Friday, July 29, 2005

Chapter 12 (June 11th) final installment

Last Fall, I tried out for a student production of a play at Jonathan Edwards, one of the residence colleges. See at Yale, they group the dorms into "colleges," walled, gated compounds turning their backs to the outside world, perfect wombs for growing loyal alumni who'll fork over big bucks later hoping to get their own spawn admitted. Morse-Stiles where S. lived is the one modern dorm complex on campus-- modern and UGLY. I've seen better-looking Holiday Inns. Anyway, I'd never been in a play before. My chorus teacher senior year suggested I try out for a part in "The Bells Are Ringing," but my father was in a bad mood that night at dinner when I told my parents about it, and he made fun of the idea. That was the end of "The Bells Are Ringing."

I picked a goofy choice for a first-time play, too: Pirandello's Right You Are If You Think You Are, a weird modern play with all kinds of weirder associations. I didn't care. I'd read about the auditions in the Yale Daily News, and tried out and got a part! I was excited and nervous and thoroughly entranced. At least it would take my mind off Manuscripts. I enjoyed the whole experience on many levels besides; for one thing, it meant no time to fix dinners and my evenings were taken up with rehearsals (no time to be bored and restless).

One of the other women in the cast was so pretty and glamorous-- of course she knew it and flaunted her looks all over the place-- so much so, the rest of the cast and crew called her "The Mirror," because she was always combing her hair or checking out her make-up. At one rehearsal, she and I were sitting off by ourselves waiting for our scene. I was on the edge of a prop crate, she was above me perched on a step ladder, combing her long hair with her hands, dangling it against my cheek.

"I felt a shiver go right down into my, well, crotch." I felt bold saying that word in front of him, too. Sigh, I guess I am provocative.

"Hmmm, I'd like to have seen THAT."

"My crotch, or her and me?" I shot back.

"Well, it would be ungentlemanly of me to say anything more than 'the two of you together,' though that's a fairly roguish idea in its own right, if I may say so."
I'm sure Carol (that was the woman's name) knew her hair was brushing against my face, and it infuriated me her playing the tease that way. I kept wishing I had the guts to stand up and kiss her right on the mouth. I kept daring myself every time the hair brushed along my face, and Carol kept letting it brush against me until finally, I don't know if it was my dare to myself, being pissed off at her goading me that way, or what, but I really did stand up, kissed her hard on the mouth.

"She jumped like I'd shoved an electric cord up her ass, fell right off the ladder and burst into tears. I turned around and walked away."

I was getting so cold I was shivering, my teeth chattered enough to make me mangle my words, so we went inside and slogged away some more on the typing. Afterward, if S. ever wanted to tease or tweak me, he'd pretend to brush long hair or make a kissing gesture with his hand. I'd simply smile. I didn't tell him just then about Alex.

(End of Chapter 12)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Beyond You & Me Gets Some Virtual Ink

The very pretty Jai at The Cusp of Something has noticed Beyond You & Me, as well as its mirror site, 756 Agents & Counting, the all-business side of this novel's journey into print where the behind-the-scenes story of Beyond You & Me is recounted. Editors and agents are talking about the Internet as the place where tomorrow's literary voices can be found today, but it's fascinating how clueless some of them are. I won't bore you with the details, if you're interested in book talk, you can read about it over there.

Suffice it to say that only slightly more than a month after crossing the 10,000 visitor plateau, we're moving beyond 30,000.

Monday, July 25, 2005

CHAPTER 12 (June 11th): Part 5

(Cassie and S. are walking back from their coffee break at the Orange Market and she has just recounted going to see the lesbian soft-core film "Therese & Isabelle").

"A MOST interesting story, Mis-sus Campbell. You have, however," and here he adopted a perfect imitation of the Hollywood Gestapo interrogator, "avoided answering zee qwestion: have you ever vanted zu zleep mit anodder vooman." He was right. I'd gotten too absorbed in my remembrance of things past, and I didn't even have a Madeleine to show for it like ol' Proust!

