Sixty Nine and Still Sexual

Gay Pride and Human Tolerance

7/4/15

Happy Independence Day to everyone! And all the more so in light of the recent, historic Supreme Court ruling, this past June 26th, 2015, declaring marriage equality to be the law of the land.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the deciding vote in the 5-4 ruling, declaring that the freedom to marry is a fundamental right of all Americans. His ruling is based on four ideas, the basic gist of which is as follows: freedom includes being free to marry whom one chooses; marriage is vital for relationships; marriage protects families; and marriage is a cornerstone of American society. In response to this landmark decision of equality without exception, the White House lit up in rainbow colors in commemoration of this occasion, as did the Empire State Building — and the mood among gay rights supporters was nothing short of jubilant. Gay Pride, right on!

Well, how about that? After all the vehement, unreasonable, fear-driven, and just plain mean-spirited resistance of the religious right to deny same-sex couples their constitutional rights — love is now equal in the eyes of the law! (Take that dissenting Justices, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas. Like it or not the Twenty-First Century has arrived and is well underway. )

Public opinion has shifted in the past few years, revealing the intrinsic wrong of the ban on gay marriage and paving the way for such a decision to be made. I always felt in my gut that it would be just a matter of time, combined with unflagging activism, until that changed. No doubt the disgruntled conservatives — the same good churchgoing souls laboring to reverse Roe vs Wade and deny 51% of the population the right to choose to be pregnant or not —  are currently huddled together, plotting and planning the overthrow of Constitutional rights.

Speaking of gay marriage, a few years ago I wrote a five-hundred word memoir piece about being a sixteen-year-old art student, with a raging crush on Hal, a handsome, sophisticated, forty-year-old art professor — to whom I offered my virginity — and who turned out to be gay. He didn’t give that as his reason for turning me down. He said I was beautiful and desirable, but I was sixteen and it would have been wrong for him to take advantage of me. I went home crying that day, stung by rejection. But I later learned through a mutual acquaintance, that the man whom I’d lusted for was already taken by a model named Ralph. Funny, learning the true reason for my turn-down put the experience in perspective. So he likes men, I thought, shrugging, who knew? I didn’t blame Hal for not coming out to me either — it was only the 1960s, after all; Utopia was a long way away.

If by some slim chance Hal and Ralph are still alive and together all these years later, I imagine their rejoicing at finally being declared equal American citizens but the law of their land.

As Victor Hugo so wisely said, “No army can withstand the power of an idea whose time has come.” But it sure was a long time coming.

Happy Independence Day. We’ve all just taken a giant step toward creating the kinder, gentler, more humane society that we all claim to long for. @DorothyFreed1.

Shades of Grey Sequel Is Almost Upon Us

6/14/15

I recently saw in Publisher’s Lunch that E.L. James’ new book, GREY, will hit the bookstore on June 18th. The date was chosen to commemorate Christian Grey’s birthday. It will, I’m sure it will make a great Father’s Day offering on June 21st, for those hard to buy for dads who have everything.  

This book is the sequel to the runaway hit trilogy, Shades of Grey, and is told from Christian’s point of view — affording anyone interested, the opportunity to get up close and personal with inner workings of his angst-filled, emotionally shut down, control-freak mind. So now, in spite of feeling that I’ve read quite enough of Ms. James’ prose for one lifetime, I am going to have to read this book. Particularly after having read and enjoyed, the inner workings of a top-man’s mind, in Master of O, by Ernest Green (see 5/3 posting, My Thoughts on Master of O),  I simply have to see what makes Christian Grey tick. One can only hope we won’t be treated to dialogues with his inner goddess this time around.

My husband and I saw the film, Shades of Grey, not long after (see 4/23/15 posting). I recall saying I planned to wait to see it when came out on DVD, and there it was about five minutes later, available on TV for $4.99, and in the privacy of our home. So we watched it. Neither of us found particularly hot, although there were a few hot bits mixed in with the rest. I think this was partly due to some basic lack of chemistry between lead actors Dakota Johnston and Jaime Dorman. Remember Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger  in 9 1/2 Weeks, or  James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Secretary? Now there are some red-hot examples of what made our groins come alive.

