Sorry, y’all, no post today. I hope to get something horror-y up by the end of the week. I’ve been frantically trying to get all and sundry done before November, and it’s kind of caught up with me. Very behind. <3 you.
I’ve finally finished the basic outline for the NaNoWriMo novel I’m planning to write. I think I’m making it to be shorter than the average novel, since it’s not as complicated plot-wise. So hopefully it won’t reach FRIGID BITCH length.
As it stands now, the novel has a title, the characters are named, and there looks to be eleven chapters in total, although we’ll have to see how each one plays out and how long they are. It isn’t a concrete outline, but at least I have some idea where the plot is going.
I also have the makings of a playlist going. I’ve met my fellow local NaNoers, and I’m looking forward to coffee shop write-ins. It’ll be interesting to see if I can keep up a 2000-word daily goal when lately I’ve barely managed 500-700 per day.
Still working on getting all of my other stuff taken care of before November so that it’s free for the NaNo novel. It’ll probably bleed into November, but I hope it won’t be too distracting.
One more thing I need to do before November: research wolf behavior.
The irony of writing in the erotica genre is that I’m very much a pragmatist, not a romantic at all. Sure, I love roses and I love chocolate, but I like them even without the romantic associations. Maybe it’s a side effect of never experiencing romance firsthand, but I’ve become rather cynical about the whole subject, which has led to being guarded as a rule.
When I see other people in romantic or sexual relationships, I notice one of two settings: 1) Giving all of yourself to the other person to the point of your world revolving around that person. In this process, you lose some of your self-perspective and instead become a part of the relationship rather than an individual. I see a lot of people getting burned when they do this. Or 2) staying an individual, hanging out with the other person and enjoying your time together and apart. This latter one is more practical and long-lasting, but it’s also lacks the drama that can give relationships so much passion. It’s a slow burn instead of a fierce fire. The fierce fire may feel better, but it tends to consume everything until it has no more fuel left and dies. This is not a hard and fast rule. It’s simply what I’ve noticed about other people’s relationships, at least when they go well.
However, I find that when I write, I write in an Alternate Universe in which passion is worth its fire. I also write about Fate, which is another thing that I tend to not believe in in real life. I think I write things I wish were true. Since they are acceptable in certain genres of literature, there’s some freedom to lose myself in the fantasy universe in which you have some solace or fear in knowing that you are being guided, in which some indeterminate spirit inside you recognizes a fellow spirit in someone else and binds them together in a love that doesn’t exist.
Maybe True Love does exist, but like Fate, it’s not something they’ve had the courtesy to share with me, so I do remain skeptical, if a bit sad. However, I am permitted the brief endorphin rush through literary means, and I indulge in those fantasies whenever I can. Even in the midst of bloodshed and mayhem and despair, there can still be True Love and Fate. Perhaps I don’t use these things to lift others out of that bloodshed and mayhem and despair (out of a persistent need to be at least a little realistic and less cliched). Given that I also write horror and erotic horror, I think it’s clear that even in literature I refuse to see these things as a solution, per se. But they may alleviate some pain and uncertainty. Given the general belief in this society for both of these abstracts, I do not think they are unwelcome. Perhaps I will one day be proven wrong about both.
As spoken by the proud and pragmatic Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Act 3, Scene 1):
What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
Stand I condemn’d for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu!
No glory lives behind the back of such.
And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand:
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band;
For others say thou dost deserve, and I
Believe it better than reportingly.
- “Addicted” Kelly Clarkson
- “Alive” Jekyll & Hyde Concept Recording
- “Angel” Massive Attack
- “Angry Johnny” Poe
- “Bad Romance” Lady Gaga
- “The Beast in Us All” Inkubus Sukkubus
- “Bleed” Fractured
- “Breath Control” Recoil
- “Dead of Night” Depeche Mode
- “Do You Love Me?” Nick Cave
- “Endlessly” Muse
- “Graveyard Violin” from movie Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera
- “Haunted” Evanescence
- “Haunted” Poe
- “Hatred” Novakill
- “Hellfire” Hunchback of Notre Dame
- “I’ll See You in My Dreams” Moonspell
- “Ice” Sarah McLachlan
- “It’s a Dangerous Game” Jekyll & Hyde OBC
- “Love Song for a Vampire” Annie Lennox
- “Loverman” Nick Cave
- “Monster” Panzer AG
- “People are Strange” Johnny Hollow
- “Please Don’t Make Me Love You” Dracula Concept
- “Phantom of the Opera” Phantom of the Opera OBC
- “The Pretty Things are Going to Hell” David Bowie
- “Pretty When You Cry” VAST
- “Razor Valentine” Thea Gilmore
- “Restless” Evanescence and Within Temptation
- “Scarlet” Silent Hill Homecoming
- “The Seduction” Dracula Demo
- “She Wolf” Shakira
- “Snow White Queen” Evanescence
- “Spooky” God Module
- “Tear You Apart” She Wants Revenge
- “Totale Finsternis” Tanz Der Vampire
- “Tourniquet” Rasputina
- “Transylvanian Concubine” Rasputina
- “Uninvited” Alanis Morissette
- “Vampire Ecstasy” Aural Vampire
- “Where the Wild Roses Grow” Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue
- “Witchcraft” Frank Sinatra
- “Within My World” Orton and Evan’s Dracula Concept
I’ve heard the argument before that many profane appellations are demeaning toward women and non-average sexualities. Now, after about eighteen years of never using obscenities, I’ve found I rather enjoy them – perhaps more so than if I had used them during that stage of adolescence in which they are used for the sake of being used or to piss off teachers and parents. But it’s recently occurred to me that many profane appellations aren’t completely skewed toward insulting women and homosexual men. Instead, these words and the fact they are discouraged and/or forbidden are far more deprecatory against sex and sexuality in general. (For the record, when I use the words ‘profane’ and ‘obscene,’ these are the descriptors that society at large gives to the words in question.)
