Tag Archives: erotic

Book Review: In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed I

This will be a very long and involved review of Mitzi Szereto’s In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed, a collection of erotic fairy tales published by Cleis Press. In fact it will be at least three, maybe four parts, so hang on to your hats.

When I received The Sweetest Kiss and In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed for review I decided to do the vampire erotica first (Sweetest Kiss) since it was nearer to Hallowe’en. Plus, I love fairy tales. They’re a good memory of my childhood and I still have (managed to find again actually) some of the volumes I had as a kid. (Those influences can be read in previous blog entries on worlds of what-if.) I took one course in university on children’s lit but specifically fairy tales, which gave me a deeper interest in the form. I’ve read numerous tales from Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen and the brothers Grimm to updated interpretations by Angela Carter, Sarah Moon and the collections edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I’ve written a few of my own, including poems, and continue to search out and enjoy the varied tales that are there, from the ancient to the new.

Fairy and folktales began a very long time ago. Along with the myths and superstitions that set up the religious structures of culture throughout the world, people were attempting to explain other things or events. And they were entertaining each other. However, not all entertainment had a single purpose. Much was in the way of passing on information: histories, cautionary tales, moral tales, tales of hope and trickery in the little guy/or common person who is rewarded for great deeds/virtue/quick wit, etc. The list is quite extensive.

These tales were told over and over again, passed down through generations and cultures, adapting and evolving with the times. Once Charles Perrault and before him Giambattista Basile, and after, the brothers Grimm, started to set the tales down in writing, gathering them from various sources, the tales began to evolve less and become frozen in time and sentiment of an age. There is evidence that these tales were written down centuries before in various lands, and in different versions but overall I follow the belief that most tales were passed from person to person, tales told by bards and travellers. This is not the view that Mitzi Szereto takes, stating that most tales were gathered from the more noble or richer classes, and there is obvious truth there as written tales would have been for the more educated and therefore wealthy classes. But all these tales started somewhere, being listened to by groups of people. Whichever it may be, there are variations all over.

Just as religions adopted gods from one country to another and similar sun gods, resurrection gods, grain gods and weather gods can be seen in most early religions, so it is that many of these fairy tales are part of the cosmic consciousness that Jung believed in and is quite evident in the evolution and progress of human intellect and thought. Books have been written just on the subject of fairy tales alone, besides the volumes of fairy tales themselves.

The earlier versions are often violent and bloody, and have characters not so redeeming as how they appear in some of Perrault’s and the Grimm brothers’ versions. Indeed, by the time Disney got hold of the fairy tales they were sanitized of any true lessons and every good little princess got her man, as long as she was virtuous, pretty and good, a role model for every submissive female for the 20th century and more.

This brings us to a reclaiming of fairy tales that happened the more adults began to take them seriously again and examine their content. Even though the Grimms edited the tales to suit their views, they were purveyors of folk literature and took their work seriously. Many others have come along to look at the tales and their hidden meanings and mysteries. Some of these scholars of today are A.S. Bayatt, Emma Donohue, and Angela Carter, who did her own rewriting of many a tale. In the Company of Wolves is a great rendition of the Little Red Riding Hood tale and can also be found in a “now” old film of the same name, starring a younger Angela Lansbury. Bruno Bettelheim and Jack Zipes are well-known scholars of fairy tales. Author Sarah Moon did a chilling rendition of the same Little Red Riding Hood as Carter’s but more as a cautionary tale than a coming of age story, with her stark black and white photos of a  young girl in the glare of a car’s headlights and with connotations of a pedophilic stalker, making the tale very modern and terrifying.

Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling edited collections of modern tales that take these fairy tales with leaps in new directions. Jane Yolen, and other authors have also written different rendtions that are darker and deeper than the original tales. Although it is less storytelling, authors are still taking these archetypal tales and bringing them along through the centuries to match our times, with warnings and morals and fears that hit closer to home.

There are many authors, editors and scholars in the realm of fairy tales who are researching, reading and telling new tales. Having written an erotic fairy tale for a Harlequin anthology that I based off of one of the many (and lesser known) Grimm tales, I was excited to see this collection by Mitzi Szereto.