All in all, my husband and I both shook our heads a lot at the stilted and melodramatic portrayal of a BDSM romance. But then, to us kinky seniors, these twenty-somethings seem far too young, immature, and ego-driven to be taken seriously.  Surely, we thought, that tight-assed contract negotiation scene was intended as comic relief. And really, the whole idea of Ana demanding that Christian demonstrate the most severe pain she’d be required to endure —  without having already generated the necessary endorphin rush to make a positive response possible, make us laugh out loud.

Having been a happy BDSM couple for thirty-two years this December, viewing  the film did generate nostalgic remembrance of our own initial meeting and consequent negotiation process at a San Francisco cafe. How could I forget that zinging, high frequency excitement i felt when I gazed into his eyes, felt his energy — and realized the the submission fantasy I’d been rehearsing in my head for so long. was about to be lived out. And after watching Ana’s first entrance into Christian’s theatrically named, “Red Room if Pain”, my husband became positively sentimental recalling my introduction to his spare room turned dungeon — and my responsiveness to this new, fun form of play. But we weren’t kids when we met. We knew what we wanted, and when we found it, we thanked the powers-that-be that the chemistry was there. Still, between hot scenes we had our power struggles, like everyone else. We were ready to spit up five times during the first year alone, but somehow persevered.

So I never thought I’d say this but I’m interested in reading this new book and offering my review of it. I’m also interested in how 50 Shades  Darker, the next film in the series will turn out. I hear that both director, Sam Taylor-Johnston, and scriptwriter, Kelly Marcel have resigned from the project and that E.L.James and her husband will have unbridled control of this next installment of Christian and Ana face life.

Still, schmaltz aside, looks to me like E.L.James has turned mainstream attention to the topic of BDSM, and  the kink community owes her a debt of gratitude for that. @DorothyFreed1.

May Is National Masturbation Month

5/25/15

I’m a bit late saying so, but in case anyone doesn’t know, May is National Masturbation Month. It began as National Masturbation Day, first observed May 7, 1995 and was later upgraded to a month-long commemoration of what surely must be one of life’s simplest and most universal pleasures. 

The day and then month was introduced by the San Francisco based sex-positive retail store, Good Vibrations, in the wake of the dismissal of U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, by President Bill Clinton, for suggesting at a World AIDS Day presentation, that masturbation, as part of human sexuality, should be included in sex education curriculum.  Since Elders unjust firing, Good Vibes has held annual events to serve as public health education programs about the promotion of safer and healthier sex , and to increase awareness and de-stigmatize the practice of masturbation — which is, after all, the ultimate in safe sex. A Masturbate-a-thon will be held May 30th at SF’s Center of Sex and culture, as a fundraising and no partner sex event, providing participants an opportunity to enjoy one’s self, and one’s exhibitionist tendencies. The act, however, must be done alone, since assistance by another counts as partner sex. 

Thinking about this takes me back to my own life as a masturbator. I recall fondly the time I spent fondling my girl-parts in the family bathtub — sloshing about in the warm soapy water until I was wrinkled all over — or until my mom broke my rhythm by rapping on the bathroom door, demanding to know what on earth I was doing in there for so long.

Interestingly, as pleasurable as the feeling were, I don’t recall bringing myself to orgasm back then. The first memory I have of experiencing a no-doubt-about-it, knock-my-socks-off orgasm was at sixteen, when I got off using the vibrator my mom kept by her beside, one day when she wasn’t home. It was one of those old-style, gun shaped instruments, with a thick, screw-shaped metal shaft fit over the metal part. It  was marketed in those days as a neck massager, and knowing my mom, that may be what she used it for. But for me, somehow the the loudly buzzing instrument found its way between my legs, igniting a sweet, intoxicating heat greater than any positive sensation I knew existed. I almost passed out as an unexpected orgasm ripped through me. After that I recall some lengthy experimentation with the various attachments. They were all good but the broad flat one became my favorite.  Back then, being young and bursting with estrogen, I came repeatedly until I was limp with satisfaction.

