Identity

This post arises from the happy coincidence of two books I have been reading recently, books which, at first sight, don’t seem to have much in common. The first is Maya Angelou’s “See How The Caged Bird Sings.” We discussed it this morning at the monthly Birmingham Feminist Book Club. Part of a wide-ranging discussion revolved around literature as a means of self understanding, this arising from Angelou’s won discussion in her book of what reading the classics of English literature, and especially, Shakespeare, meant to her, and how she was able, by engaging with the texts, to make sense of her own experience.

This was a concept that was made real for me a couple of years ago when I was a volunteer buddy for a Community Interest Company that worked with adults experiencing mental health difficulties, in particular by encouraging them to read literature and sharing their experiences. To get a flavour of what they did I was invited to attend one of the meetings. We were reading Rose Tremain’s novel The Road Home. The group consisted of people of varying ages, many of whom lived in considerable isolation, an isolation made worse by anxiety and phobias. Some of them only left the house for the weekly meeting in a local library. Most of them had little experience of serious reading. From the discussion, however, it became clear that the book was opening doors for them and all of them were able to use the text to make sense of their own lives, at the same times bringing their won experiences to bear in interpreting the text. As they talked they gave me new insights into the book. This experience was both illuminating and humbling.

These experiences and thoughts are particularly relevant to the other book I have been reading. This is an anthology called Identity, whose contributors all attended the recent Eroticon conference. I have to declare an interest. I was one of the contributors. But that is now why I am writing about it. The content is pretty eclectic, some of it personal reminiscence, and painful reminiscence at that, some of it fantasy, some of it opinion, some of it seriously hot, you know, the stuff you read one handed.  And then there was Meg-John Barker’s piece on erotic fiction as means of self understanding which got me reflecting again on my own identity, or in this case my sexual identity and what it means to me. This short essay was in my head as I read the other pieces and enriched my reading experience.  This really is as a wonderful anthology and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Erotic fiction has changed my life. I really don’t know why, one day in 2012, I felt the urge tio write a story about a carer in a elderly person’s home who has a relationship with a gay man whose carer he is. Other stories followed. I went online, I set up a Twitter account, I read voraciously, I discovered Eroticon and became part of a community. And a new Eve emerged, an Eve who is kinky, bisexual, who is proud to know sex workers she can call friends, an Eve committed to the freeest possible expression of human sexuality (subject to consent). In short an Eve I could not have imagined even existed only 6 years ago. It is through erotic literature that I have discovered what was previously latent, and been able to articulate it.

The main protagonist of my first story was Eric, an Oxford graduate who had been jailed for “gross indecency” in the dark days before 1967 and who experienced late sexual joy with a younger man. I killed him off at the end as the younger man had to move on and make his own way as a gay man in a different age, but acutely aware of the debt gay men, indeed all of us who are in some way not heteronormative, owe to those who suffered for daring to be different. I made sure, however, that Eric died happy, at peace with himself. I knew then that I owed him that. I know now that I owe him much more.

Fruits from the Garden

I read voraciously. Yet while I am always looking ahead to the next book I always finish the one I’m on with a hint of regret. It was hard to put the novel I was reading recently back on its shelf as I had grown to like the main protagonist and saying goodbye to her was hard. On the other hand I could not wait to finish the other book I have been reading recently. I read it in the bath, read it on the bus, read it on the exercise bike at the gym. This was not because I disliked it, quite the opposite. I was desperate to absorb it, enjoy its treasures and out it down to reflect on what it all meant. This is a book you may well be reading. It is The Garden of Desires by Emily Dubberley.

In fact it is a book written by every one of those (including me) who responded to the invitation to complete a questionnaire and shared their sexual fantasies. It is not a dry scientific study but a wonderful journey into worlds of sexual imagination I was hardly aware of.

The fantasies are grouped by the various types into which they could be categorised. Clearly some crossed boundaries but some kind of categorisation was needed and the one adopted seems reasonable. It was striking to me how many fantasies, across all categories, involved activities that are usually associated with kink or BDSM. A few hoary myths are nailed along the way too. Fantasy and reality overlap but not all women want to live out all their fantasies and no woman really wants to be raped.