"You are cor-rect, Herr Retter," I teased in my best "Hogen's Heroes" accent. "Ever since I found out about those two, I have not-- unlike most of my friends-- spent time looking for clues we failed to pick up on. All they can think about is 'how did we ever miss it?' and 'oh, I knew all along.' Me? I wonder how Stephanie could feel so intensely, then simply slam the door on those feelings." I was shivering from the cold by now; on the other side of the door I could be warm and safe, my home with P. beckoned to me, yet I was more sure than ever I didn't want to go in right then, at least not as long as we were discussing sex.

It sounds weird, but I not only never told P. anything about "Therese and Isabelle," I never mentioned Stephanie and Gina. Let this kind of talk stay outside, especially with P. not home yet. "To answer your question: have I thought about sex with another woman? I would have to answer: yes."

"All right, give, Mis-sus Campbell. You don't think I'm letting you off the hook with a one-word answer do you?"

"No, but I figured I would make you wait for your gratification."

"Gratification postponed is gratification enhanced! And postponed gratification is better than no gratification at all."

"Shut the fuck up, you silly boy. Yes, I've thought about it. More than thought about it."

(to be continued)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Useful Sites

While the purpose of this blog is to promote the novel Beyond You & Me, that's not limited to excerpts or links to its growing list of fans. I encourage everyone who's following Cassie's adventures (and occasional mis-adventures) to peruse the long list of interesting and arcane things listed on the right. Want to know more about Deconstruction (P.'s obsession)? Or Yale, where the story takes place? Perhaps you'd like to hear the Yale Glee Club sing the school anthem, "Bright College Years"? It's a song Cassie refers to several times in the novel (usually with dripping sarcasm, but not always)? And for those of you keeping score at home, "Bright College Years" is sung to the same anti-French tune that galvanized Germans during three wars: "Die Wacht am Rhein"/Watch on the Rhine." Betcha didn't know that!

It's all here and more, and I'll be highlighting some of these links in future posts (no groaning, please!).

There is also a section called "Useful Sites" (for lack of a better name). These are websites that are interesting, but not necessarily connected to the book or its time period. They are provided as a service to you. Let me point out a few:

MobyLives is a literary web log devoted to books and things about writing and publishing. Consider it guerilla theater from its "world HQ in Hoboken, NJ," across the Hudson River from the behemoth publishing houses that are ruining the world of writing. While much of the book trade seems constipated and elitist to outsiders, this blog is fun enough to read even if you're a "civilian," and a valuable resource to writers and people who like books.

Tiny Nibbles is a melange of interesting, weird and goofy sex stuff. Compiled by sex writer Violet Blue, the site has her favorite porn feeds, information sources and sex toys, as well as some very informative, hands-on talk about fellatio, cunnilingus, rimming, and other activities that get the heart pounding at their very mention.

How can a novel about a casually, accidentally bisexual woman not celebrate Libido Events? Their purpose is to put provide resources to bisexual women, includingconferencess, social events, etc. all (forgive me if I avoid the tacky "bi women" that always smacks of vulgar jargon in favor of one more respectful of this wonderful and empowering notion of flexibility). Now don't get the idea their conferences are dull, dry academic affairs like a Yale Comp. Lit. sherry and cheese party (Cassie went to ONE and ONE ONLY). How about a seminar on "Erotic Wax and Ice-Play: a hands on seminar"? Or "How to Put a Glow On The Cheeks of a Bottom: caning, spanking and more"? Freya could teach THAT one. I'm moist just thinking about it. Their only drawback? They're located in Vancouver, Canada. So unless you're planning on emigrating, or lead Mercurial Girl's jet-set lifestyle, perhaps they can be an inspiration for women in other parts of the world?