And here I am, at the end of a blog entry and I have yet to actually talk about the book. I’ll start very briefly and say that it had a preface by Tobsha Learner. Though I didn’t know who this was, Tobsha is an Australian author with several books to her credit in which a blend of magic and eroticism are the theme (and some gorgeous covers on top of that). I thought, great, there will be a scholarly bent to the fairy tale aspect and I’ll learn even more about them. This was coupled by Mitzi Szereto’s introduction and an introduction to each story.

I’ll go into the intro and some of the tales tomorrow, but up to this point, I had not yet read any of Szereto’s writing. From what I could tell of reading about her, she’s vivacious, energetic, intelligent and a good writer. I read a couple of excerpts I found of her other pieces which supported that she knows how to write, so I was looking forward to the tales.

Tomorrow, what I found out as I read.

Cleis Press: http://www.cleispress.com/gosearch.php?textfield=in+sleeping+beauty&search_type=TITLE

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Love, Sex and Inanimate Objects

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, up pops another twist on the skein of life. I’m used to reading about, and hearing about different fetishes. I write erotica as well as other subjects so most of it I’ve heard of. Some of it is downright weird and some even revolting but I’ve heard of it.

What I have not heard of, or didn’t until yesterday, was objectum sexuals. It doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue and seems a blend of Latin and English but perhaps that’s to be expected from a self-proclaimed, very limited group of people who classify themselves as in love with or having intimate relations with inanimate objects.

love, inanimate objects, objectum sexualis, crazy people, marriage

Erika married the Eiffel Toweer (from http://blkandred.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html)

The article listed here from The Globe and Mail mentions a woman, Erika, who had a special feeling when she was at the Eiffel tower. She continued to visit it, again and again, touching it, spending all day with it. Eventually she performed a commitment ceremony with the tower, and friends as witnesses and changed her name to Erika Eiffel. The picture shows she wears an Eiffel tower necklace and has the tower tattooed between her breasts.

swordHer past relationships have been with an archery bow, a bridge and a sword (is that another euphemism for rough play?). I wonder if she’s ever had a relationship with a person and if she did so at the same time as dating the bridge. Was she then cheating on both partners, the animate and inanimate? And if she’s with a female object, is she then a lesbian? Ms Eiffel began a group called Objectum Sexuality Internationale (Latin, English and French in that name?) for people who love inanimate objects.

The article goes on to mention the man who is dating two soundboards and keeps them in his pocket, and fondles and kisses them. Is he cheating or just polyamorous? There’s a woman who is going to marry a roller coaster. Which denomination will perform that marriage or will it be a justice of the peace? But almost all religions require that both people give consent. These are not two people but woman and thing, however the thing cannot give its consent. I doubt that that marriage will be legal in the eyes of the law.

So okay, these people get a warm fuzzy glow about some thing but to marry or have a commitment ceremony with it? If I take these people seriously in their choice of partners, then I have to ask, how do they know that that bridge or tower or roller coaster wants to marry them or have a commitment ceremony with them? Aren’t they forcing their affections on something that can’t object? If they also are married or date people, then aren’t they cheating? What if the bridge wants a monogamous relationship? How do they know?

And what if the Eiffel tower already had a ceremony with someone else? Is it cheating? Do they know if the tower is monogamous or polyamorous? Maybe it’s saying in its quiet metallic voice, “Don’t touch me there. Get away from me. I’m sick of all you people spitting on me, pissing on me, dropping your gum and garbage all over my surface. Just leave me alone.”

Although a third of these self-identified objectum sexuals are supposedly diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome or autism (where it is sometimes hard for people to form relationships, but not always) there are only 100 people in this group, or at least those who have “come out.” That’s not even one percent of any population. Still, how can a person form a relationship with something that doesn’t feel, though Erika claims they are animists, therefore believing in a spirit in everything. There are animist religions but they don’t marry the objects in their religion (usually). What does it say when a person dates an object so that there are no discussions, no arguments, no objections to any behavior? Is it a sign that that person wants to control all aspects of a relationship?

