Nov 082017

I have been thinking about the structure of erotic novels. Specifically, I have been thinking about the structure of an erotic novel I am in the middle of writing and how I wish I had more a blueprint for what I wanted to do with it.

There are a few models for regular novels that work well in porn. There is the three-act structure which I think works really well for romantic erotica. The first act is two potential lovers meeting, or maybe even fucking. The second act is all the reasons they can’t be together all the time, or maybe it is all the hot sex they have that must keep strictly sexual despite both wanting to take the next level. This ends with a breakup or separation and then the third act is how they get back together to fuck some more.

The other famous structure is the Hero’s Journey. Some young person gets recruited to do something. They resist, then they train, then they might resist some more, then they do a bunch of stuff and finally become a mature hero who takes care of the problem. It is such an iconic story that porn often imitates it without even consciously being aware of it because becoming hero is awfully similar to a sexual awakening. Character gets invited for hot sex, they have their doubts and are reluctant but through the teaching of their mentor, they get better and better until they achieve some loft sexual goal like being hot enough to attract the second hottest character in the book.

There is a third structure in porn novels that used to be more common but not as much in world today. It is the Picaresque model where some low class person has a series of loosely connected adventures that are designed to show how clever this low class person is. Any single encounter could almost exist on its own as a short story.

The erotic equivalent is a novel where the character doesn’t really grow into a super-sex person or finally fuck someone important. They also don’t really have a lofty goal in the distance that they must struggle against like in a three act structure. They simply are and the what they are is someone who fucks in a series of encounters meant to arouse.

I feel like there has to be other structures that I am not aware. To be honest, I never studied structure much and to my knowledge, have never seen anyone try to break it down for porn novels. I am curious if anyone is aware of other novel structures in porn.


Aug 242016

I was in a used bookstore yesterday. After a good long search I found the carefully hidden erotica section. The books are stacked sideways so only the spines are showing. The title alone had to grab me.

Black Masque? Oh cool, is this an erotic twist on the Poe story, the Masque of the Red Death? Is this about a masked party with shifting identities and spanking? Perhaps a novel about a sex cult?

Nope, Black Masque is about sex partners for vampires. Sigh.

Slave Island? Oh, is this a dirtier Exit to Eden? Maybe there are castaways on an island and they have reverted to slavery?

Nope, it is a historical novel about Romans.

And so on. I often feel the most erotic a book can be is before you read the back of the book. The suggestion of the title often brings forth your own fantasies and desires that get crushed by the mundane reality of what the book is actually about.

It is interesting because until I see a title like Slave island, I never knew I wanted a book about castaways and kink. I doubt I would come up with that on my own. Now I have another idea for my ever lengthening list of books I want to write.

Jul 182016

The following contains spoilers for my new interactive erotica book, Taken by the Aliens. Before you read any further, you should probably go buy the book, which I am sure that you have already.

When I decided to do a book about alien abductions, I made a conscious decision to draw inspiration from the pre-X-Files period of “real life” alien abductions. I put real life in quotes because alien abduction experiences have an uncanny tendency to follow trends in entertainment and cultural movements. People reported being taken by human looking aliens until “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” came out and wouldn’t you know it, after that movie, people started getting visited by little aliens with big heads.

The aliens in the book fall into three distinct groups plus some extras.

The Greys are the most common aliens in my book and the most famous in popular culture. Mention UFO aliens to a random person and they will picture these frail thin aliens with the big eyes and even bigger heads. Whitley Streiber is a pioneer of chronicling the little perverted bastards which is why your best friend in the book is a UFO fan named Whitney.

In my book, they use a lot of probes. Holy crap, did I make a bunch of alien sex toys for this book. My favorite was the weird house with the multiple tongues. I flip-flopped on giving them genitals and ultimately decided that Grey cock was too good to pass up although their fingers are quite sensitive too.

Before people saw Greys, most alien sightings were of a perfect race of aliens that looked like tall blond humans. Nicknamed the Nordics by UFO experts, these aliens came by to tell you that Earth needs to get their shit together and stop using nuclear weapons, clean their environment and not become communists. They always came from a nearby planet like Venus or Saturn and they also told the abductee that they personally had been chosen to teach the Earth how to be better galactic citizens.