Whatever else this site is, it's about writing, and for that reason we celebrate The National Writers Union. Unions have become a favorite whipping boy for politicians of all stripes, but the lot of writers would be materially worse without the NWU. Their most famous triumph was winning a class action lawsuit brought against the NY Times and other publishers who were reprinting on-line articles written before the advent of the Internet. The big-ticket publishers claimed they couldn't pay the writers for the appropriation of their work, all the while paying handsome dividends to stockholders. Ultimately the Supreme Court ruled "no pay, no play." The union continues to look out for freelance writers, providing health insurance, contract dispute resolution, and a host of other valuable services. And, yes, W. S. Cross is proudly listed as a dues-paying member.

And last but most certainly not least, The National Organization for Women (NOW). Young women today sneer at the term feminist, but trust me when I say that girls and women wouldn't have the rights and privileges they do today without the lobbying and information provided by NOW. Women still earn less money than men, and it's still true those who work outside the home are expected to do the cooking and cleaning. While Beyond You & Me is most definitely a fun, sexy read, it's also the story of a woman who discovers empowerment at the dawn of the Women's Movement reading classics like The Feminine Mystique and The Second Sex. Definitely worth a visit, it's not just about strident political issues, but stories of women succeeding!

Sisterhood IS powerful!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Song Tagging: a fun posting

Demon Queen tagged me for a meme, and this one's kinda cute: songs that characterize a blog. She listed "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star for Beyond You & Me. Although she only tagged five blogs, I'm going to double her and tag ten, since I doubt Lex from Naked Loft Party hangs out here. I'm tagging some folks I know who do like Avatar, Odd Wife, Anita, and Tara.

Ex-millennial girl: "I'm Not that Innocent," Britney Spears
overworked & underf*cked: "I Will Make You Cry," Nelly Furtado
Fred & Wilma: Theme from "The Flintstones." OK, so it's not very imaginative; how about "Swing, Swing," by The All-American Rejects?

Update July 24th: You MUST go see Wilma's hysterically funny take on "The Flintstones" theme song. XXX-rated, as you'd expect!

Naked Loft Party: "I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt," Right Said Fred

Update July 24th: no word from Lex (did we expect it?), but he did make reference to his "Letters to Penthouse Life"

Freya's House of Dreams: "Addicted to Love," Robert Palmer
The Odd Wife: "You Can Leave Your Hat On," Tom Jones (also by Randy Newman and Joe Cocker)
Wonderland- Or Not: "I Don't Wanna Be Anyone But Me," Gavin DeGraw

Update July 24th: Alice feels she's not sexy enough to inspire a sexy song; honey, you couldn't be further from the truth. How about another Nelly Furtado gem: "I'm Like a Bird" (the amazing accoustic version)?

Eros & Logos: "Heart Still Beating," Ottmar Liebert
Anita's Erotica: "Kiss Me," Sixpence None the Richer
Salacious Desires: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," Cindy Lauper
And for good measure, Tara Tainton: "Girl All the Bad Guys Want," Bowling For Soup.

Apologies to fans who weren't tagged, but I'm so tired from this, I'm going to go lie down and think of all the sexy words I've read and photos I've seen on your sites looking for inspiration, even if I didn't choose you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Free Judith Miller

Forgive me, readers, while I stand up for a colleague who is wrongfully in jail, charged with no crime, the victim of a misuse of power. Whatever our politics, we all are protected by a free press, something the Founding Fathers worked hard to make happen. As a former newspaper features writer, I can't sit by while Judith Miller spends another night behind bars.

For anyone who is not aware of the situation, Ms. Miller is a reporter for The New York Times. She's in jail because she refused to reveal her sources that told her about a leak of a CIA operative's name (Victoria Plame) to syndicated newspaper columnist Robert Novak. Interestingly, Novak has never been subjected to any pressure to reveal his sources, and is not facing prosecution or a subpoena. More interesting still, Miller never wrote about the matter, but apparently was aware of the behind-the-scenes leaking.

The source of the leak appears to be Karl Rove, the president's advisor; the Washington scuttlebutt is that the president's inner circle was angry about an Op-Ed piece Plame's husband wrote for (ironically) The New York Times criticizing the president and his justifications for the invasion of Iraq. However, the politics of the matter are not material to the issue I bring up. The injustice is jailing a reporter for protecting sources.

