroyed not only Laius himself, but also his son, Oedipus.” WIKI
“Laius, the king of Thebes, is thought to have been the first mortal to bring the practice of the love of youths to the Greeks. What we know for sure is that while he was still too young to rule, his cousins, Amphion and Zethus, grabbed the reins of power. With the help of loyal subjects Laius fled Thebes to save his life, and sought refuge in Pisa, a neighbouring kingdom. There King Pelops welcomed him warmly in his castle. When Laius reached manhood, Pelops entrusted his son, Chrysippus, ‘Golden Horse,' to him so that he would teach the boy the charioteer's art. The king loved Chrysippus best of all his sons, and wanted him well trained in the arts of war. Laius did as he was asked, but fell hopelessly in love with the beautiful youth. During the Nemean games, in which the pair competed in the chariot races, Laius kidnapped the boy. By then Amphion and Zethus had met with misfortune, so he was able to take him back to Thebes where he kept Chrysippus, by force, as his lover. It was not as if he did not know what he was doing. "I have understanding," Laius said in his defence, "but nature forces me."
The 1972 film “Deliverance, directed by John Boorman, from James Dickey’s novel of the same name, features a male rape.
Four Atlanta businessmen, Lewis, Ed, Bobby and Drew, decide to canoe down the Cahulawassee Riverin the remote Georgia wilderness, expecting to have fun and see the glory of nature before the river valley is flooded by the construction of a dam. Lewis, an experienced outdoorsman, is the leader. Ed is also a veteran of several trips but lacks Lewis' machismo. Bobby and Drew are novices.
Pulling ashore to get their bearings, Bobby and Ed encounter a pair of unkempt hillbillies emerging from the woods, one toothless and carrying a shotgun. After some tense conversation in which the hillbillies appear to be goading the others, Ed speculates that the two locals have a moonshine still hidden in the woods and Bobby amicably offers to buy some. The hillbillies are silent; menacing. They force Bobby, at gunpoint, to strip naked. Bobby is then chased, humiliated, ordered to "squeal like a pig;" then he is violently sodomized. Ed is unable to help because he has been tied to a tree and is held by the toothless hillbilly.
In James Dicky’s novel, the narrator is Ed. Bobby has been ordered to strip off his trousers and pants and lay across a fallen log.
“The white bearded man was also suddenly naked up to the waist. There was no need to justify or rationalize anything: they were going to do what they wanted to do. I struggled for life in the air, and Bobby’s body was still and pink in an obscene posture that no one could help. The tall man restored the gun to Bobby’s head, and the other one knelt behind him.
A scream hit me, and I would have thought it was mine except for the lack of breath. It was a sound of power and outrage, and was followed by one of simple wordless pain. Again it came out of him, higher and more carrying…The white haired man worked steadily on Bobby, every now and then getting a better grip on the ground with his knees. At last he raised his face as though to howl with all his strength into the leaves and the sky and quivered silently while the man with the gun looked on with an odd mixture of approval and sympathy. The whorl-faced man drew back, drew out… Bobby let go of the log and fell to his side, both arms over his face.”
The terrible images stay with you, long after you’ve stopped watching the film, finished reading the book. The violation is graphic, in both Boorman’s film and Dicky’s prose.
And just when you think it can’t get any worse, you realise that the rape precipitates real tragedy. There is more to come, they just don’t know it yet.
I have put this piece together, because the concept of violation, of being forced, disturbs me. It really does disturb me. And writing about it, is the only way that I can deal with it.
But from my friend Justin’s point of view, and Cory James, a real rape is not just something to be desired, something to fantasise about, it has an urgency, it is a real need.
Friday, 3 July 2015
Incest; the final taboo. It is taboo, as far as I am able to ascertain, in every society on the planet. The exceptions to the rule appear to be royal dynasties, in particular the ancient Egyptian Kings and Queens.
There’s something alluring about incest; if not why, over the millennia, do we persist in telling ourselves stories about it?
Once upon a time, long, long ago there was a father and his two beautiful daughters. The father’s wife had recently died. Apart from his two daughters, the father was alone in the world. The two daughters got their father drunk and seduced him. Both girls became pregnant and gave birth to sons. No-one seemed to mind; even God. It really wasn’t such a big deal.
Even to our media hardened ears the story is shocking. You can just imagine the newspaper headlines if it were to happen today.