Should I just turn a blind eye if I see a guy screwing a Volkswagen Beetle in a parking lot? After all, he can’t have it in to his place and he needs to maintain the relationship. In fact, in the US, men (or women I suppose) can buy neon colored, silicon testicles to hang from the back of their cars. Is this a form of penis extension or pumping up the image of masculine virility, or is it more objectum sexual? I’m not sure I want to know.

If I see a woman semi-naked and rubbing herself against a building, should I just presume it’s a normal relationship with her lover? So what’s next? Hmmm, dead people are inanimate. Should the deceased’s partner be able to maintain intimate relationships with the newly dead? Should there be a business in renting out preserved dead folks for loving relationships? We usually call this necrophilia.

I love chocolate but I suppose I’m a murderer as I tend to eat it. I love the color turquoise but I’m not about to get all intimate with every turquoise item I see. Maybe I should just lick and fondle it. That might be enough for both of us. I love my bed. I sleep with it every night. Maybe we should get married.

Still, for all this weird little piece of life makes me shake my head, I guess it doesn’t harm anyone, unless you consider the feelings of the objects.

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Writing: Rannu Fund Fiction & Poetry Winners

donjuan-cover-72

To the right is the cover of Don Juan & Men, which is due out in June with my story, “The Boy Who Bled Rubies.” It is obviously a book with tales about the homo-erotic natures of men. I believe all the stories have a fantasy aspect, and mind definitely does.

As well, another story that also revolves around some taboo sex, “An Ember Amongst the Fallen” has been accepted by Nancy Kilpatrick for Evolve, a vampire anthology (of modern vampires, hence the title) due to debut in Brighton, England next year at the World Horror Convention.

And then, I entered the Rannu fund for poetry and fiction. I did not win, alas, nor get an honorable mention but received a note, I suppose. Here are the results of the winners, post by Sandra Kasturi, one of the patrons of the fund. Now I just need to sell my story, “Shoes.”

**Please note that all judging was done blind; names, bios, e-mails, etc. were all stripped from the entries.**

Fiction Winners (tie):
“Hell Friend” by Gemma Files
“As Promised” by Nick Stokes

Fiction Honourable Mentions:
“God’s Gift to the Natives: Flight” by Sandra Jackson-Opoku
“Crossroads and Gateways” by Helen Marshall

Fiction Judges: Robert Boyczuk, Candas Jane Dorsey, Sandra Kasturi

Poetry Winner:
“Visitation” by Kim Goldberg

Poetry Honourable Mentions:
“Book of Sloth” by Jacques Benoit
“The Gypsy” by Helen Marshall

Poetry Judges: David Livingstone Clink, Mildred Tremblay, Sandra Kasturi

We would also like to note the entries that made it onto one or more judges’ shortlists:

Fiction:
“Shoes” by Colleen Anderson
“Pearls Before Swine” by Don Bassingthwaite
“No Cages” by Kevin Nunn
“Natalie Touches Upon the World” by Ivan Faute

Poetry:
Jacques Benoit’s “Slow Day in Tabloidland”
Robert Borski’s “Neosaur,” “Frog Prince,” and “All the Clocks of Hell”
Gemma Files’ “Tantalus, Reaching Upwards” and “Jar of Salts”
Kim Goldberg’s “Inner Sanctum” and “Green Thumb”
Sidharth Gopinath’s “Watcher”
Riina Kindlam’s “Vulnerable, with a Pinch of Salt”
Helen Marshall’s “Howling,” “The Oak Girl,” “The Queen of the Cats,” and “Pan”

Thank you all for participating in this competition, and I hope you will all enter again next year–check the website for details in the fall. And thank you again for your patience as the judges got through the entries. (And thanks again to the judges!!)