Simply put, no government official, no corporate insider, no whistle blower would ever come forward if they thought a reporter would give them up at the first sign of heat. I know about talking to insiders "off the record," it allowed me to do my job. Some of them would have lost theirs if I'd identified them in my story.

One justification for jailing Miller is to show the media they're not above the law. But Miller did not break any law! And most ironic of all, Ms. Miller did not write anything about the Victoria Plame matter. Still, the Federal prosecutor in charge wants her to tell him what she knows. It's what's called "a fishing expedition" to find out if there's anything the prosecutor can learn about this and other seamy matters. She refused, and the judge has tossed her into jail on contempt of court. She'll stay there until the current grand jury's term expires in October. The prosecutor is threatening criminal charges against her if she won't testify then, but I think he's just saber-rattling. And now that another reporter has confirmed Karl Rove as the source of the leak, continuing to jail Miller can only strike reasonable people as the abuse of power it always was.

Conservatives hate The Times; Liberals love anything that annoys Conservatives. But this is not about politics. It's about a reporter who stood up for what's right. Please let your elected representatives know you find this situation a threat to the Constitution. The Founding Fathers wanted a free press because they understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely. They were willing to accept the press making mistakes, knowing those mistakes are better than a cowed press afraid to write honestly, even if incorrectly, about the things the government does and the justifications they use to rule. We all need the checks and balances a free press provides.

The media isn't perfect. But they also try to correct their mistakes (the government usually just marks mistakes "Classified"). Without a free press, what's to prevent our government (Republican or Democrat) from telling us what they want us to believe?

To read more about the situation

Anyone wishing to help Judy Miller can send a letter of support to:

Attn: Judith Miller
Inmate Number 45570083
Alexandria Detention Center
2001 Mill Rd
Alexandria, VA 22314-4600

Thanks to Viviane for this suggestion. Who says sex bloggers aren't civic-minded?

Monday, July 18, 2005

CHAPTER 12 (June 11th): Part 4

(Cassie and S. are walking back from the Orange Market while she tells him about going to see the soft-core lesbian cult film "Therese & Isabelle" the Summer before starting at Temple University)

I think part of the reason I was mad at Rochelle was jealousy. She was my best friend at the time, and Stephanie and Gina were inseparable, so I felt a mild sense of betrayal Rochelle had brought Judy along, especially since she was in 11th grade and might’ve screwed up our getting in. Gina said we should all go in as a group, even though the movie was about two women, no one seeing us would think anything peculiar, right? Just girl’s night out, right? We all laughed a little too loud, all except Stephanie, who looked pained and seemed like she’d bolt if we hadn’t all locked arms and headed for the door.

We sailed in without a hitch, then found a section with only a few single guys and plopped ourselves down.

I don’t remember most of the movie, though some parts are quite vivid because I was concentrating REALLY HARD on them. Some of that was not wanting to look around, the I-don’t-want-to-be-recognized-in-a-porn-palace paranoia. I certainly didn’t want to look at the others, not Rochelle and Judy who giggled at all the sex parts, and not at Stephanie and Gina, who seemed serious and even sad watching. Mostly I studied every scene because I’d never seen anything quite like it. It was pretty tame by what you can see now, even at Yale: bare bodies, mostly bare breasts, and no shots of actual sex, though a lot was cleverly suggested.

Despite its limitations, somehow the story and the girl-girl sex fascinated me, especially the voiceover with all these literary allusions to her clitoris as a pearl or the artful way the act of Sapphic love was described. It was so gentle, two women loving one another slowly and softly. The film’s goal was to be arousing and titillating, not overt and aggressive. I felt cheated and let down that it took the two women so long to get together for the "main event," with so much of the plot about the boarding school they attended. And once they got around to having sex, the plot lost all its tension, sorta like a sagging rubber band. The ending was even worse: the movie just seemed to run out of gas. I especially disliked having one of the lovers recall the whole thing years later during a return visit to the boarding school where all the action took place. The film ended, and the five of us headed straight for the exits without saying a word.