The story is from the Bible; The Genesis 19 account of a father and his daughters ensuring the survival of the human species through an incestual act; it is an archetypal story woven into the very fabric of changing social norms and psychological dynamics unfolding over several millennia.
Sophocles tells the tragic tale of Oedipus. Oedipus -- who marries the widowed queen Jocasta, not knowing she is his mother. After many years of prosperity and conjugal bliss, a plague falls on the people of Thebes. Upon discovery of the truth, Oedipus blinds himself, putting out his eyes with the long pins of his wife’s brooches. Jocasta hangs herself. After Oedipus is no longer king, Oedipus' sons kill each other. Everybody dies.
Fast forward millennia. “Brookside” 1996: A British Soap, famous for its challenges to our views. The incest storyline, in which brother and sister, Nat and Georgia Simpson,
are discovered in bed together by their younger brother, is described by Phil Redmond, the producer, as “breaking the last television taboo.” It was so shocking an MP urged viewers to complain "in their millions".
Ian Rankin’s detective, Rebus, has a crime to solve. An eminent obstetrician is murdered – his throat cut, the arteries in his wrists slit open. It’s literally a bloodletting – he has bled to death. Near him there is a tiny coffin – an effigy of a tiny baby inside smiles. A Bible lays opened at Genesis 19 – the story of Lot and his daughters. There’s a creepy exposure of incest in Ian Rankin’s story; this is incest that has produced a child, a daughter. The daughter traces her birth mother; Fiona. She is understandably shocked when she learns the truth about her parentage. Her mother is also her sister; when the daughter asks Fiona why she didn’t stop the abuse, she is told that there was no abuse;
“There was a time when I wanted him to stop, but I couldn’t. I love him.”
The intrigue of incest has gone full circle and leads us back to where it all began. The tale is as relevant today, as it was millennia ago.
And the stories keep coming. Only last week, Colin Hobbs published his incest story;
“Dad, Daughter and Her 3 Friends – A Perfect Harem” - Part 1. Jeff Wiles also published his incest book. “A Father’s Love.”
Okay, the titles suggest that you’re not going to get the sophistry of Sophocles, but the point is, the taboo is still demanding to be heard right from antiquity to the present day. Somehow incest keeps bubbling to the surface of our consciousness.
Here is a link for a free download of part one of Colin Hobbs’ book.
You can buy the book here.
And here is a link to purchase Jeff Wiles’ book.
You can read the tale of Lot and his daughters here.
Friday, 26 June 2015
Maybe once you were like me – longing for sexual adventure and a wild bachelor
lifestyle – but with no idea how to obtain it.
Somehow I doubt it, but I find myself writing you anyway, Hef. I’ve always admired the
classy and open way you have lived your life. Not to mention the hot ladies you’re always with,
or I should say, are always with you.
I’m about to embark on a journey with an odd, but intriguing premise, and I had to write
you about it.
I’m curious to find out through using the Internet if I can transform myself into a
confident playboy who beds down sexy women regularly.
Could I somehow become a cyber playboy worthy of the ladies’ man tradition
represented by you as the King of the Playboys? Do you think it is possible? Do you have any
suggestions or a hint of a plan?”
So begins the tale of Jimmy Rausch in an email to the King of Playboys, and Jimmy’s idol, Hugh Hefner. And email is the vehicle chosen by George Pappas to tell his frequently hilarious, sometimes poignant, often very, very sexy story; “Dear Hef.”
George Pappas is writing within a well-established genre; that of the epistolary novel, where the plot of the novel unfolds through written letters between the main characters. Mary Shelley employs the epistolary form in her 1818 novel, “Frankenstein,” using letters as one of a variety of framing devices, as the story is presented through the letters of a sea captain and scientific explorer, Robert Walton. Published in 1848, Anne Brontë’s novel, “The Tennant of Wildfell Hall is framed as a retrospective letter from one of the main heroes to his friend and brother-in-law with the diary of the eponymous tenant inside it. In the late 19th century, Bram Stoker released one of the most widely recognized and successful novels in the epistolary form to date, “Dracula.” Printed in 1897, the novel is compiled entirely of letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, telegrams, doctor's notes, ship's logs, and the like, which Stoker adroitly employs to balance believability and dramatic tension. The French writer Pierre Cholderlos de Laclos published “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” in 1782. It is a story of decadence and intrigue told entirely in exchanges of letters. But I think that George Pappas is the first writer, certainly the first writer I have read, to embrace the technologies of the 21st century and use email as a device to tell a story. Other writers are delving into the cyber world, particularly the British/French writer Joanne Harris, in her novel “Blue Eyed Boy,” which is told entirely through blog posts.