After that enlightening afternoon I had a new best friend for life — particularly after my teenage marriage and consequent discover that penile penetration, although highly pleasurable just didn’t get me off.  Unfortunately, my first husband was rarely patient enough to bring me to orgasm with his hands or mouth. If not for the trusty vibrator I bought myself and used in secret, I might have gone high and dry. It wasn’t until the mid-70s after moving to San Francisco that I discovered Good Vibrations, the first sex-positive store for women I’d been to in my life. Back in those pre-HIV awareness days the store featured a tiny try-out room — and as long as female customers kept their panties on, we were free to discover the vibrator that best suited us. I remember entering the room with a possible selection and emerging weak-kneed and a Hitachi Magic Wand girl for life. I’ve worn out a number of them over the years, using them alone and with partners and have loved every moment of doing so.  tweet @DorothyFreed1

My Thoughts on Master of O

5/3/15

I ‘ve finally finished reading Master of O, by Ernest Greene. This is no small commitment since the book is 763 pages long, but I found it well worth the reading time. The story, which resets Pauline Reage’s classic, Story of O, to glitzy contemporary Los Angeles is told from the Dom’s point of view, and Greene, a longtime pornography director and real life husband of porn star, Nita Hartley, based his lead character, Steven Diamond on real life experience. Greene is a skillful storyteller. His natural dialogue and great interplay between Dom and submissive, provides a keen insight into the inner workings of a hard-core BDSM relationship.  Not only did his sex scenes sizzle on the page, they’re so well described, I felt I was watching a film inside my head as I read his words.

I love the fact that Steven, is an unapologetic sadist and libertine, who does not in any way blame his penchant for power, punishment, and pain on any disturbing childhood incidents. Instead, Steven, whose ideas of erotic play is not at all for the fainthearted, savors each command given and each stoke of the whip — because, simply stated, that’s what turns him on, makes him hard, and is part and parcel of who he is. All in all, Master of O, makes E.L James hero, Christian Grey seem like nothing more than an uptight, neurotic, wanna be Dom.

Steven’s new slave, O, is a gift to him from his brother, Ray, her current owner, who first proposes that they share her, later surrenders her to Steven when he realizes that her lust for pain and domination are greater than he can satisfy. And, as predicted, Steven finds in O, a talented photographer and heavy-duty masochist — with her acute appreciation of “quality pain”, in exchange for her submission — to be the perfect complement to his no holds barred brand of sadism. Steven and O are authentic characters, who come together form a place of mutual respect and understanding of each other’s needs and requirements. Together they embark on a high intensity, hardcore, BDSM relationship that continues to flourish until the story’s end, when Steven learns that O’s enslavement is not without its limits, after all.

As a kinky reader with an animal rights point of view, I found myself having to struggle a bit with descriptions of certain grossly decadent details of indulgences in the LA party scene — such as the wearing of endangered species shoes or the eating of pate fois gras, since such details unfortunately jerk me right out of the fantasy and into activist mode.

Aside from those discordant elements, I enjoyed reading about the inner workings of a kinky, high fashion magazine quite fascinating. And as one with a with a longterm familiarity with the scene, Master of O, with its quirky cast of desire driven characters reads like the real thing to me. I whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone with a genuine interest in the relationship dynamics of BDSM. Tweet @DorothyFreed1

 

 

My Two Cents Worth on the Shades of Grey Phenomena

4/23/15

I wasn’t planning to blog about this—my thought being that since the Shades of Grey Phenomena began a few years ago, and particularly since the movie version came out this past Valentine’s Day—everyone and her sister has already weighed in on the issue, so perhaps I should pass.  But then I learned that in spite of all the murder, mayhem, and general madness going on in the world today on a minute by minute basis, there is a good reason for humankind to carry on—the next Shades of Grey film to be adapted from the second book of the E.L. James series, will go into production early next year. So it appears all is not lost after all. 