"I guess that was my first initiation, both into X-rated films and the vagueness of French movies."

S. laughed out loud again, so loud a neighbor walking into his house looked up and scowled at us. I stuck out my tongue. I felt sagacious and witty, and as we were almost at the apartment, I didn’t feel ready to go in just yet. Besides, this discussion needed to remain outside.

"All in all, an X-rated movie made a good beginning to our 'bright college years.' [the Yale anthem] I don’t recall any of us mentioning a thing about it on the bus home; stranger still, I never discussed it with any of them afterwards. There’s also a really funny ending to the story—not funny ha-ha, but weird. Only a year or so ago I found out why Stephanie and Gina were so serious and sad: they were having this passionate schoolgirl Therese and Isabelle affair no one knew anything about at the time. Then one day freshman year of college Stephanie broke it off, and got engaged to a guy at almost the same time. Gina nearly had a nervous breakdown. She’s still carrying a huge torch for Stephanie, who’s cut off all communication with her. Won’t even speak with her on the phone. After she got married, Stephanie and her husband moved to some hick town in western Maryland. He teaches at this tiny college, and they almost never go back to Philadelphia." S. simply went "Hmm" or some other sound indicating thought and pondering, then looked at me with his most piercing smile.

(to be continued)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

25,000 visitors and growing!

(July 16) This website for Beyond You & Me quietly passed the 25,000 visitor mark this morning. Thanks to all those who've helped build traffic here. Please click on the "top referrers" to the right to let them know what a great job they've done. Thanks as well to you loyal readers who keep coming back and bringing your friends and linked readership.

Now, you agents and publishers: when are you going to realize there's an audience for Beyond You & Me and get this project into print?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Chapter 12 (June 11th): Part 3

(Cassie and S. are walking to the Orange Market to take a break from her typing his Senior thesis. When he asked her if she'd ever wanted to sleep with another woman, it tapped into a memory long forgotten)

It was the very last Saturday night of Summer vacation the year I graduated high school. I was starting at Temple the following Monday, and several girlfriends who were hanging out together called me to suggest we go out to a movie, a last “girls night out” before we went mostly separate ways. I started looking through the paper to see what was playing downtown, and my gaze fell on one in particular. In a brave voice, I blurted out “Therese and Isabelle. Let’s go see an X-rated film.” I knew nothing about it other than that it was X-rated, I’m not sure I even knew why it was rated X or even what an X-rating meant, other than that it was naughty in some mysterious way. I wanted to be bold and provocative; going to an X-rated film seemed brash and reckless (the ad warned “no one under 18 admitted, identities will be checked at the door,” insuring every teenager alive would try and sneak in).

“Why that particular X-rated film and not one of the usual stag films?”

“Simple— I didn’t want to go to a sleazy porn house full of degenerate men ready to jump on one or all of us and spray us with— uh, cum.”

S. burst out laughing so loud it echoed off the façade of the Belnord, this huge apartment building we had to pass each way. I was glad it was dark out, I was blushing from using that word for the first time in my life (except with P.). Because it was a first, I enjoyed my naughtiness, it made me feel brash and modern and audacious the same as that night we went to see “Therese and Isabelle.”

“I probably rationalized things by thinking or saying it would help me learn French.”

“Ah, what kind of French?”

“The ads didn’t make it seem sleazy, and all my friends knew I was signed up to take Basic French.”

“But the movie was in English. I saw it with German subtitles.”

“I didn’t know that then.”

Four of us were planning on going: me, Stephanie, Gina and Rochelle, and it seemed as brazen and daring a thing as I’d ever done. I didn’t tell my boyfriend at the time, nor any of my other friends, and I’ve never told Patrick. I caught the uptown bus with Stephanie and Gina, and the three of us joked about whether we might run into someone we knew. When we got to the theater, Rochelle was waiting with her friend, Judy, in tow, and I remember being pissed about it. I didn’t want our going to this film to get around my old high school— I don’t know why, we were all going our separate ways, yet that night we were still five high school girls from South Philly. Plus I was worried they might not let us in. I was only ready to go so far in being bold, and this was about the limit of it.