Writers return to the same themes over and over again, and George Pappas returns to the notion that he presents with a visionary’s zeal in “Monogamy Sucks”. It’s an angry but fair enough proposal;
“All I ask for is no strings fucking. Is that too much to ask for?”
This is Jake Dalmus’ battle cry in “Monogamy Sucks”; Jake is a mature man; he argues his politics fluidly and fluently. He is demanding an absolute change in the way society views relationships. He abhors the status quo; one man, one woman for life. In other words; marriage. “Ridiculous,” Jake asserts.
Jimmy Rausch, in “Dear Hef, is a decade younger than Jake and he too has an agenda. And it is in the subtext of Jimmy’s emails to Hef that George Pappas cleverly, with the sleight of hand of a street magician, shows Jimmy’s immaturity. Jimmy still has some hefty rites of passage to step through. Though in his twenties, Jimmy still has the mindset of an adolescent. Jimmy, is the centre of Jimmy’s universe. He is not interested in any wider implications for society as Jake is; Jimmy is just interested in Jimmy and how he can become a playboy in the style of his idol Hugh Hefner. It is Jimmy’s dream; Jimmy’s deepest desire to be invited to Hef’s Mansion and have sex with lots of “hot women” in the Grotto.
“I have a dream – to have sex with hot women of all different colors and backgrounds. I
guess you could say I have a rainbow dick. I fantasize about being in the middle of an interracial
orgy in the grotto at the Mansion just lost in pleasure and desire. All my fantasies always seem to
start and end in the grotto for some reason.”
While Jake Dalmas wields an axe, Jimmy Rausch wields his erection.
You get the impression that Jake Dalmas will take his philosophy all the way to the White House if he has to. Jimmy Rausch is only interested in how he can make things work for Jimmy.
And immaturity again shows in Jimmy’s constant need for reassurance. Hef is Jimmy’s father figure.
“Is there a playboy code of conduct? Did I just violate it by not calling Darlene for a couple of weeks after she gave me her number?”
Jimmy investigates the Lava web site. He decides to write “an Internet fuck ad”
“"Seeking passion and adventure"
I’m a tall SWM 28 seeking open-minded, sensual, non-possessive and erotic women
for intimate encounters. I crave passion and adventure. No drama, just mutual pleasure
and fun. I luv to please. I’m not a selfish lover. Nothing intrigues me more than a woman
who enjoys expressing her erotic imagination and sexuality. Let's go on an intriguing
journey into wild desire and fantasy exploration. I’m for real. U be too.”
Jimmy’s Ad is crystal clear. He wants sex and fun. He does not want a relationship and the tears and trauma that seem inevitably to go along with it. He does not want that in his life. And he gets a response, from Carolyn. She says that she understands about casual sex and cannot get enough of Jimmy’s cock. That is all very well, but Carolyn is not a hot woman; she’s a long way from being a hot babe, like the women Jimmy sees on TV, always surrounding Hef. But she’s pussy and she’s all Jimmy can get.
And Jimmy has a dilemma. He hasn’t mentioned this small, but outrageously important fact to Hef; how does he find women who share his ethos of sex without love? Hef has obviously achieved it and the women that Jimmy has sex with appear to share Jimmy’s thought process; but do they really?
A much later email speaks of Pia; Jimmy tells Hef about her; his email to Hef hints at the young man’s desperation.
These women are driving me crazy for all the wrong reasons. My belief that many women don’t understand casual sex was reconfirmed last night. The latest example is Pia – my big fat Greek slut. She talked about wanting more fun without strings and a boy toy, but it was all a lie. We fucked most of the night and early morning until I left at 4am, but she had second thoughts later the next morning. She sent me a Dear John fuck date email saying she wants more than sex. So typical…”
And later, in the same email to Hef;
“…Not surprisingly, our liaison ended as it began – through email. Later on Sunday, she sent me an email writing that she wants more than sex, but she blew it. Pia is another woman that doesn’t get casual sex and erotic fun. So many women don’t…”
And it’s true I think – women may like the idea, the fantasy of casual sex and erotic fun, but in reality our emotions get tangled. We re-live it, we re-play it over and over again, the exquisite night of mind-blowing sex, the primal orgasm and we fall in love with it – we don’t mean to and Jimmy is wrong to say it’s a lie – it isn’t, we mean it when we say it, but those emotions sneak in. We want more, and not just with any man; with THAT man.