Now I speak as one who has not yet seen the film and was thinking of catching it when it goes to DVD, but have read several reviews and articles with conflicting opinions about it. Certainly, one positive thing generated by both books and film is a spirited, out-in-the-light-of-day discussion about what BDSM is and isn’t.  

I particularly liked Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Salon piece this past Feb titled “Christian sex activists warn against ‘dangers of mommy porn’ and ’50 Shades of Grey.’” The article mentions Julie Slattery, a Christian author and psychologist, who pans the film because she sees BDSM as degrading to women, in that it involves behaviors “normal”, mentally stable women with intact self-esteem wouldn’t consider doing—a pretty Andrea Dworkin take on it in my view, but there you are.  I think Steven Elliot agrees from a different perspective by claiming he sees Christian Grey as a stalker, in the Rumpus, 2/23/15, and expressed that anyone with kinky desires should boycott the film. 

I also enjoyed “50 Shades Confession” by Ti Chang and Michael Topolovac, co-founders of Cravings, at craving@lovecrave.com, 2/13/15, who see the sexual conversation about both the books and the film as a good thing, but not the best possible image of BDSM. Also offered in the short piece is a link to praise from Vogue reviewer, John Powers, 2/11/15, who found the film surprisingly good — and looked favorably on what he saw as Ana’s erotic redemption of psychologically twisted Christian Grey, into some semblance of a normal lover by stories end. The piece also offered ridicule, by New Yorker reviewer, Anthony Lane, in a somewhat self-explanatory piece titled, No Pain, No Gain.  

Personally, I think the key to Shades of Grey mainstream acceptability as “mommy porn,” is that Christian Grey is presented as a damaged individual who was seduced by an older woman at age fifteen, and left with a permanent neurotic need to act out his rage — sort of a modern day Heathcliff from Emily bronte’s romance classic, Wuthering Heights. But what, in my opinion, the average female reader may not realize, is that by the end of the third book—which I actually did get myself to read—Christian Grey has not been converted to near vanilla behavior, by the love of a good woman. Rather, he was topped from the bottom by a very determined and righteous young woman who wanted her erotic encounters, her way or no way—and more power to her for accomplishing her goal. 

 In the meantime, not only has Shades of Grey outsold J.K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter, but sales of soft cotton rope have shot up out of sight, handcuff sales are on the rise, and the popularity of Ben Wa Balls continues to grow —and erotica, particularly romantic erotica is in, bigtime, and I’m quite pleased about that.  DorothyFreed1

I Used to Fake Orgasms, But Don’t Any More

4/9/15

My new life as a tweeter is connecting me with all sorts of interesting articles and blog postings I hadn’t known about before. I recently discovered Miss Ruby Reviews, a sex toy review site with some excellent articles about various aspect of sexual pleasure. One article in particular, posted on 2/6/15, @missrubyreviews, and titled, I Used To Fake Orgasms, But Don’t Anymore, resonated with me like you wouldn’t believe.

The reasons for all this resonation, in case you can’t guess, is because I used to fake them too. My years as a faker began in the bad old days of my first marriage in the early 60s  — when as a girl of eighteen, I found myself unable to orgasm during penile penetration, although I often came close. Being an honest sort, I told my partner the truth, thinking this was an issue to be worked on together, with the mutual goal of improving our sex life. Needless to say, this information was not well received. Both this young man and I had been raised to view the male ego as a tender, fragile entity, that must at all costs be bolstered and guard from harm — and the penis as the be-all and end-all of sexual pleasure for all.  Never mind that I came like a house on fire from oral sex or from manual stimulation of my clitoris; the message was clear. Women who stubbornly refused to orgasm from penis/vagina sex, were male ego wreckers for sure.