My jitters passed quickly enough, we were soon preoccupied with buying the tickets. Rochelle was petrified we’d need ID, she was only 17 like me, but looked 12. It would’ve been really humiliating if they’d turned us away at the door.

“’Don’t worry,’ I boasted, ‘I’ve got fake ID if they ask.’ I don’t have to tell you the old man in the ticket booth couldn’t have cared less if we’d been school girls in stockings and uniforms.”

“Stockings AND uniforms? Ahh, what an absolutely lovely thought,” S. nearly licked his lips. I slapped him playfully on the wrist; it kept me from staring at those same lips— or slapping his face on general principle, both impulses came over me simultaneously. In the interim, we got our coffee and headed back to Clark Street, with S. pouring the remaining Scotch into his.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fans of Beyond You & Me Keep Comin'

She looks like a Swedish porno cliché, but boy, can Patricia "Trixie" Jenkins write funny, witty commentary on her world! Her site is called "The shorter the skirt, the higher the kick", and it’s full of terrifically deadpan observations about life, sex, and life and sex in Sweden. I’m sure she knows how her coquettish looks are leaving men muttering like little boys, and is playing it for all it’s worth. I’m not sure what that is, but whoever she’s playing is probably having a good time.

One of our earliest supporters has been Cyan's Stories. A professional writer who offers some of her stories for free, while charging a modest membership fee to sample all of them, she has a fund of quality writing available for the insatiable erotica lovers out there. And you know who you are.

This site celebrates sexuality in all its many forms, but there are those who struggle to find happiness in relationships with less-than-perfect sex. For every "Naked Loft Party" where things couldn't be better, there are individuals who are dealing with a quiet desperation. I don’t want to be a downer, but sex isn’t always joyous, and one of the most sobering blogs I’ve read is I Am Also a Sexual Being. Written by a passionate soul in a largely passionless relationship, the story is often quite bleak: her husband seems to get off more with the remote control of their TV, yet the posts are gripping and searing at the same time. For pure honesty, there’s little like it out there.

Another early fan has been Mercurial Girl. Also searingly honest, she’s a high-priced call girl living a transatlantic jet-set life that keeps her in diamonds and occasionally just out of danger: a recent post was about showing up in NYC to service a client and finding he’d brought along his best friend. The idea was for her to service them both serially (no touching, please, we’re guys and can’t risk being thought of as queer). Not exactly a Cassie-style threesome, more like a performance, which is part of a courtesan’s job requirements. She’s unsentimental, crisp in her writing, and perhaps a little less detailed than our prurient interests would like, but never dull (OK, I can live without hearing about her pet dogs, but she would tell me the blog isn’t for my entertainment).

And finally, there’s sexty9ways-links. A review of things sexual, as well as more personal postings, it avoids the hard-core, pay-per sites for really, ahem, unique, ahem, sites like Beyond You & Me or Realm of the Demon Queen (both recently reviewed). The background illustration of a "female superior" coupling just prior to penetration has the look and feel of Egon Schiele’s erotic drawings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Chapter 12 (June 11) continued

(Cassie and S. are walking to the Orange Market to take a break from her typing his Senior thesis, and he had asked her in the excerpt last time if she'd ever wanted to sleep with another woman)

“Does having erotic dreams about Toni Tennille count?”

He tried cupping his hand to his mouth, but it was no use: most of the Scotch he’d sipped from the paper cupful he’d brought along came out in a geyser, spraying both of us with its bitter, acrid, aromatic cloud. We were laughing too much to care. “Dare I admit I get wet every time I hear ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’? You won’t reveal my secret, will you?”

“And ‘Captain’ Daryl Dragon is her husband? And just what army or navy would have him for a captain?”