Believe me, I know because it’s happened, disastrously, to me and it wasn’t pretty.
And what of Carolyn, the not hot woman who says she wants just casual sex? Jimmy’s intuition was correct about her integrity. His meetings with her are too much like a date. They have dinner before they fuck. At a Swingers’ group Jimmy and Carolyn are seen as a couple. Are they dating? A date means a relationship… is he in a relationship with Carolyn? Jimmy just wants to get down to the sex; he wants to get laid and Carolyn seems to be steering their meetings to a place where Jimmy doesn’t want to be.
Then in a complete about turn, Carolyn changes her mind. She wants monogamy, but not with Jimmy. Her email tells Jimmy that she is in a “real” relationship.
Jimmy forwards her email to Hef practically wailing his utter frustration with women.
“I just don’t get where she is coming from. A month ago she was telling me bullshit about how she could never be in a monogamous relationship again and now she’s telling me she doesn’t want to fuck anymore. I don’t get it. Was she playing some kind of role all the while? Who knows what lurks in a woman’s mind anyway…Does a playboy even think about these things Hef?”
Jimmy is a Disney puppy dog; his eyes big and wide, pupils dark and dilated, begging Hef to approve of him. Another email to Hef.
“I’ll let you know how the phone call goes with Darlene. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Or is that too uncool for a playboy to do? I don’t know. This playboy code is so confusing.”
Nothing is as easily confused as love and lust. It’s a fact that most of us do not realise until we are sexually mature. Some of us never do really get it. But Jimmy gets it. He isn’t confused, he is clear about his sexuality and what drives him. He makes this fact abundantly clear; it is the women whom Jimmy meets who are confused. Women, Jimmy realises, cannot set aside their emotions when it comes to sex.
I used the word dilemma earlier to sum up where exactly Jimmy is at. He has been emailing Hef for months and he has not made much headway. Jimmy still has to negotiate the rocky road between sex and commitment. Jimmy still has a dilemma on his hands.
Jimmy and Darlene make contact. Their exchanges of email are sensual, very definitely arousing and highly erotic. It’s a long distance thing and Jimmy prepares to cross states to have sex with her. Darlene makes Jimmy promise that sex is all it’s going to be about. Finally, a woman who gets it!
“Promise we’ll keep it fun Jimmy…Burning with anticipation.”
It’s all going so well, when at their second liaison Darlene goes weird on Jimmy. There are tears and Jimmy does not want to be around women who weep. Tears imply that Darlene has a different agenda to Jimmy. It’s a surprising emotional outburst, for the reader as well as Jimmy. Emotions imply a relationship. It’s over.
In his tweets about “Dear Hef” George Pappas asks; “Want to know what men really think about sex?” Well, having read the novel, cover to cover, now I know. And I have to ask the question; what do women really think about sex? The messages are muddled. If you look into Romance novels, we want to be seduced. Look into Erotica and we want to be whipped, tied up, hand cuffed, raped, humiliated; or we want to be in charge, control our man and we too fantasise about multiple partners. Cosmopolitan have featured endlessly about it. The writers of the “Sex and the City” television show have demonstrated how Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte all have differing desires and needs. And all of them at some point in the series have dabbled in what it is that turns the other on. Men are confused about what women really want and women are too.
Carolyn, Darlene, Dara, Melinda, Jin. Jimmy writes a great poem to Jin, “Coiled”. It’s loaded with satire.
George Pappas’ wry, dry sense of humour infuses every email; every chapter. His writing style is as much European as American. You’ll catch yourself laughing out loud in some of the scenarios. The ridiculous; the absurd, the empathetic discomfort. There’s more to entering Hugh Hefner’s Mansion and the honour of sex in the Grotto, than Jimmy could ever realise.