After that initial confrontation, I not only faked orgasms, I did so every bit as believably as Meg Ryan did in the iconic, faked orgasm scene in the film, When Harry Met Sally, in 1989. Unfortunately, I was so indoctrinated into lying to my husband about this issue, I continued to do so after divorcing him, in order to show my new lovers what a dynamite hunk of woman I was. “Did you come?” they’d whisper in my ear after their own orgasms subsided — and there I was, so conditioned to seeking male approval, I felt I had not other choice but to lie.

A few years later, in my early thirties, I got lucky and met a man with enough self-confidence to not be threatened by the truth. Instead, this memorable man and I entered into a mutually beneficial relationship, dedicated to the discovery of what made Dorothy come. And from that point on, I’m delighted to say I’ve never lied about orgasms again.

This particular sexual issue was so significant to me it because the basis for my book length, erotic coming-of-age story, PERFECT STRANGERS: One Woman’s Journey Through The Swinging Seventies, for which I am currently seeking publication

And this is why Miss Ruby’s article about how she faked orgasms, and how, like me, she no longer does, resonated so strongly with me. I have no idea what age she is now and how long ago she stopped faking. I’d love to think that younger women today have come a long way in claiming their right to full sexual pleasure and no longer agonize over orgasmic issues — although I suspect for some people, some ideas will die hard. 

Social Media and Me

3/27/2015

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not one to easily warm to technology in any form. And, as an adult person in the 60s and 70s — when privacy not only still existed, but was held in high regard, I learned to eye social media with suspicion and mistrust.  My initial responses to suggestions from others that a Twitter account could positively impact my career as a writer was to express my complete lack of knowledge of what it was about. But, in spite of my resistance, I finally set up a Twitter account a few months ago, and have been tweeting my little heart out since. I still can’t claim any significant understanding of how it works,  but I dove in headfirst anyway, which has always been my style.

One thing I liked right away about this form of social media is that at 140 character maximum per tweet, it cuts straight to the chase with no chance of rambling. It was, according to Wikipedia, initially defined by Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsy, as a “short burst of inconsequential information.” Okay, I got that, but still the whole concepts pretty well mystified me.

What really led me to an at least minimal understanding  was the way my friend and fellow writer, Amy Butcher,  explained it to me. “Tweeting is like standing on a street corner shouting,” she said, “And anyone who hears you may respond if they wish.  Well, that makes sense,  I thought,  and the next day I sent out the message, “I’m standing on a street corner shouting. Can anyone hear me?” Amy heard me and responded by not only favoring my tweet, but following my account, as well, which I took to be expressions of approval. She also sent me an email with suggestions of Twitter accounts I might enjoy following. Inspired, I tweeted out a compliment about an anthology edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, a sex writer, editor, and blogger that I’ve long admired. She responded by favoring and re-tweeting my tweet, and following my account, as well. Cool.

After that the thing began to snowball. I began getting all sorts of suggestions about who to follow, with more to come each time I began following a new account. Consequently, I’m now following a rapidly growing number of writer, editors, and publishers I admire, and am pleased to report that many of them are now following me. Hopefully they’re also logging on to my website and drinking in the word on this blog.

Yea! What a woman. First I conquered email, then forged ahead, not only to a website, but a blog as well. And now, onward to Twitter and who knows what else. I’m sure I’ll find out as I skip down the Yellow Brick Road of self-promotion, on my way to transforming my coming-of-age story, PERFECT STRANGERS: One Woman’s Journey Through The Swinging Seventies, into a published book. 

My Twitter name is DorothyFreed1

 

Sex in the 90s

3/20/2015

I realize I’m meandering all over the place on my way to blogging about my life as a sexual adult that began in 1961,  and has now spanned six decades. I’ve had a lot to distract me lately, in the form of a writing class, a family visit, a May vacation to plan, B&Bs to decide on and a new and frequently mystifying Twitter account to learn the ins and out of, (all fun and exciting things) — plus an injured shoulder from doing the Bridge pose dead wrong, and a knee and a toe injury, not to mention my computer running amuck and requiring money spent on repairs, (not fun or exciting things at all) — I’m just now getting around to a short post about my recollections of sex in the 90s.