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Sex: Pucker Power

Today I’m cheating. One, I’m trying to apply for another grant and have to get it done this week. And two, I’m curious as to why this post never got many hits. It had that all powerful word “sex” in it but that didn’t seem to work. Maybe it’s because it was only about kissing. Maybe it’s because my blog was new at that point.

kiss, kissing, sloppy kisses, baby kisses, sex, dating, humor

Baby kisses are best from babies. Creative Commons: chippenziedeutch, flickr

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure and sometimes unfortunately, revulsion, of kissing a fair number of men. I once, long ago, agreed to be a kissing judge in the SCA. I believe they placed an air mattress in the middle of the field and the guys came and kissed one by one. The same was set up for the male judge. It was an enlightening and mostly grueling experience. Young gamer, SCA geeks were the ones that signed up. In the end I believe the judges found each other to be the best kissers. 😀

A kiss can be a great turn-on and the beginning of good foreplay. It’s an essential part of dating, of sex and really, of any relationship. There are some people who don’t like to kiss. I can understand that if a person has bad teeth/breath but it’s such a part of turning a person on that without it, one has to work a lot harder in all the other areas.

A bad kiss can be a turn-off to the rest of a sexual experience. If I find someone a repulsive kisser, I’m going to be hesitant to go farther than kissing them. So, as to men, they can pretty much be put into categories. (I’m sure women can be too.) Kisses really should vary and some of the below moves in small dosages can work well. An overwhelming preponderance for one style, or lack of variety makes some of these kisses truly disgusting, and many boring.

THE VACUUM
This usually involves the man clamping his lips to yours, lamprey style. He then tries to suction your tongue out of your body. Sometimes he won’t get as far as the tongue but will suction your lips off. You’re lucky to get away with light bruising and not look like a victim of zombiehood.

THE SLUG
I would prefer the Vacuum over the Slug. This one will either kiss by squishing his face into yours or tossing his tongue into your mouth. I say face, because for all intents and purposes the lips are not alive. You have to do all the work. Should the slug let the slimy protuberance of his tongue into your mouth it will lay there like a slug, wet and …oh sorry. Slugs are more animated but kinda slimy and disgusting no matter what.

THE SLOBBERER

bad kisses, sloppy kisses, dating, men, sex, slobbering

Maybe it’s best to leave the slobbery kisses to the dogs. Creative Commons: jsrcyclist, flickr

This one is evident and can sometimes be combined with the Slug that lies in your mouth. Usually the lips are animated but the aim is bad and the tongue is of an overly moist humor. You’ll end up with drool sliding down your chin, over cheeks and up your nose. Sloppy kisses can be fun from time to time but you shouldn’t have to worry that you’re going to drown.

THE BABY
You know how cute babies are when they’re suckling and if they’re hungry their little open mouths seem to blindly search for something to suckle? (Maybe I should call this the sandworm.) Well it’s not so cute with men. You see this huge gaping maw coming your way and you’re not sure you’ll get out alive. The mouth will usually encompass yours and your lips too. It may just lay there like a black hole. I’m inclined to yodel to see if I can get echoes.

THE BOARD
These guys think that kissing involves keeping their lips in a tight rictus over their teeth. Again, there will be little true interaction with your lips. They kiss by opening and closing their mouths because their lips rarely move. You’ll have to do all the work with these mannequins.

THE PROBER
Some men think their tongues are penises. They’ll ram that stiff sucker into your mouth and keep jamming it back and forth. There will be little to no exploration of the teeth and sometimes these guys combine with the Baby. You’re lucky if you get a kiss on the lips to begin with and you’ll rarely get a chance to give a reciprocal kiss unless you forcefully push the probe back out.

THE PUDDING
Puddin’ lips can be kinda nice. They may have skills with the tongue but the lips (and sometimes the tongue), although animated, may lack any muscle. When you kiss them you might sink into them. They’re not all bad and depends if they combine with other good types.

THE CHOMPER
Teeth is what the Chomper is all about, which, as we know, is not all bad. Unless it’s all teeth. Biting the lips (gently) can be fun but slamming one’s teeth into lips that have teeth on the other side is painful and cutting. Something soft between two hard surfaces usually gets squished.

THE MUSCLE
These guys put muscle into their kisses. Their lips and tongues are animated and alive and have some resistance. Too much muscle however, can become a workout and hard to give any reciprocal kisses.

As in all these styles, the best one is a versatile one, where both kissers have a chance to explore. Your mileage may vary. Some people might prefer a particular style only and that’s fine. Kisses can be sweet, they can be sexy and they can be downright hot. And remember, when you’re kissing, don’t forget that the whole body is ripe for the puckering.

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