George Pappas has intellect and an intuitive instinct for the power of poetry in language and words. The way he uses language has a rhythm and pace, which seems to add to the chaotic feel of Jimmy’s immaturity. Like an adolescent, Jimmy wants everything now. George Pappas knows how to craft a character too. Jimmy’s Internet dates are not just ciphers as they would be in the hands, of a less intelligent, less talented, less experienced writer. They are women with personalities as complex as any that you’ll find in the real world. Incredibly arousing, always entertaining; this is Erotica at the highest level. You won’t see the twist of the ending coming in a million years.
And I’ve deliberately not mentioned Brenda, the sexy bad tempered married lady whose complicated life puts Jimmy in real danger. I’ve saved Brenda until last. It’s a testimony to the commanding power of George Pappas’ writing that I really did experience a thrilling, trembling fear for Jimmy. My heart flipped in a nervous paranoiac palpitation like a Victorian heroine on amphetamine. I tweeted my fearful anxiety to George Pappas – I think he was astonished, astounded, but pleased. Far, far away across an ocean and half a continent, carried in the wind, in the waves, in the storm clouds and in the rays of sunlight, I can feel the warmth of George Pappas’ smile…
Dear Hef is available at Amazon US Amazon UK and at Lazy Day Publishing
Friday, 19 June 2015
L’absinthe Edgar Degas 1876
It seems that as human beings, many of us, are engaged on a quest to find other realities. Hashish, extacy, magic mushrooms, vague 21st century, designer drugs that I don’t have a clue about. Back in the 60’s Ken Kesey expounded the virtues of LSD; “Turn on, Tune in and Drop out”, was the cry from Dr Timothy Leary speaking to a new generation. The user of “acid” experiences enlightenment, religious experience, mystical experience. Aldous Huxley’s drug of choice was mescaline. Mescaline is a dark brown powder, ground from buttons of the Mexican cactus peyote. With Mescaline and Acid there is a sense of oneness with everything in the universe. States of mind are achieved, in which new perceptions can arise, unhindered by everyday mental filters and processes.
The Victorians had their drugs of choice too, in particular, absinthe. It has the colour of a vibrant green; it was named by those who used absinthe as la fee verte. The green fairy.
Degas' groundbreaking L'Absinthe (1876) features two forlorn-looking café patrons staring out beyond their milky-green drinks. Although the people pictured were merely actors, this painting later roused intense comment for its unprecedented gritty realism.
Absinthe is alluring because of its beautiful and ever-changing green colour and its air of danger and seduction.
Absinthe. Albert Maignan
Albert Maignan. The Green Fairy is at work, liberating the mind of a poet. The dramatic pose of the poet and the misty-green appearance of the painting symbolise the effects of absinthe.
“Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium "grand wormwood”, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless.” WIKI
“There is an essential ritual in preparing and drinking absinthe. It involves placing a sugar cube on a flat perforated spoon, which rests on the rim of the glass containing a measure or “dose” of absinthe. Iced water is then very slowly dripped on to the sugar cube, which gradually dissolves and drips, along with the water, into the absinthe, causing the green liquor to louche (“loosh”) into an opaque opalescent white as the essential oils precipitate out of the alcoholic solution. Usually three to four parts water are added to one part of 68% absinthe. Historically, true absintheurs take great care in adding the water, letting it fall drop by single drop onto the sugar cube, and then watching each individual drip cut a milky swathe through the peridot-green absinthe below.
Seeing the drink gradually change colour is part of its ritualistic attraction.
“The “ritual” is important – it’s part of the fascination of absinthe. No other drink is traditionally consumed with such a carefully calibrated kind of ceremony. It’s part of what lends absinthe its drug-like allure (for instance, one talks about the dose of absinthe in the glass, a term you’d never use with whisky or brandy). From all historical evidence, it seems that absinthe was almost always drunk like this – even the poorest working man, in the roughest bar or café, would prepare his absinthe slowly and carefully. It was seldom drunk neat (except by the kind of desperate end-stage alcoholics who might also be drinking ether or cologne); the water was always added slowly not just sloshed in; ice was never added to the glass.
“Place a sugar cube on the spoon. Drip a few drops of water on to the sugar cube, just enough to saturate it thoroughly. Then do nothing, just watch the sugar cube for a few
minutes. It will spontaneously slowly start to collapse and drip into the glass, eventually leaving only a few drops of sugared water on the spoon. Then add the rest of the water in a thin stream.”
From Absinthe Originals.
The Absinthe Drinker. Edouard Manet.
