Sunday, 30 December 2012
I first heard about the article in the Guardian from Kristina Lloyd on her Facebook page.
Here is what Kristina says:
“And once again, those who've been quietly penning erotica for years are portrayed as copycat hacks now that their work is finally selling.”
Personally, I am utterly fed up with hearing about E.L.James’ book. When I read this, I certainly do not warm to 50 Shades. I have my personal favourites in the world of written erotica. Most of them know whom they are, some of them don’t. I’ll stick with the writers whom I know and love.
So what do you think of Emma Brockes’ article?
Worst ideas of 2012: ripping off Fifty Shades Of Grey
Only a masochist could love what has happened to the book trade.
Emma Brockes. The Guardian. Friday 28th December 2012
There are several ways to measure success – the kind when something does so well, everyone instantly hates it. Imitation is one; merchandising is another. Perhaps the greatest indicator of all is when it jumps out of its commercial category. I thought of this during the summer, in New York, whenever I walked into a deli or a drugstore and saw, alongside the lip balms and key chains, a stack of 20 or so copies of Fifty Shades Of Grey(other titles on sale: none). Somewhere in there, it had stopped being a book and become a convenience, the literary equivalent of breath mints.
The success of EL James's erotic trilogy has caused a lot of moaning about what a terrible shame it is when "bad novels" do well, which seems a little rich to me, not least when most of the rest of publishing is so skint it would bend down in the street to pick up 5p.
So what if it's "badly written?" At least it was born, seemingly, of a genuine enthusiasm and James appears to be a good egg. If there's a Worst Of scenario in here, it is in the other stuff, the stampede that follows the original hit, unredeemed by individual voice or vision, just the cynicism of cashing in. Even the covers are the same. The original title was put out by an obscure Australian publisher that slapped the quickest, cheapest-looking stock image on the cover – and so, with a faithfulness approaching superstition, everyone has copied it.
So, too, with every other detail of the trilogy – which, given that Fifty Shades itself started out as fan fiction, is a doctorate in meta-meta-something-or-other waiting to happen. Hence a novel called Bared To You in which "two wounded souls come together in an explosion of lust and passion as intoxicating as it is devastating – the perfect read for fans of bestselling erotic romance Fifty Shades Of Grey by EL James", currently riding high in Amazon's charts and containing the following auto-generated gem: "Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness – beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…"
Reports from the Frankfurt Book Fair this year were of little else but Fifty Shades knockoffs. In some of the most feverish bidding, a six-figure sum was reportedly offered for a Canadian novel called SECRET, written under the pseudonym L Marie Adeline and featuring an organisation "that recruits women to help them realise their sexual fantasies and liberate their sexual selves". The competition, as a weary editor at Faber pointed out, included some form of "zombie erotica".
No market was immune. In Japan, Scandinavia and the rest of the world, dashed-off tales of sado-masochism dominated the auctions. In South Africa, a publisher told me of the surge in Afrikaans erotica, which had the advantage of sounding oddly hilarious as well as depressing.
Veterans in the field, accustomed to hiding their lucrative but shady output, were suddenly free to step into the (brilliant, jagged and white hot) light. Anne Rice, author of Interview With The Vampire, who had published a trilogy of erotic novels in the 1980s under the pseudonym AN Roquelaure, reissued them with a new preface and under her own name.
As for Fifty Shades, after selling an estimated 40m copies worldwide, it is now published by the poshest house in the US, Knopf, so EL James is in a stable with Toni Morrison, Alice Munro and Philip Roth. You can imagine the publisher's rationalisation, like those upmarket movie stars who tell you that every blockbuster they do funds their work in experimental theatre.
So it goes. There are reportedly Fifty Shades-branded sex toys coming down the chute, as well as lingerie and pyjamas, because we are, apparently, that tame and suggestible in the face of market forces. It is, however, somewhat cheering to note that, according to the Amazon metric, large numbers of people who bought Fifty Shades Of Grey also bought a herb kitchen garden kit, endorsed by no one, relating to no broader trends and on the heels of absolutely nothing.
Friday, 21 December 2012
Adam watched through the peephole he’d drilled in the wall, as his girlfriend, Josie, sank her slender, naked body, down onto his best friend’s cock. Her strong, belly muscles rolled as her cunt stretched and clenched to accommodate him swallowing him whole. She threw back her head, exposing the lovely line of her throat, her large breasts thrust forward, her long, curly, dark brown hair tumbling over her shoulders. Her eyes were closed, as she savoured the tension of her internal muscles gripping his cock. Her lips were parted as if in ecstatic prayer. She arched her back and a tremor passed through her body.
