Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Genesis of a Story

The most common question I’ve been asked over the year is where my stories come from.  The short answer is, “it depends.” But the more thorough response is that my stories usually begin with a single thought or scenario or character or concept. In truth, I don’t always remember the original nugget after the story has been written. Especially in the case of longer works, that original concept or idea is often so buried under later developments as to be invisible.

But one of my favorite of my own stories — The Crush — has that nugget right up front. It is the first sentence of the piece:

What would you do if your wife told you she had a crush on another man and that she wanted to act on it?

That is all the story began with. But then I asked myself, well, what kind of woman would say this? And why? What sort of relationship is this where she would say it? And the characters and story just grew out of those questions.

Btw, Annie, the main character in the Crush stories is one of my favorite of my slutty wives, especially in her version of the story (one of the few I’ve written from the female POV).

At some point I want to check back in with Annie… 

The Nature of the Genre

So, I write most in the “naughty wife” genre, although as my friend Kenny Wright notes, my “tastes lean closer to the “cuckold” side of the spectrum.” Why is that? Where do my stories come from?

I don’t think there is any great mystery here, but it is worth exploring a little. So, there are a lot of “naughty wife” stories out there. It is really one of the most popular erotica genres.

Like many other forms of popular erotica, it addresses transgressive sexual behavior, the sort of stuff that turns us on precisely because it is out of the ordinary, exists largely in the realm of imagination. But this is a weird category because, in truth, sex outside of marriage is far from uncommon. There is nothing really, fundamentally transgressive about a woman having an affair. It happens all the time.

I would argue that in this case, the stories I write are based not in their exoticism, but in their commonness. What do I mean?

Well, look, many men feel/worry/believe that they somehow married out of their league. Sometimes that is objective reality. More often it speaks to insecurities. But is is a common sensation. And if you feel like you’ve married out of your league, then it is inevitable to think that sooner of later your wife will, you know, wake up and trade up.

It is a dark, weird thought. It is the kind of thing that men immediately reject when they focus on it consciously. What does “trading up” mean? A hotter guy? A better earner? A more accomplished fuck? Most crudely, a bigger tool? But the sentiment isn’t about conscious calculation, it is about inchoate emotions.

Anyway, I think my writing tends to be grounded in that very common, completely absurd, and yet brutally compelling worry that the women who love us are somehow settling for less… for now… but not forever.

Vacation From Our Marriage

So, one fun think I intend to do on this blog is highlight some stories that I found sexy over the years. Given the ton of erotica online almost all of these will be obscure, particularly to current readers. That makes me a little sad. I mean, someone sat down and wrote these stories. They got circulated. Hundreds or thousands of people read them, and yet given how these stories were published back in the day, I wonder if the author got any feedback.

Anyway, here is one of my favorite stories:

Now before I go any further let me state something. I have never had the desire to see my wife with another man. I know it’s a common fantasy but it is not one of mine. That’s why when I made the statement I did even I was shocked. Maybe I did it to prove to myself that I was secure in my own ability as a lover, or a husband, or maybe I just didn’t believe she’d ever do it. But for whatever reason, I said it; 

“If you want to give it a try, be my guest.” 

“Give what a try?” 

There was no way she could have known what I was talking about. When I said it we were Downtown looking through old antique stores or some crap like that. We hadn’t seen the nieghbor in hours nor had we talked about it. 

“Mark, that is his name, right? If you want to spend the night with him you have my permission.” 

“Is that why you’ve been so quite? You’ve been thinking about this the whole time? What are you trying to do, start a fight?” She was raising her voice. 

“No, no, that’s not what I meant. I’m serious, if you want to do it you can and I won’t hold it against you. You can be a single woman for one night and do whatever you want.” I thought this would make her feel better but she just had a strange look on her face as we walked out of the store and toward the car. When we got close she turned around.

“Is that what you think of me? Am I some kind of slut?” she wasn’t really mad just confused, “I don’t get it, you’re supposed to respect me more that anyone and you’re calling me a slut.”

Oh, shit! “Baby, that’s not what I meant. Everyone has desires and you are clearly attracted to this guy. I don’t want you to feel like you’re missing out on something and resenting me for it. That’s all I meant.” 