The Nordics presented a problem to me as a writer. On the one hand, the idea of an alien race posing as Galactic Big Brothers really amused me. On the other hand, the fact that this perfect race was a bunch of Aryan white people struck me as racist as fuck.

The solution was easy, I turned to Afrofuturism. I kept the highly superior attitude but swapped Anhk-wearing black men with large skulls for their huge brains for the rather bland Nordic model. I called them Nubians and gave them mental powers which let me skip having to make up yet another hundred kinds of sex probes.

The Nubians are obviously full of shit but they are so damn nice about it. I am especially proud of them claiming to have taught Earth people how to make strip malls.

The last group of aliens are the Reptoids. By far the smallest group of alien reported by abductees, the Reptoids sadly don’t have much consistency in their descriptions. People described them as walking lizard people of various sizes and shapes.

Now, David Ickle claims that Snake People are shape shifters and secretly run the government. As tempting as that was to incorporate, I decided against including it because I am afraid I would end up writing V fan fiction.

I went another direction and just made them lumbering lizard people. Only during my second draft did I realize that I unconsciously based them on the Sleestak from Land of the Lost. Oops.

At some point I was trying desperately to make an oral sex scene with the Reptoids different from the other dozen oral scenes I had written. It occurred to me that the Reptoid’s skin might have hallucinogenic properties like some frogs. That was my happiest innovation as it made all their sex scenes far more interesting.

Once I got the three major alien groups out of the way, I felt free to indulge myself with some non-traditional aliens. The alien with four arms was just me wanting to do a big spanking scene. The tentacle monster in the cell was there because how can you NOT do a tentacle monster on a spaceship? The brains in the jars were just a cool image and the host of robots were for science fiction decoration.

I do want to talk about the man with the Memphis accent. I knew I wanted one celebrity on board the ship and Elvis was the obvious choice. I am not really a fan of Elvis himself as much as I am a fan of fiction about Elvis. Bubba Hotep by Joe Lansdale comes to mind as well as the perfect Come Back tour by Kim Newman. I like the idea of Elvis more than the man and that is why my Elvis is a charming if selfish creature with alien hips from beyond our powers to comprehend.

Wednesday I will continue the autopsy with a look at the structure of the choices.

Nov 302015

This past weekend I wrote the last Vaquel story for 2015. It will conclude the 5th year of writing stories for my perverse space explorer which makes her the longest running series I have written. I may have written other characters off and on over a period of years but Vaquel has had a new story at least once a month.

This year I tried something new where I had one enemy, Voice, for an entire year. In Buffy fandom terms, Voice was my Big Bad and I was fond of the extra-dimensional mass-murdering psychopath. He destroyed worlds because it amused him and he destroyed so many that he had no more left to play with. There is a parable about conservation, greed and perhaps not-mass-murdering in there somewhere.

Once you have one Big Bad in your series, there is an expectation to have another. I will not be having a Big Bad next year. The problem with continuous Big Bads is that as soon as you have two of them, comparisons are made. One is the real Big Bad while the other becomes the Not as Interesting Big Bad. Besides, Voice was special and I think it makes him more special if he is rare.

In 2014, I had a theme where Vaquel encountered several races that were neighbors. It was a small tribute to science fiction that dealt with politics and wars. Before that, I think I had a partial theme where Vaquel went a long time without encountering anyone and I played with loneliness. Before that, I think I was just winging it.

I’m not sure what 2016 will bring. Having a theme helps set the tone when I release these stories as ebooks. After a year of Voice, I am eager to write stories where Vaquel actually talks to someone face to face or genital to genital instead of just talking to inside her head. Star Wars is coming out soon and part of me is tempted to do a year long satire of a rebel alliance and an evil empire but I am not sold on it. I like parodies but I think they work best in small doses.

Whatever I decide on, I want to thank the reader for joining me on this twenty year mission.  We have completed the first five years together and I think we have had some fun. We’re only at the 1/4 mark and we still have a lot of space to explore and fuck.