“The same one that would have her luscious ass in that tight-fitting sailor’s uniform she wears on stage.” S. blinked hard, his mind hadn’t expected that kind of comeback or it revealing as much about my “uniform thing.” My short skirts and stockings had given him a completely different idea, and I thought it fun confounding his expectations of me. “Actually, though—“

(to be continued)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Not yet fans (but we can hope)

There are sites I appreciate who don't know about or don't link to me. Here are a few worth mentioning.

Madeline in the Mirror is an original: she takes pictures of herself to illustrate her very sexy postings. Hey, we can dig that combination (this photo of her "stocking" phase is a good example of how lovely she is and how well she conveys it)! She's living the liberated life that Cassie fancies, and it's a pleasure following her sensuous peregrinations. Her on-line personality is a little abrupt and demanding, with the hard edges you might expect of a single mother making her way through a bevy of lovers, all while balancing life's responsabilities. But then, many of the Internet's sex divas tend to be a bit intimidating. I would imagine a kitten with an emotional whip would have the boys lining up for a whack. Meow!

With all the pay sites on the Internet, it's so refreshing to find folks who are so in love they feel compelled to celebrate that love (and plenty of lust) with a photo site of all their exploits. is about a Danish couples adventures. The sub-title is "celebrating one year of pure lust," and the photos are very good, including threesomes (mmm, there's a topic that fits in well with Beyond You & Me! Not professional porn, mind you, real people enjoying their sexuality. The faces are blurred to protect their identities, but they're onto something, that's for sure. And for those of you who enjoy M-M bisexuality, there's plenty of it here, as both halves of this raunchy couple are quite affirmatively switch hitters.

One dude that seems to be catnip to the ladies is Jefferson over at One Life, Take Two. His is the story of a bisexual man who is figuring himself out in the swinging world of NY sex clubs and parties. He's also a fine writer: the account of coming in on his girlfriend back in high school doing a male friend was one of the best takes on the careless sexual betrayal of youth that I've read since, well, you'll have to wait for Beyond You & Me to come out in hard copy, because I can't post THAT NIGHT here.

Sorry, some things in life are worth waiting for.

With Naked Loft Party, I'm not sure what to think sometimes. It's a site that I definitely have mixed emotions about. The stories seem too perfect and not that far removed from the classic faux erotica of "Letters to Penthouse". Dude, if you're lurking and I've done you wrong, I apologize, I call 'em as I see 'em. If the stories are true and without embellishment, then everyone reading this should drop whatever they're doing and move to NYC, because AIDS and Herpes and all the other things that scare people about the 70s never seem to have happened in the world of Naked Loft Party. The girls are all slender, beautiful and bi, the men never get shut down or rejected (if anything, our hero, Lex, seems to have that weary put-upon aura of a man in demand in the bedroom). However, in terms of all-out, good-time sex writing, this is a place well worth visiting.

In a perfect world, all the boys and girls are beautiful, we always (and I mean always) come, and no one ever feels rejected.

It's not a blog, but how can a book about a sexy 24 year-old not appreciate the Suicide Girls? Edgy new porn for Generation Whatever, the women are real, not plastic. Like tats and piercings? Then Suicide Girls is for you. Chatsworth, are you listening (Chatsworth is where 90% of the porn is filmed)? It's a pay site, but there are plenty of free offerings that will either lite your burner or give you an idea of where visual erotica is heading. This link to several smoking young women getting dressed in less-than-full-coverage outfits had me moist before it was over.

Regarding my own linking "policy," the requirements are quality at your end and a return link. I don't link with everyone who links to me; it has to be good writing or photos or something. If you like what you see and aren't interested in linking, then by all means feel free to use the Atom, XML or other site feed options to the right, or sign up for Blogrolling software. Please don't ask me how all that works, I do my linking one fan at a time.

Finally, there are still some other fans of Beyond You & Me that I'll highlight later this week. And as new ones come on board, I'm looking forward to telling you about them.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Chapter 12: looking back

A moment of collective silence for our friends across the pond in London....

June 11

“Have you ever wanted to sleep with another woman?”