My husband an I continued to enjoy the Bay Area BDSM party scene until about the mid-90s. As a straight male, moderately bisexual female couple, our sexual interactions were primarily with each other — punctuated by the occasional and delightful safe sex encounter. And as such, our focus was on enjoying the social aspects of membership in the kinky community, in addition to the considerable stimulation of the live theater aspects of public BDSM.

Still, the raging STD epidemic was unarguably of grave concern to the entire sexual community. By then, never mind personal safety precautions, most clubs and play spaces had adopted a mandatory safe sex requirement on their premises — a sensible measure with which most thinking people agreed — although I still shake my head recalling one outraged male dominant expound on the outrage and indignity of being required to wear a condom while penetrating his own wife. I suppose the issue of how a dungeon monitor could be expected to know whose wife he was penetrating, evidently did not occur to him.

All in all, I have relatively little to say about the public BDSM scene in the latter part of the mid-90s. I’d turned fifty by then. For me, those were the menopausal years, the years of mood swings and hot flashes, accompanied by unwanted weight gain and plummeting sexual desire for the first time in my more than thirty-five years of sexually active life. For my husband, who was three years older than I, it was a time when most players around us seemed younger with each party we attended — and we were no longer that super hot, still youngish couple with whom everyone wanted to play.

Those were also the years of increasing career responsibilities and aging parent responsibilities, combined with young adult offspring responsibilities and that our aging dogs grew infirm, making us loath to  leave them. By mid-decade, although we continued to play privately and occasionally with other couples, as time and hormonal imbalances allowed, we gradually and regretfully dropped out of the public BDSM scene.  

Books I’m Currently Reading

2/25/15

I got a kindle as a gift over this past holiday season on which I’m planning to use as an erotica library The first book I downloaded into it was  Sex and Cupcakes: A Collection of Juicy Essays, by Rachel Kramer Bussel. I’d been wanting to read this book since it was published in the latter part of last year. I’d heard it was exceptionally good.  I read it in bed the same evening I purchased it, and my only disappointment with it was how quickly I devoured each of her nine gemlike essays, which whetted my appetite for her writing and left me hungry for more. Rachel is not only the excellent editor of more than fifty erotic anthologies, each of which contains a story she’s written, she also writes for Bust, Dame, Salon, the Daily Beast, Elle, Glamour, and well, you name it — if it’s about erotic issues she writes for it and she does it well.

The first essay in the book, I Have Trouble With Orgasms, touches on a subject near and dear to my heart — not to mention other key portions of my anatomy. It is, in fact, a major theme in my now completed, but not yet published book, PERFECT STRANGERS: One Woman’s Journey Through the Swinging Seventies, which deals with the tremendous pressure put on women of that era to have vaginal orgasms — simultaneously achieved ones prefered, if you please — and my personal torment as a young married woman, and later as a still young divorced woman. when I fell short of that goal.  I was consequently impressed, not only by Rachel’s unflinching honesty about such an intimate issue, but also to learn that one of the foremost sex writers of current times, doesn’t come easily either  — although as a thirty-something, post feminist woman, she seems to be far less hard on herself about the issue than I was at the time.

Her second essay, I’m Pro-Choice and I Fuck , wowed me as well — another dear to my heart subject that it’s hard to believe is still in need of discussion — but it absolutely is, and Rachel did it well. I also loved MONOGAMISHMASH, a discussion about her potentially monogamous relationship and what that might mean. This essay grabbed my attention because three decades ago, my husband and I began a committed and openish relationship, which luckily served us well, although after dropping out of the scene in the mid-nineties, we gradually evolved into a monogamous couple. But then a few years ago while in our sixties, we mutually decided that an occasional threesome, or moresome, and an occasional foray into the party scene, would effectively enliven our desire for each other and spice up our marriage. I’m delighted to say it definitely has and that, for now, we’re pleased with our monogamish relationship. Having now been partnered for over three decades, I ‘ll venture to say that the sexual evolution of a relationship is a work in progress throughout.