Adam could sense, rather than hear, her long exhalation of relief. She quivered, and raised her arms, in supplication. She lifted her heavy mane of dark hair, as she raised and lowered her body taking the long, thick cock inside her. The man beneath her grinned and murmured some sort of endearment to her, as his pelvis pumped. He held out his arms; Josie smiled, reaching down to him linking their fingers. Adam bit his lip in annoyance. He’d said the bastard could fuck her, not have a conversation. Still, Josie fucked him, grinding her hips in a circular motion taking his cock up to the hilt.
Poor girl; she needed this. Adam rarely fucked her, he had other things on his mind. His slowly stroked his hard cock, as he looked lovingly at those other things now. Her beautiful, delicate feet. Her arched soles were uppermost. Adam ran his tongue over his dry lips as he imagined licking her curved instep. Her sweet toes were curled, anticipating the spasm of her first orgasm. He masturbated his erect cock.
Feet. For Adam, it had always been feet, for as long as he could remember. One of his earliest memories was of sitting underneath the big, oak table in his mother’s dining room, surrounded by ladies’ feet. He was just a toddler and his mother had no-one to leave him with at her monthly book club meetings. So he was allowed to crawl around under the table, as long as he didn’t make a noise. Adam never made a noise. He sat and listened to the women’s soft voices and laughter, as he sucked his thumb, lost in his own private heaven, gazing at, and inhaling the smell of women’s feet. Once he’d dared to touch a lady’s foot. He stroked the fine creamy skin curiously, marvelling at the delicate bones beneath. The lady had peeped down at the little boy beneath the table, and smiled.
Before their guests had arrived, he and Josie had lit candles around the sitting room. With the strong lighting turned off, the flickering light created a warm, intimate atmosphere. It cast delicate shadows beneath Josie’s breasts, over her tight belly and across her shoulder blades. She looked glorious in her naked abandon, like a crazed goddess.
It wasn’t the first time Adam had give her to his friends to fuck. But she’d never taken three men at a time before. She’d begged and pleaded with Adam for this to happen. It was her ultimate fantasy, she’d told him. Three men inside her at the same time. Adam didn’t get it. But if he understood anything, it was the primal need to fulfil a fantasy. It was the only way to meet an obsession. And the obsession was harmless, not hurting anyone.
If Adam had liked fucking as much as Josie did, theirs would be the perfect relationship. Even the scene before him didn’t turn him on. It didn’t disgust him either. As he watched his girlfriend being lusciously violated, he felt unmoved. What was feeding his huge erection, was Josie’s feet, clenched like claws, as she screamed out her orgasm.
The second man stood behind Josie, waiting his turn. His toned muscular frame, and the black hair that covered his back, belly, arms and chest, gave him the look of a predatory animal in its prime. His cock was massive, hard and erect. When he moved it slapped, bouncing against his belly. He knelt behind Josie, pushing her forward onto her partner’s chest. He now had easy access to her ass. Josie froze, motionless, as he drizzled lube into her crack, preparing her for an anal fucking. He slipped a finger into her anus, priming her with lube, and gently finger fucked her tight little puckered hole. Josie groaned with pleasure. He positioned his cock at her anal entrance, and pushed. Adam watched, coldly fascinated, as the bulbous cock head stretched her hole and opened her up, like a ripe piece of fruit.
Adam wondered how much cock she could take. She let out a long, low moan of what sounded like discomfort, as the thick cock slowly stretched her hole, pushing into her, inch by inch. The man behind her wrapped his arms around her. He caressed her breasts, and stroked her erect nipples. He pushed her hair aside and kissed and nibbled her neck. Then he took her quickly and roughly. Josie shrieked with shock as he slammed his thick cock into her, right up to the hilt. He snarled like a wild dog. Adam could hear her whimpers as the two men set up a rhythm fucking her. At first keeping perfect time with each other, then thrusting and pumping alternately. Despite his distaste, Adam considered whether the two guys fucking his girlfriend, could feel each other’s cocks through the delicate membrane separating her vagina from her rectum. That was totally sick, he thought.
Adam wondered how they had decided between them, who should have which hole. He’d wanted nothing to do with it. His friends already thought he was weird, giving his girlfriend to them for the evening. That was why he was watching through the peephole in the wall. They really would think he was a pervert, if he’d said he wanted to watch. Perhaps Josie had decided how it would be organised. It would be just like her Adam thought, to feign indifference, while carefully manipulating whose cock she wanted to go where. She was crushed now between the two men, just a toy for them to fuck. Adam didn’t care. But just let them touch her feet and he would kill them all.