Sep 142015

wicker-man-1973-britt-ekland-dance-sceneI watched The Wicker Man this weekend. I saw the original, not the Nicholas Cage comedy remake. It was a movie that I had been aware of for decades and knew the plot but had just never bothered to get around to seeing until now.

It is a powerful movie. It was also not what I expected. An outsider comes to a remote village to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. The policeman is horrified to discover that the villagers are pagans who let the local christian church fall into ruins while they practice their old ways. It becomes pretty clear very fast that they probably sacrificed the young girl because they had a bad harvest.

Now this is a story idea that I am familiar with. It’s Shadows over Innsmouth or Goatswood or even the Children of the Corn. As a viewer I know this situation and I know how the villagers will be secretive, ominous and outright hostile to the outsider.

But that isn’t what happens. The first clue is the music which drove my horror-loving wife up the wall. The music in Wicker Man is upbeat folk songs. It sounds like a cheerful Woodstock movie instead of a dreadful horror movie. In fact, it is pretty much a musical as key conflicts are expressed in songs. This bleeds into the villagers who instead of being secretive and hostile are downright proud and friendly over their heathen ways. The villagers fuck and they fuck a lot and they sing a lot of songs about fucking. They like being worshipers of the old gods because they get to fuck a lot. They also get a kick out of embarrassing the prudish outsider.

In fact, we have seen this situation a millions times in a different kind of genre: porn. The puritan stranger comes to a sexually free land and slowly comes around to their ways before descending into a journey of orgiastic discovery. Everyone comes and has a good time.

Except this is a horror movie and the sexually repressed policeman is freaking the fuck out. Eventually he gets burned alive so yeah, his freaking out was self-preservation but again, it is hard not to see the policeman as the problem in this movie. Everyone else is fucking and singing songs. Why does he have to be such a downer? Oh yeah, there’s a missing girl.

Let me also say that the policeman’s sacrificial death might be one of the most disturbing things I have seen in awhile. While not graphic, the pleas for rescue, the crying, the wailing prayers and the joyful indifference of the villagers was very upsetting. It felt real and cruel in a way I don’t normally see in horror movies. The lack of  rescue genuinely surprised me as I am so accustomed to Hollywood softening the despair in a movie. My movie long mockery of the policeman turned to genuine pity at the end.

But I guess that was part of the point of Wicker Man. These villagers embraced life and death. They fucked and killed and fucked. They were open and honest about their sexuality and they were open and embracing of their ritual murders.

It is a strange movie. It is a sexy movie. It is a horrifying movie. It has one of the best attempted seduction scenes ever with Britt Ekland dancing naked. It has one of the more unlikable protagonists in the prudish police man. It has Christopher Lee in one of his best roles.

You should see it.

Aug 242015

I love going to movie theaters. Sure, tickets cost a lot, food costs even more and sometimes I really wish I could pause the movie but I still love going.  I love the giant screen and the way the sound surrounds you. I like that I can’t check my phone to look something up because the movie forces me to pay attention. I like that for a few hours I am cut off from the rest of the world and immersed in a story.

One thing I really love are the ads for the concession stands. Logically I know that the concessions account for 70% of the theater’s profits so of course they are going to get an advertisement but I enjoy the approach most theaters take. They don’t try to make you hungry or thirsty as much as they try to sell you on the idea that the snacks are part of what makes the movie good.

Regal cinemas have an advertisement where the screen shows you in a roller coaster. signs light up to tell you to turn off phones and shut the fuck up but with the same gentle sternness that a roller coaster asks you not to stand up and get decapitated. They’re not forcing you to be polite as much as they imply it is in your best interest.

Then once you have that thrill park ride mentality, the screens lurches and speeds down a track. Popcorn explodes across the screen. Candy flies every where. Soda flows like a waterfall beside the track. This reinforces the idea of hey, you could just sit there and eat the food you smuggled in your purse but the REAL fun is eating candy out of a box the size of a paperback.