I’m also reading Master Of O, by Ernest Greene, husband of porn star, sex educato,r and sex positive femininst, Nina Hartley, and the capital D in their D/s relationship.  The book is the Story of O, from the dominant male point of view and set in modern-day Los Angeles.  I ‘m really enjoying this book and recommend it to anyone with a genuine interest in BDSM — it’s everything Shades of Grey isn’t, complete with skillfully written and natural dialogue, and great interplay between Dom and submissive. 

Good news on the home front, Rachel Kramer Bussel recently informed me that the print date for Dirty Dates will be this November, and my story, The Corset is the first one in the book. I hope to have the book cover up on my site before long. I still have other stories waiting in the wings for publisher approval and will hopefully have good news about those very soon.

Happy New Year to All

1/24/2015

It seems that with the advent of the holidays and delightfully distracting visits by adult children, combined with the first nasty bug I’ve succumbed to in years — not to mention the unbelievable and stressful time-suck of composing an engaging query letter and story synopsis preparatory to submitting my now completed manuscript, PERFECT STRANGERS: One Woman’s Journey Through The Swinging Seventies to publishers and agents — I’ve ended up taking an unplanned hiatus from my blog.

My best gift to myself this past holiday season was the purchase of a written critique by prominent writer and editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel, of two stories that I felt were well-written and hot, but never quite jelled into finished work that pleased me. The critique, followed by an hour-long phone conversation was money well spent. Rachel honed right in on the trouble spots in those pieces — to my credit, the very spots that troubled me from the first — and offered clear, cogent suggestions on how to write my way out of them.  I was so impressed by her editorial abilities  that I splurged and signed up for her four-week  long, Erotic Writing class set to begin February 12th. Since meeting deadlines has never been my strongest suit, I’m a bit worried about keeping up the pace — but at the same time am looking forward to getting caught up in the momentum of fast hard writing, trusty feedback, and growing as a writer.

Good news from Rachel during our phone talk was that her forthcoming anthology, Dirty Dates, is slated for publication in September of this year — with the even better news being that my story, The Corset, will appear in the book. I haven’t yet seen the table of contents, but knowing the overall quality of Rachel’s story collections, I’m sure to be keeping company with some awesome writers. Yea! I’ll never get tired of seeing my name in print. Hopefully my next piece of good news will be from a publisher or  agent about my book, or from another well-respected editor awaiting publisher’s approval of one of her manuscripts with three of my pieces in it.

 A recent literary adventure I shared with my husband was the celebration of our January 10th anniversary at San Francisco’s 1st Annual Sex Culture Book Fair, which took place that same day. The fair was held at Adobe Books on 24th Street — a collaboration between Adobe Books, Belle SF magazine, and the sex positive social club, Mission Control. Throughout the evening, we were treated to a series of interesting presentations of the trials and tribulations of independent publishing, the best information sources for polyamory advice, a sex worker’s panel, a kinky demo, a D/s demo, bawdy story telling, Naked Ladies Reading, and a whole lot more. The stimulating evening  feature a variety of sexual literary luminaries such as Dr. Carol Queen, Violet Blue, Ron Turner, Allison Moon, and Polly Superstar, to name a few, who offered their educated opinions on the past, present, and future of publishing and sex.

Now what better way could there be for an erotic writer and her life-partner to celebrate thirty-one kinky years together than that? Well, yes, I realize that only a few years ago the question would have been a no-brainer. But aside from that, this book fair fit the bill. Here’s wishing a heartfelt happy anniversary to this happy and long-lasting couple — and to the book fair, as well. May we all live to attend many more.