“Absinthe was invented in 1797 by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire. The first absinthe distillery opened in Switzerland, then moved to France in 1805. By the 1850's it had become the favourite drink of the upper class. Originally wine based, a blight in 1870's on the vineyards forced manufacturers to base it with grain alcohol. Everyone could now afford it. The bohemian lifestyle embraced it.” WIKI
“Absinthe, was most popular in France. Most days started with a drink and ended with the "green hour" (l'heure verte) as one or two or more were taken for its aperitif properties. It is interesting to note that it also has aphrodisiac and narcotic properties. Authors and artists were proponents for using it to induce creativity.” WIKI
Arthur Rimbaud, the French poet, sipped the green drink to liberate the "sacred thing" (his mind) as he daydreamed "voyages of discovery that nobody had heard of" and "every kind of magic".
Those who take absinthe say that it produces drunkenness, but it is a weird kind of drunkenness, with a bizarre clarity of thought.
Portrait bleu de Angel Fernández de Soto, Picasso
“The French poet, Paul Marie Verlain, is said to have drank himself to death and damned his drink of choice, his beloved absinthe, from his death-bed. Through his times of poverty, in his later years, Verlaine succeeded in giving up all other habits, but absinthe. He took kisses of la fee verte as he lay dying.
“Vincent Van Gogh’s love affair with absinthe is well documented. It has been suggested that his depression, combined with manic activity over the last two years of his life, were brought about by the additional effect of thujone poisoning from his consumption of absinthe.
Vincent, Toulousse Lautrec
“Oscar Wilde was also a devotee of absinthe. Wilde’s stage plays, poems, and short stories gained him celebrity status not only in his native Ireland but also in Continental Europe. From his post as foremost writer of his day, Wilde referred often to absinthe as a boost to the creative process. Oscar said of Absinthe;
“After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”
“The man who all but defined artistic decadence, Charles Baudelaire’s best known work includes a poem entitled “Get Drunk!” Baudelaire’s life was an extravagant one: he lived well beyond his means and drank far beyond the capacity of his body and pocketbook. For Baudelaire, trips to the poorhouse were followed up by trips to the café. He eventually died, young even by 19th Century standards, due to a combination of seizure and the ravages done to the writer’s body by his regular use of laudanum, opium, and absinthe. Baudelaire’s ethos was;
"One must be drunk always. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time that breaks your shoulders and bows you to the earth, you must intoxicate yourself unceasingly. But with what? With wine, poetry, or with virtue, your choice. But intoxicate yourself."
For Baudelaire, Time was a shackle, and he often turned to absinthe for release. The green fairy provided the ‘intoxication’, the distraction he longed for.
“Guy de Maupassant was a French writer known for his efficient prose and a style that championed brevity above all. In de Maupassant’s “A Queer Night in Paris,” the writer describes the sensations associated with absinthe in the streets of Paris. De Maupassant tells of the confusion, brought about by the emerald green wine and the madness. Finally, the despair and depression, of slowly remembering his antics of the night before. The tale that he crafts so sparingly, is a microcosm of the world of the absinthe drinker.
"Decidedly, the air of Paris does not resemble any other air. It has in it something indescribably stimulating, exciting, intoxicating, which fills you with a strange longing to dance about and to do many other things. As soon as I arrive here, it seems to me, all of a sudden, that I have taken a bottle of champagne. What a life one can lead in this city in the midst of artists! Happy are the elect, the great men who make themselves a reputation in such a city! What an existence is theirs!"
Details of writers and artists, from absinthe101.com
“Absinthe's popularity soared from 1880 on. Advertisements touted it as being healthful. It was exported to New Orleans and reached the same acclaim in the United States. It was one of the few drinks considered lady-like and women freely enjoyed it in the coffee houses where it was most commonly served. Victorian era men however, found women freely enjoying absinthe, distasteful.
“At the height of absinthe’s popularity on through to its eventual banishment, the drink was considered both a miracle tonic and a criminal scourge, depending on your perspective. While little of the alleged psychoactive or hallucinatory aspects of absinthe have been explained by science, what we do know is that the drink touched the lives and influenced the work of many an artist, writer, and intellectual.