I understand the manipulation going on but I appreciate it because it is based on the idea that you being here are the theater is an event worth treasuring. The movie might suck but even a sucky movie is a fond memory because you saw it on the big screen. Whether you go to the concessions or not, the fact that you are here is a big deal.

Which is something I would like to bring to books. I love to read and when I put out an ebook, it is a pretty big freaking deal to me. I read a lot of ebooks and some of them have the same care and crafting as a long blog post. They don’t feel special to me. That might be just because I am jaded and read too much porn. I don’t know.

But maybe a big event feel isn’t the way to go. Perhaps shooting for an intimate feeling would be better.

A page reminding the user to get their personal masturbation tools ready.

A page suggesting they try Von Madd vibrators to aid in their reading experience.

A page encouraging readers to strip down now.

A page advising readers to prepare aftercare items now.

I’m not sure. It is something I plan to think about.

Aug 102015

Earlier this year I read a story by Roger Zelazny. It was called Epithalamium and it was about a grown up Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Alice returns to wonderland and makes the comment that it was a strange magical place. A character corrects her and tells her that Alice was the strange magical one.

Now you could interpret that as strangeness is relative. To people in Wonderland, Wonderland is normal and Alice is the weird one. That isn’t what happened in my brain. In my brain I looked at Alice objectively for the first time.

There is this young girl who falls down a rabbit hole and goes to another world. We assume the rabbit hole is magical. In another story she messes around with a mirror and returns to Wonderland. We assume the mirror is magical as well. That is bad logic. The only thing these journeys have in common is Alice. It makes far more sense that Alice has the ability to travel to places. Being a young child it makes sense that Alice visited places that reflect her childish nature.

So I started thinking about grown up Alice. What other places did she go to? Did she get better at controlling it? What places would interest a grown up Alice?

Since I am a porn writer, my mind goes to porn places. I imagine a sexually adventurous woman traveling to sexually adventurous places.

What kind of a sexually adventurous woman? I thought about my friend from back in the day, Maria Gonzales. Maria was a Mexican immigrant who came to America, had some wild sex adventures and settled down and married. She wrote exhibitionist submissive stories that she shared with her husband. She was a good friend of mine and we used to chat for hours about her fantasies. I miss her a lot.

Maria is someone I could easily see stepping through to other worlds to get fucked and then return back home to tell her husband all about it while they fucked.

As a writer I divide my work into two categories. The first is my long work, my novellas, my ebooks and my blog projects. These require planning, planning and more planning followed by a shit ton of work.

My other category is the weekly stories. I churn out a story a week because I fear if I don’t, I might get one day get discouraged by a long work and take a break that turns into a hiatus that turns into “Hey, remember when I used to write?” The weekly grind of producing keeps me honest.

The best way to meet a weekly deadline is with serials. If I have a character and a premise, I can return to it again and again until the premise no longer interests me. It is a lot like mining an idea until the vein runs out.

A person like Maria going to one world after another satisfying her range of kinks is something I think I can return to a lot.

First I need to develop the character. It is important to me at this stage to make a character that is not another white character. My friends are of many ethnicities and I am painfully aware of how few characters there are in mainstream fiction that they can identify with much less in porn. If I can add a non-white character, especially a serial character, I’ll leap at the chance.

I settled on Hispanic and specifically Puerto Rican. I was very close to going with Polynesian or Japanese but in the end it just came down to whim.

I picked the name of Felicia because it reminded me of Alice.

I decided early on to not explain how or why Felicia can go to other places. I’m of the age where I find explanations are rarely as satisfying as the mystery.

I was also influenced by Gene Wolfe’s “There Are Doors” which is one of my top ten favorite books. To tell you anything would spoil it so go read it.

I hope you enjoy my Felicia stories and I hope you enjoyed or learned something from my process.

Jun 122015

When the writing is good I feel like I am writing the next big blockbuster. This will be the book that everyone loves. This is the book that I will be asked about and will define me. When the writing is good, I am in love with what I am doing and I assume everyone else will be too. There can be euphoria in writing which is good because writing is hard and a little euphoria goes a long way.