She started to feel bad. “Oh honey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel like that. I wouldn’t have looked twice at that guy if I knew it bothered you. We’ve been joking around like that since we were teenagers, why would it bother you now? I thought our relationship was stronger than that. No, I don’t want anyone else you goof.” She gave me a big hug.

She was so right. I was acting like a pussy. I think I was just sensitive because my looks were going. Whatever it was, I had to toughen up. When we got back to the cottage pretty boy was outside working on his tan. We went over and talked for a while. Kris really wasn’t gauking anymore. We had a couple beers and laughs. My self esteem grew as I realized Mark wasn’t too bright and all he talked about was himself. It was actually Kristen who suggested we go inside to get ready for dinner and leave Mark to his business.

Dinner was going great. We looked into each other eyes the whole time. I never once felt insecure about nieghbor or our marraige. “I’m sorry about acting foolish earlier.” I said.

“Don’t be. I hope you don’t still feel that way. But tell me something, were you really gonna let me sleep with that guy or were you just testing me?”

“No, I would’ve. I was nervous about it but I would have let it happen. Why, were you considering it?”

“Honestly?” my heart jumped into throat with thhat one word “are you gonna get mad?” 

“No, of course not.” I was getting mad.

“When you first said it I didn’t even think twice about it but since then it has crossed my mind. But please understand that I would never do it and you are the only man I love. I just wondered for a brief second what it would be like to feel a different body on top of me.”

She caught herself getting carried away, “but, I put it out of my head immediately.”

She wasn’t convincing but I wasn’t really nervous anymore. “Well the offer still stands.”

She looked me right in the eye,”No thanks.”

With that we went to bed. She was soaking wet as we made love. I came quick and passed out. I woke up sometime around 2 am. It was hot and we had both kicked the blankets off. To my amazement when I opened my eyes I saw my beautiful wife with one hand up her shirt and the other down her pants. She was writhing with.pleasure. I never saw he rmasterbate before. She looked amazing. I also had a feeling she wasn’t thinking of me. I shifted a little and she ubruptly stoppped. 

“What was that all about?” I inquired

“I couldn’t sleep.” she offered. Obviously very embarrased 

“You were thinking of him, weren’t you?”

“Honey, Don’t.”

“I’m not mad, I just need to know.” I was mad, but I did need to know.

“y-y-yes” she stammered, ashamed.

“Do you want him?”

“p-part of me does, and part of me is afraid I’ll hurt you.”

“I’ve never broken a promise to you. I said you could try it if that’s what you want. I’m just afraid our relationship will suffer. I don’t want to lose you.” I was so scared and jealous and angry. I had no idea what to do.

“What if I could promise you that our relationship won’t suffer. When we go back to Boston everything will be the same and this guy will be out of our lives forever.”

“Are you sure this is something you really want to do” I said hoping to talk her out of it. 

“I think it’s something I HAVE to do, feel” she took my hands and put it down her pajama bottoms, she was still soaking wet. “I’ve been this way since you mentioned it earlier.”

“Alright then, as of noon tomorrow you are a single woman!” I said nervously.

It is full of typos, and the story feels rote by the end. But I love that line where Kristen says, “I think it’s something I HAVE to do…” 
As far I know “Average Joe” only published two stories online, but I loved both of them. Despite the lack of polish, he has a raw, very erotic take on the unwilling — or grudging or regretful — cuckold genre.

Two Sides of Terri Published

My very first novella was just released. You can find it at Amazon under Two Sides of Terri.

I am really, really pleased with how it turned out. Give it a shot.

Here is the description:

Two Sides of Terri

Bill has just about the perfect life. Good paying job. Lovely home. Perfect children. And most of all, he has his wife Terri–smart, funny, great with the kids. Thing is, she’s a good girl trapped in a bad girl’s body. Blonde, busty, and devastatingly beautiful, she makes him want to do dirty things–things you don’t admit to wanting from the girl-next-door.

Or so he thought.

It starts with a revelation about Chucky, a past boyfriend, and everything he thought he knew about his sweet wife unravels. He becomes obsessed with learning more about this other side of Terri–and everything he learns points back to Chucky, a man she couldn’t say no to. Does he dare invite her past back into their present? And if he did, would she now be able to say no?