Think about it. Cunt, pussy, and boob are all insulting words referring to women’s primary sex characteristics. But then you can turn around and see that there are plenty of insults using male genitalia. “Oh, balls (or bollocks).” “I really cocked that up.” “Don’t be a dick.” “You’re really being a limp dick, you know that?” And for men, you have the double whammy of having your genitals maligned and your masculinity, should you be insulted instead with reference to feminine obscenities. “Don’t be a pussy.” And women, you’ve been insulted because anything involving a woman is automatically insulting towards men, but women don’t get painted with masculine obscenities nearly that often.
But more than that, think of some of the non-genital related obscenities: bastard, son of a bitch, bitch, whore, slut. The women get it mostly on this one, since calling a woman a bitch, whore, or slut insults her but not her presumed partners, but calling a man a bastard or a son of a bitch insults both him and his mother.
And then, think of the four-letter word that censors consider the worst of them all: fuck. How telling is it that in our society, the word for rough and/or animalistic and/or casual sex act is considered the worst obscenity? It suggests that sex, especially sex that is rough, animalistic, or casual is automatically so bad, that just the word to describe it is forbidden. There are other sex words that are considered obscene as well, like bugger and screw and blow – anal sex, a milder word for fucking, and oral. In the case of bugger and blow, that’s probably a hit against homosexuals, but I would also suggest that we look more broadly: it’s a hit against anyone bottoming or submissive – the one being penetrated or the one on his or her knees – which describes most often women and “womanish” homosexual men performing for the so-described “man” in the relationship.
Now, is any of this going to stop me from enjoying all these words? Hell, no. I actually rather enjoy the feel of “bitch,” “fuck,” and “bastard” in my mouth when I’m by myself, or I’ve hurt myself, or when I’m writing. It’s very satisfying to have words that are harsher and more emphatic just by using them. However, I think it’s important to know the cultural context of the words used and why people react the way they do to profanity, or why they get offended, or why they get hurt.
People’s language tells you a lot about the culture in which they reside, and knowing what language is forbidden tells you what that culture is afraid of. The overuse of the words takes away some of the power of the forbidden, but it also loses some of the emphasis when the power matters or when it can be turned on its head. So you know what? I’m going to link you to George Carlin’s Seven Words. Have a bitching day.
We’ve heard the scandals. A well-connected and politically ambitious person – usually a man with heavily conservative leanings – is caught soliciting or having sex with someone of the same sex. He declares constantly that he’s heterosexual, that he was only briefly swayed to have sex with men. Perhaps because of something he lacked from his father figure, perhaps because of the devil’s temptation and human beings’ natural sinful ways, perhaps he was just dipping his toes into a new and exciting illicit lifestyle.
Well, all those stodgy Republicans are closeted homosexuals. Right?
I recently wrote a post saying that I differentiate between stories that are f/f and stories that are lesbian (same goes with the male counterparts). Being a writer, I understand both the necessity and the limitations of labeling, which is why it’s so important that, if you must label, you label correctly. And that’s why, in cases where the identity isn’t as much an issue for the characters as the action, I default to describing the action.
Take, for instance, “In Circles.” If I wanted to be really technical, the MC is bisexual – she’s interested in men, but she is seduced by Bloody Mary. But she identifies herself as straight, never thought of women in a sexual way before. Her encounter with Bloody Mary was atypical, a one-off thing. But while her orientation may be bisexual, she doesn’t know that, and her identity is heterosexual. But the action in the story is primarily female-with-female. That’s why, when I describe that story, it’s definitely queer (for more reasons than orientation) but I wouldn’t call it lesbian erotica. Instead, it’s f/f.
In FRIGID BITCH, however, the MC never outright describes her identity as bisexual. In fact, I don’t think there’s a single piece of queer language in the novel. However, there’s no denying that her identity, orientation, and action is emphatically bisexual. Her identity isn’t as important to her in her little sanctuary where she doesn’t encounter the outside world much, but if she were asked, she would say she was bisexual. Hence, why I might call FRIGID BITCH a bisexual erotic novel. I could also call it a queer erotic novel, or an erotic novel with primary f/f and m/f, with additional m/f/f and an orgy.
We might call a girl kissing a girl in a bar for the delight of men bicurious, but it’s more likely that she’s doing it for the man’s benefit. Her action is f/f, but her identity is likely straight. (For the record, I have no problem with people who want to do this. I don’t like it when people feel obligated to do so if they aren’t interested, nor do I like it when men feel that lesbians and/or straight girls are obligated to please them sexually by doing so.)
Whether you’re reading or writing erotica, particularly ones with queer overtones, it’s important to know the difference between the sexual action going on between characters, the conscious identity of the character, and the subconscious orientation of the character.
At the same time, this is incredibly important in real life. Most of the time, the only thing that society and individuals can see is the action, so they impart orientation and identity to the action they see. Maybe now you’ll know orientation and identity are not so simple as what you see, and maybe you won’t jump to conclusions about either during the next sex scandal. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that identity and orientation aren’t as important and sometimes more important than the action.