Slender ankles, legs crossed, legs uncrossed. A foot tapping. Strappy sandals and painted toenails during the summer. Victorian laces and high boots in the winter. Adam had learnt very early in his life, that anything to do with ladies’ feet turned him on. He recalled sitting, mesmerized, studying a fine, delicate golden chain around an equally delicate ankle. Once, one of his mother’s friends had worn a silver toe ring, with a tiny bell that tinkled when she moved. Dirty feet, clean feet, Adam wasn’t prejudiced. Even ugly feet held a fascination for him.
Speared on two cocks, Josie raised herself with difficulty onto her forearms, her mouth wide open, gasping, as the two men pumped her holes. It meant her shoulders were almost taking the full weight of the man humping her ass. For a slight woman, she was very strong. Perhaps the debauchery was pumping her with adrenalin, giving her power. A third man knelt before her, his cock hard, and ready to slide between her parted lips. She accepted him gratefully, almost as if she was receiving a benediction. The third cock was like the confirmation of a blessing to her, something holy. She closed her eyes. She really did look as if she were in a state of bliss. She made little animalistic whimpering noises as his cock pushed into her throat.
When he was much older, Adam had wondered if those alluring times, beneath his mother’s dining table had formed his fetish. Or could one be been born with a fascination for women’s feet? What weird gene could have been responsible? He recalled a summer, some years later, his sisters and their friends had worn bikinis at the swimming pool. His sister’s best friend, Susie, had the most beautiful feet Adam had seen in his short life. High arches and delicately carved ankles. Small perfectly formed toes. She’d painted her nails a pretty, pearly pink. Adam could have written poetry to Susie’s feet. He was still young enough to get away with stroking and tickling her feet. She’d giggled and teased him. Had he felt arousal even then? He remembered a sublime allure as he’d traced his fingers between her delicate toes. She had drops of water on her feet from the swimming pool. Adam had wanted to lap at them. Pretend he was Susie’s little, pet dog. But even then, in his innocence, he’d known that he’d be going too far. The others would either laugh at him, or be disgusted. That was the beginning of Adam’s secret. No one must ever find him out.
The orgy was working itself into a frenzy. Their bodies writhing, rutting like animals. Worse than animals, Adam thought. He could tell Josie was close to coming again. Her body had tightened and she was in perfect rhythm with the three men pumping her holes. The man in her throat pulled back and shot his spunk into her mouth. Josie gulped at him, trying not to spill a drop, but her orgasm surged through her, making her lose concentration, and she drooled spunk and saliva from the corners of her mouth. The men in her ass and cunt, climaxed into her more or less at the same time. All four collapsed on the floor, lungs heaving, gasping for breath, laughing hysterically. A gross tangle of limbs and genitalia. Once again Adam was annoyed. As far as he was concerned, fucking was purely functional. Like getting rid of an itch. It wasn’t supposed to be fun.
At last the three friends dressed and left. Adam left his post at the peephole and joined Josie in the sitting room. He didn’t understand why, but he was angry with her. He decided to sulk a little, to pay her out for enjoying herself without him. Then he felt mean. He knew it was pointless. He loved her so much and she was the only woman he’d ever met, who knew exactly how to please him.
He sat on the sofa and Josie, still naked and stinking of sex, sat at his feet. She lay back, her upper body on the floor, her lovely toes wriggling in his lap. Adam ran his fingers over her glorious feet. He closed his eyes. He would know Josie’s feet anywhere, even if he were blind. He raised one foot to his mouth and sucked on her toes. Such delicate little toes. Adam licked in between them. Josie giggled. He was tickling her. He smiled down at her. His cock was agonisingly huge. He ached right through to his balls and groin, with the need to cum.
Josie knew what to do. She gripped his erection between her feet and masturbated him. Adam sighed a blissful sigh. He’d never met a woman who could turn him on like Josie. She’d turned masturbation and foot fetish into an art form. Adam held his cock steady as she ran her instep over his cock head, painting her foot with his pre-come. She tickled his balls with her toes, then gripping his cock with her feet again, she masturbated him furiously. She stopped, keeping him on the edge. Adam groaned with frustration. He looked down at the erotic sight of her perfect toes nestling in his pubic hair, stroking his balls. She pummelled him with her heels, then went back to stroking his cock. Adam whimpered and moaned as he floated away, a mess of exquisite sensations. A golden comfort enveloped him.
She curved both feet around his cock and masturbated him roughly. Breathing rasped, fists clenched jaw set.