Because He’s Watching Reviews

I recently read Kenny Wright’s most recent book, Because He’s Watching: Ian’s Obsession. It is an alternate version of Kirsten McCurran’s book Because He’s Watching. As I understand it, the two books were written as part of a collaboration, though Kenny waited some time before publishing his version.
This is sort of a joint review of the two books. There are some, I guess, some modest spoilers, so I would definitely encourage you to read the books first. They’re worth the time.
Anyway, I have a soft spot for this sort dueling narratives approach. Two of my favorite stories I’ve written work the same angle — The Crush and The Crush: Annie’s Tale (I feel very mature for having resisted calling it Annie’s Tail). Part of the reason I think this works particularly well in erotica is that good erotica is, in my opinion, very challenging to write from a third person perspective. (I’ll explain in a moment.) So if you want to really give different characters their due, it often works to have the stories told explicitly from different perspectives. 
The issue, I think, is that the erotica I find interesting is that which deals fundamentally with flawed observers. I mean, that strikes me as the most interesting dynamic. People don’t have a clue, for the most part, about what their real motivations are. (I don’t claim this is my insight. Thanks Freud.) And under the influence of lust or jealousy or anger or resentment, their judgments become even more flawed. I think consciously writing from the perspective of an imperfect narrator can capture that. It is much harder, I think, to do so from a third person perspective. At that point, why is the narrator flawed? As both a reader and writer, I always hate fiction that requires the narrator to withhold information s/he ought to know.
In these two stories, Kenny takes the husband’s (Ian’s) perspective. Kirsten takes the wife’s (Emily’s). And they both do a very nice job telling a sexy story. I think ultimately, Ian is a more interesting character. He’s more flawed, more introspective. I read Ian’s side of the story first, which may be clouding my judgment. Emily, perhaps by design, is a bit of a shallow character. She’s not very self-aware. 
Anyway, this is one of those stories where the husband is turned on by the idea of his wife being with another man. We don’t get a real sense of where this fantasy originates for Ian. It doesn’t seem to be any sort of eroticized fear. We don’t get the sense that any formative experience particularly fed this fantasy. It just turns him on. And that’s okay. It is his kink. But even still, I think I’d like a better insight into his mind.
I am less willing to give Emily a pass. She knows Ian wants her to do it. But why is she willing? Sometimes it just seems like she likes the attention from Ray (the “Bull” in this scenario). Sometimes she seems like she’s actually attracted. But more often she seems to say and act as if she’s really just doing it because it turns Ian on. That suggests a weird degree of passivity, especially since she does not just wait for Ian to contrive encounters, but actively plans them herself. She just strikes me as too aggressive for this to be mostly or even largely about Ian’s desires. But maybe that’s the point of writing Emily that way?
I would also have liked to see the narratives diverge more. Part of the fun of this dual approach is that you can flesh out the motivations of the characters by exposing private actions and information. And indeed, there are a couple of minor new plot points in each story, and one pretty significant one that comes out in Ian’s story. But I think the authors missed an opportunity here to give readers of both stories some value added by introducing plot elements that really you could only fully appreciate if you read both. An Easter Egg if you will.
Finally, just thinking about the plot, there are various places where both authors hint at a coming confrontation that never quite occurs. It isn’t quite as if they’ve place a gun on the mantle, but more that they sort of hint that there might be a gun there. Or maybe I just wanted there to be a gun? My stories tend to feature more explicit conflict and confrontation than Kenny’s. I tend to be pessimistic of these extramarital dalliances, seeing a lot of risk and danger in addition to the potential excitement. My characters are more jealous, more duplicitious, more manipulative than his. Perhaps that just reflects my darker view of human nature.
But that said, these are a fun, sexy pair of books, and definitely worth a read.

A New Direction

So, I’m excited. In a few days my first long-form fiction will be published. It isn’t quite a novel, or maybe it is. I guess it depends on where you draw the line between and novel and novella. At 43,000 words, more or less, it is definitely the longest story I’ve ever written.

In many ways, Two Sides of Terri — that’s the title — is different from anything I’ve written. The characters are richer. The narrative arc is stronger. It is also less focused on themes of betray and more of exploration. I don’t want to give away too much, but I think it is a nice sexy story that will both please fans of my earlier short work, but also interest and please a new audience that finds some of my earlier too dark.

On the other hand, Two Sides of Terri is very much an evolution for me. Same kinds of themes as before, sex outside the bounds of marriage; a strong, smart woman with hidden passion; jealousy and fear.

I’ll follow up in the couple of day with cover art and a link to the purchase options.