Once the book is published then reality sets in. No matter how good the sales, it is disappointing. The fact that my email box is not filled with adoration is a surprise. I mean, I wasn’t really expecting huge love but deep down I kind of was.

Once the disappointment replaces the euphoria then rational thought can kick in. Maybe a book about a government conspiracy where the only readers who know about the conspiracy are the last people to appreciate an erotic mockery of their paranoid feelings wasn’t the best idea. That seems kind of obvious in hindsight. It makes giggle to think of how optimistic I was.

I go through these cycles with every book. Long ago I would be in a funk for a month. Now I got it down to three days.

I don’t mind the cycle. I like doing odd books. I like having a library that doesn’t look like anyone else. Sometimes I wonder if I should take these experiences and learn from them to make more conventional higher sellers but I shake that off. I like the euphoria that comes writing something I love. I have tried more commercial books and they were joyless to write.

A little after-publishing funk is a small price to pay for the fun I have.

Jun 012015

Secret Project is almost done. It is a male sub story which is something I don’t write that often. Back when I wrote for Usenet, it was a conscious choice not to write male submissive stories because it was so easy to get classified and then confined as a writer. It was hard enough getting people to read me when I wrote silly stories AND serious romance stories. Eventually I stopped caring and wrote whatever I liked but some habits linger.

It is interesting to me that I rarely write male sub stories because when I was younger, almost all of my fantasies were of being dominated. It was due to the high shame factor my parents attached to sex. It was comforting to fantasize about the hot bookstore clerk punishing me with sex for shoplifting as opposed to fantasies where I am choosing to do something that will send me to Hell. Also as a young person I had no idea what sex was so I liked the idea of an older more experienced partner initiating me into sex.  Shit, with my hostile parents, I probably just liked the idea of anyone taking an interest in me.

These days I write male submissive stories because I want to play with non-consensual themes and I find it easier to do that with a male character than a female. I know some women enjoy non-consensual fantasies but man, with all the examples of rape culture around us I have a hard time contributing to it. It is easier for me to use a male character who often not-so-secretly craves it than it is for me to have a female character in the same position. I am familiar with all the arguments about why I should/can do either, but when it comes to writing I go with what makes me comfortable.


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Apr 242015

I am in the mood to write another Choose-Your-Own-Erotica book again. I am leaning towards doing one where you play a woman recently abducted by a flying saucer and you try to escape but at the same time choosing when you want to get captured and have sexy time inflicted on you.

It is a tricky theme to deal with. I have done non-consent roleplay with people before but readers always feel different. You could argue that a reader gives consent by reading and that putting the book down is the ultimate safeword but I always have an initial hesitation when starting these projects.

A bigger concern is structure. I designed “Prisoner of the Wizard’s Harem” as a kind of complex challenge. For the reader to reach the one happy ending it will take trial and error. I was much happier with “Dominate Your Teacher” because it promised a sexy premise and the reader decided how they got there and what diversions they took. Prisoner was a gauntlet of choices that were designed to trip the reader, while Dominate was like a burger menu that wanted to know how you liked your burgers.

I would prefer to do something like Dominate again but the very nature of an abduction and an escape suggests the format of Prisoner. I feel like leaving the saucer is the best way to end the story. I could make a central alien and make having sex with them the climax of the story, but I feel that might be limiting.

When I get into a crossroad like this, I like to make a list of what appeals to me about the project I am working on. For this project, I want to tackle various science fiction themes in a non-consent format. I want robots, I want a tentacle monster of some sort, I want your anally obsessed Greys, I want anti-gravity and anything else that comes to mind.  As you can see, I want to tackle a genre as opposed to the single sexual stereotype of Dominate Your Teacher.  I just don’t want the complexity of Prisoner.

Luckily for me I experienced something recently that suggests a format; I’ve been to Dollywood. I went to the Dolly museum of dresses and movie clips, skipped the rollercoasters and hung out in the craft stores.  I had a buffet approach to Dollywood and I think that will work best for my saucer abduction story. In short, I need to turn the flying saucer into an amusement park for the reader.