And at last, at the end of the long evening, Adam came, jerking his spunk over Josie’s perfect little toes.
Friday, 14 December 2012
“The Museum of Deviant Desires,” from the writer Fulani, is one of those books that stays with you and it’s a book that you will read again and again. The erotica genre has produced some great stuff from talented writers, it has also given us some appallingly bad stuff too -- and I’m not just talking about 50 Shades. We’ve all read erotica that just “doesn’t do it” for us -- that’s not what I’m talking about here. Whether or not a book, or a story turns us on, is purely subjective and down to personal taste. But there is no reason why the erotica reader should not expect carefully crafted tales from writers whose use of language, show that they have a love of language and a wide ranging vocabulary. Fulani’s style of writing is both sophisticated and accessible. Here are his reviews, taken from Amazon.com
"What I need" the narrator of Fulani's "Burnout" tells us, "is some startling image that comes from nowhere and burns itself into my brain, my desires, causes instant addiction. What I need is a new mythos of erotica. . ."
I love the way this guy thinks!
Fulani is one of that rare, as yet officially unclassified species of erotic writer, the "meta-sexual;" a delightfully self-referential species noted for its uncanny ability to pleasure open-minded readers with intense multiple "brain-gasms." And there are many to be enjoyed in this collection of short BDSM-centered fiction, informed by everything from Roland Barthes and Stanislaw Lem to Nu Fetish, industrial bondage; flash fiction and on-line piracy; underground music festivals, and those pulpy sexploitation magazines of the 50s and 60s with their lurid cover paintings and thick black "censor bars" redacting all the naughty bits in the grainy photos accompanying the articles.
The eleven very-short stories in this collection are sexy and cerebral; breezy, thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud funny and utterly addictive. Like a big heaping bowl of literary-erotic Lucky Charms; you can't get enough. The multi-coloured marshmallow shapes are irresistibly delicious, but the oat-cereal part is actually good for you--who knew? Fulani strikes just the right balance between light fluffy diversion and crunchy intellectual substance, letting his horny inner nerd come out to play the most scintillatingly kinky games; whimsically creating new words and worlds even as he establishes fascinating new paradigms for the next generation of erotic fiction.
There's beauty here, however unexpected; the language can be lyrical even as it educes degradation and pain; the poetry of domination and submission set amid dystopian landscapes of industrial decay and urban blight. We wonder if this is what sex will be like in the future. But as the narrator of "Something Different" reminds us;
"Once you know it consciously, it's impossible not to see how the whole of society, economy, psychology is a dense network of sexual signifiers."
It's true. Fulani's stories draw their inspiration from an astonishingly diverse cosmos of commonplace artefacts; vacuum cleaners, toasters, plumbing supplies, burned out autos, melted plastic forms, all weirdly apt when turned to the author's singularly amusing purpose.
Entertaining, sexy, hilarious, often self-effacing, "The Museum of Deviant Desires" is a trenchant critique of contemporary erotic literature with its finger firmly on the g-spot of popular culture; a tasty treat, not to be missed.
By Terrance Aldon Shaw "Writer/Composer"
It's no secret that I love Fulani's stuff! And his latest offering, "The Museum of Deviant Desires" is a not so gentle reminder of why I follow this enigmatic and compelling writer.
The Museum of Deviant Desires is both a novel and a collection of stories. Each chapter can be read independently, or as a continuing narrative. What we read is brutal, compelling; but we have to continue reading. Fulani lifts the corner of the curtain into a world of bdsm that is sometimes shocking and sometimes amusing. The stories are engaging and move from point of view of submissive to Dominant and back again.
It's a haunting step into a little known world; that of the Dominant and his or her submissive. It is an intensely private world. We read about how the submissive is controlled, whipped, beaten, humiliated, isolated. It's the sort of treatment that human rights organisations campaign against. Yet the submissives in The Museum of Deviant Desires, submit to their Dominants willingly; with love and humility.
In so many of these types of tales, you come away with the feeling that the two protagonists don't even like each other, yet alone love each other. Yet I read about love in Fulani's pages; real devotion and caring; Fulani's words are far more powerful than any sonnet.
It isn't something as crude as who exactly is "getting off" here. Yes there are pheromones and there is the powerful rush of endorphins. But what Fulani gives the reader through his words, is something akin to the spiritual; for both Dominant and submissive it is an act of real devotion. It's making love in the truest sense. Giving and receiving. A gift of the self.
I came away from the Museum of Deviant Desires feeling envious. I have never experienced that kind of love. There's fidelity here and integrity too. And something more, something that I can't quite put my finger on; something elusive that cannot be captured.