“In 1905, Jean Lanfray, while very intoxicated, murdered his wife. He supposedly only had two glasses of absinthe but none the less, his trial became known as the "Absinthe Murder". Prohibition movements were underway. Absinthe was singled out as the maddening culprit. Absinthism was named as a disease. . By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
“The legacy of absinthe as a mysterious, addictive, and mind-altering drink continues to this day. Though its psychoactive effects and chemical makeup are contested, its cultural impact is not. Absinthe has played a notable role in the fine art movements of Impressionism, Post-impressionism, Surrealism, Modernism, Cubism... and in the corresponding literary movements. The legendary drink has more recently appeared in movies, video, television, music, and contemporary literature. The modern absinthe revival has had a notable effect on its portrayal. It is often shown as an unnaturally glowing green liquid demonstrating the influence of contemporary marketing efforts.”
Thanks to Jan Vander Laenan, for suggesting this post and the images.
Friday, 12 June 2015
Daniella Bound, by Jake Malden, is probably the hottest piece of erotica you’ll read this year. Through Jake Malden’s protagonists, Eric and Daniella, the reader is taken on a silkily smooth sexual journey worthy of the Marquis de Sade, or Leopold von Sascher-Masoch’s 1870 classic, Venus in Furs.
Each sentence, each word is calculated to arouse – and I’m not just talking about sexual positioning, although there is plenty of that; I’m talking about appeals to the senses; about feeling and feelings. Taste, scent, touch, skin on skin and how these are heightened when sight and hearing are taken away.
“For Daniella all was darkness. The sleep mask he had slipped over her eyes encased her in velvet black. Every other sense was heightened…”
“The soft whirring of the fan and rustle of his clothing, as he crossed his legs perhaps, or shifted in his seat. The scent of honeysuckle through the open window and the sharp tang of cologne whenever he drew close. The prickle of cooling sweat on her exposed skin every time the fanned air brushed her. And the tautness of knotted bonds around both her wrists and her ankles. Hell, she almost felt his eyes on her. They were patrolling her body for sure, calm and alert. Enjoying her. Consuming her.”
And as I read, I am aroused; Jake Malden’s writing not only arouses me, his characters demand to be heard and immediately, my senses sit up and take notice. We hear a lot about the immediacy of pornography; the method of the pornographer is to put it there, right in your face, hitting you before you’ve had the time to control your arousal or repugnance. And that is exactly the effect; the sort of immediacy, that Jake Malden’s phrases have on me. So, am I reading erotica or pornography? Daniella Bound might have the immediate, sharp sting of pornography; but to me, it has the mellifluous drip, drip of highly sophisticated erotica.
Pornography doesn’t have characters with psychological depth, erotica does; at least in the hands of Jake Malden it does. He’s an intuitive writer. Daniella and Eric are fully rounded, psychologically savvy characters; we know them and recognise aspects of them in ourselves, our family, our friends.
The paragraph quoted above opens the novel; Daniella’s arousal speaks to the reader. Some readers will yearn to feel what Daniella is feeling; the lucky reader will be thinking ‘yes, I have felt that too…’
And Eric too; his control over Daniella, brings unexpected dark, deviant thrills. There will be plenty of Jake Malden’s readers wanting to try out a bit of bondage after reading about Eric and Daniella.
It would be easy to say that this novel is just about sex; certainly sex drives the narrative. But the novel is more than that; it is about power and control. It’s about relishing control and it’s about giving up control. Whether it’s giving up control in order to enhance the rush of orgasm, giving up control because at that moment in time it’s pointless to fight, or relinquishing control because that’s the place you want to be, depends on the position either Eric or Daniella finds him, or herself in.
The tale unfolds in a third person narrative with an alternating point of view; and as each point of view emerges, the reader is privy to the particular character’s thoughts, intent and intensely, overwhelming sexual arousal and release.
In the hands of a less skilled writer, the changes in point of view could damage the reader’s trust in the writer. A reader wants to know fairly quickly, that this is a story that will be worth investing time, patience; and, of course a certain amount of money. The publishing industry probably has more erotica themed novels in its databases than ever before; erotica is highly competitive.
Jake Malden handles the changes in point of view seamlessly; the reader quickly connects with where the novel is going; all that is left to do, is relax and enjoy the sexy antics of Eric and Daniella.
Reading this through, it is probably more of a commentary and analysis than a review; a review is there to make you want to upload the book. So I’ll start as I began; Daniella Bound by Jake Malden is probably the hottest piece of erotica you’ll read this year!
Daniella Bound is available at Amazon UK and at Amazon US