Like I said before, S. relished catching me off-guard with provocative, impertinent questions. In that way, he reminded me of Inspector Clouseau in the “Pink Panther” movies and his man servant, Cato, who's always setting elaborate traps in those movies to test his boss’s skill at avoiding danger (he fails to great comic effect). We were sitting at the kitchen table when he asked me as I slogged away at the Selectric. My head was turning to a bad grade of mush after typing, compounded by round after round of joking back-and-forth, both exhilarating and exhausting my feeble brain:

— Let me ask you this: if you could only love one person in your life, only find True Love in one instance, and the moment for choosing that person lasted no more than a single day—or even less— do you think you could recognize that moment as your one opportunity for happiness? Would you realize “this is the one”?

— I’ll do you one better: suppose that One True Love was impeded in some major fashion, what then?

— Meaning?

— Why is it we assume love will come to us all neatly-wrapped up like a present? What if our Great Love, la grande passion as our Frog friends would say, was tied up in some manner?

— Tied up S&M-style tied up? Oooh, tell me more.

— No, tied up in a prior relationship: engaged— or even married.

— Likely only a loser would be totally free. Anyone worth having is already involved with another.

— Exactly, we have to compete for the object of our affections.

— What do you think romance is, a form of sexual Olympics?

— Why not? Simone de Beauvoir has turned sex into politics. Men and women are now fighting for power in the bedroom.

— They always were. It’s just that she identified the game. Beauvoir sketched out the parameters women have always felt and intuited, clarifying what once was only implied.

— Yes, and the superpowers have made the Olympics political, look at the East Germans.

— We have our Germans and the Soviets have their Germans.

— The Soviet Union is a fiction. They’re Russians, the same as East Germans and West Germans are still, underneath it all, Germans.

— Stop changing the subject!

— If you have any doubts, ask yourself why is it the East German Army still goose-steps?
I stopped typing so we could walk to the Orange Market to get some decaf coffee (real coffee and the usual amount of flirtatious banter would keep me up all night, there are limits). He’d probably been waiting for the right time to spring the question on me.

It unleashed a memory I hadn’t disturbed in almost eight years, and I didn’t answer just then. We were walking along Clark Street when he asked again (as I knew he would, S. never lets a provocative question go unanswered).

“Have you ever wanted to sleep with another woman?”

(to be continued)

My heartfelt thanks to the Demon Queen for previewing this excerpt. Talk about the embodiment of the earth mother!

Friday, July 01, 2005

And still more fans of Beyond You & Me

Ferocious in her unsparing honesty is The Odd Wife & the true tales of her odd life. OW was the source of the questionnaire posted here previously. She had a run-in with an Internet stalker and was MIA for awhile, but she’s back and better than ever.

The computer-generated artwork may be a little off-putting to non Science Fiction fans, but Dark Serenity can write! Yikes, her account of 100 secrets about her will leave your eyeballs tingling and naughty bits a-flutter. Cassie would find a lot of sympatico in this woman, whose work will cause your mouth to dry up and words die in your throat.

One of the most interesting avatars belongs to Wonderland—or not. Hard to imagine such crisp writing and story-telling coming from someone only 20, but things sort of rattle about like a car out-of-control rushing along at a furious, delightful pace. Which is pretty much how I remember 20. Ah, to be 20 again!

Finally, another blogger with a gorgeous avatar is salacious desires. Working through a desert in the sex life she shares with A, they have come out on the other side of the dry spell in full flower. Some of the writing is fantasy, some accounts of actual happenings, the resulting blend is sublime, including mention of God-- not a person we find in most writings about sex. Though if you think about it, why would God create something so life-altering and wonderful as sex if She didn't want us to enjoy it?

And right after the July 4th holiday, we start Chapter 12. If you want to get a jump on reading it, point your browser at Realm of the Demon Queen. One of Cassie's biggest fans, she is tempting her readers over there with the first installment of Chapter 12 that opens with the very provocative question to Cassie from S.: "Have you ever wanted to sleep with another woman?" DQ is also a fine lady, so if you're not a regular in her realm, stay awhile. It's never dull.

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