Fulani's book is not for the fainthearted. But it is a still a love story and like all love stories it speaks its own language. It's not a language of hearts and flowers -- nothing so common place. It's a love that is deeply profound and enduring.
I think that The Museum of Deviant Desires is a brave book. As writers, we bleed out and give a little of ourselves away each time we tell a story. We are also incredible thieves and liars. So where is Fulani, the writer in all of this? I don't know and it doesn't matter.
Read Fulani's book and enjoy; be entertained and amused and yes, be shocked. I have a feeling that the tales here will stay with me for a very long time; The Museum of Deviant Desires is an essential read for any lover of erotica.
This is a set of wonderfully written, diverse stories of sex, bondage and domination. Each story gives the reader something new. A new setting, a new viewpoint and each story is fabulously sexy. The first story 'Poppy Seeks Pain' was my personal favourite - a great tale of the start of a master/slave relationship. Some of the stories were amusing, quirky and just down-right hot. The little glimpses into the world of anticipation were beautifully written and the final tale, a story of book piracy, was humorous little twist and a great way to end. This is erotica with brains.
The Museum of Deviant Desires is available from these stores.
Barnes and Noble Kobo Sony Diesel Ebook-eros Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk
iTunes - no URL, but search under the title
Friday, 7 December 2012
Most mornings I watch a television talk show; The Wright Stuff. It’s hosted by Matthew Wright, a journalist. It’s the usual sort of format; Matthew has three guests and they talk about various topical issues. Then, viewers are invited to phone in. Last week, to coincide with World Aids Day, on the 1st of December, the topic was HIV: Is complacency killing us?
Here’s how Matthew introduced the issue.
“Following a sharp rise in the number of men infected with HIV I’m asking if we’ve become too complacent for our good? Do we need more billboards warning us not to die of ignorance as we had in the 80s? Or is the problem more complicated: maybe medical advances mean we no longer perceive HIV infection as a death sentence? Either way is our complacency bad news?”
Part of our complacency seems to arise from the treatments that are in 2012 available. To be HIV Positive, is no longer a death sentence. Even with such a diagnosis, people with the virus can live well into their 70’s. Thousands of men and women with HIV in the UK, US and across the world are heading into an old age they never expected to see.
There are record numbers of Gay men being diagnosed with HIV. 1 in 4 men don’t know that they’ve got the virus. There are over 100,000 people in the UK with HIV.
Some cases were diagnosed years ago. Some are people who have been diagnosed late, having lived for years without knowing they were infected. And many people are now becoming infected later in life.
So people are still being diagnosed as HIV Positive and not only the people in the high risk groups; the black African community and men who have sex with men.
“Laura is a white, heterosexual, divorced mother of two. At the age of 52 she started a new relationship and then suddenly became ill. Because her symptoms were similar to those of a friend who had been diagnosed with HIV, she took a test. When she was told it was positive, she felt numbness and shock, she said. She cannot believe, as a well-educated person, that she stopped using condoms with her partner and allowed it to happen.”
And on The Wright Stuff show, Julie phoned in. She is a woman, in her 40’s and some years previously, had been date raped. She started to experience illnesses, some severe, some not so problematic. Julie was misdiagnosed for 7 years, until finally, she was told that she was HIV Positive. Julie had many blood tests, but was never screened for HIV. She has passed the virus on to a previous male partner, who in turn has passed the virus on to a female partner. I believe that Julia has also infected her current partner. Julie says that ordinary doctors, GP’s in the UK, are clueless about HIV and need to be more aware. Had she been diagnosed earlier, her immune system would be stronger.
This point was picked up by Genevieve Edwards, who was in Matthew Wright’s audience representing the Terrence Higgins Trust.
“Every day someone dies, because they didn’t get diagnosed early enough. Their immune systems are damaged and weakened. Their immune systems pull back but never fully recover.”
Genevieve says that we are missing opportunities. The young should be taught that safe sex isn’t just about pregnancy.
Penny Smith, a TV presenter and journalist, was on Matthew Wright’s panel, she said;
“It is simply that men don’t like using condoms.”
Perhaps she has a point, but women have to take responsibility too. How about telling the guy “No, not without protection!” Difficult in the heady heat of the moment, but it’s better than dying -- isn’t it?
The figures quoted always seem to be about Gay and Bisexual men and the black community -- the perception being, that if you don’t fall into that category, you’re okay.
Genevieve Edwards, from Terrence Higgins, says that we all need to be more aware of what we are doing. Sound advice.