I was amazed at the sheer variety of the fantasies and relieved too, that my fantasies did not seem out of place, and that I was not alone in feeling, or having felt shame. If reading the Garden of Desires has taught me anything it is that I am normal and  have nothing to be ashamed about. That is a very liberating feeling not least because one of the messages of the book is how much women’s sexuality has been constrained by societal norms, conditioning, shaming. It continues to be as we enter a neo-Puritan age where even some feminists are seeking to invoke the power of the state to control women and slut shaming is rife. I was shocked to read about the vile abuse that Emily experienced when the Cliterati website was launched in the not so Victorian era of 2001.

The final chapter is a call to arms to women to fight for their sexual freedom against the puritans. Whether you are straight, bi, lesbian, trans, sub, domme,  sex worker, or whatever, you must be free to express yourself sexually however you want. The only restraint should be the need for consent. The battle for sexual freedom is inherently political and part, but a necessary part, of a wider struggle for freedom and equality. It is a struggle that I rather think it might be fun to fight. .

Men, too, should read this book. Our freedom is also your freedom and in any case women’s sexuality is a store of delights that might be available to you too if you put your patriarchal prejudices aside and ask nicely!

Daniel My Sister

LGBT

The story below is included as part of an LGBT blog hop organised by Scorching Book Reviews. Hope you enjoy it as well as the other posts. Click here to find them. There’s a prize draw as well – just click the link at the bottom of the page.

I have been dabbling in erotica for a while but only succeeded in getting something published last year, a story in the Xcite Books gay anthology Boys in Bed. I would describe myself as a bi-curious heterosexual  but write about all kinds of sex. In fact a significant proportion of the stories I am working on involve either lesbian or D/S relationships. I just find the idea of women making love to women incredibly beautiful. And the thought of a woman submitting to another woman I find unbelievably erotic. This is why I write about sex, it is a way of exploring things I might never get to do myself, a way too of understanding myself and my sexuality. If anything I write helps even one reader to have a better understanding of his or hers then it’s been worthwhile. Even better if it makes you reach for your clit or your cock……:-)

DANIEL MY SISTER

Agata gasped as Daniel took off his shirt and she was that he had proper breasts, female breasts, just like hers but bound with tape and flattened. Then he slid off his trousers and boxers and she saw a cunt, just like hers only shaven and with a stud in the clit. She struggled to get out her words,

‘But you’re not a man!’

‘I’m all man’ said Daniel ‘and all woman too, at least for the time being. Forget about what you were told in Poland and forget about all the nonsense your priests drummed into you. If you want to be a whore you’ve got a lot to learn and I’m going to teach you. I’m going to fuck you as a man and then I’m going to have you as a girl.

Agata froze, then, remembering that she was being paid for this, she removed her panties and lay on the bed, thinking that she had got rather more than she had bargained for.

Agata had been in England just two months after leaving her village in Poland to come to England in search of work. She had moved in with her best friend Justyna and found a job packing airline meals, nothing exciting and the money was never enough. It was Justyna who had suggested they sell sex and so they placed an advertisement in the local newspaper

‘Gorgeous Polish girls your dream come true.’

They quickly had custom and the hostility of established girls in the area as they undercut the local rated, £50 for half an hour £80 for an hour although most punters wanted to be in  and out of the shabby flat quickly. Agata was a pretty girl, she had lovely breasts that just asked to be caressed and kissed and sucked and she, known as Jasmine, attracted most of the business.

And now, in her second week as a sex worker she was confronted with Dan. Dan was right, she was naive. In the village in Eastern Poland there were no gays, no cross dressers, no ambiguity and no-one enjoying sex, no-one who had thought about it the way Dan had. Her initial response was to feel repelled but now, she was fascinated. She remembered the priest at home warning her about the moral danger but now she didn’t care. There was a sexual world to explore and she wanted to explore it.

‘Half an hour that’s fifty pounds isn’t it?’ asked Dan.

Agata, thinking quickly said ‘more for special requests, it’s like doing it with a couple after all.’

‘Let’s say sixty then.’

Agata was feeling distinctly uneasy and conceded the point. He counted out the notes and handed them to her.

Dan lay on the bed beside her. He came over took her in his arms and began to rub his body against hers. If he looked and dressed as a man he had the smooth and lissom body of a woman and when he reached for her cunt with his fingers she resisted the temptation to shout out ‘No that’s not allowed.’ Because she wanted to know, she had to know what it was like to be touched by someone as intimate as she was herself with female genitalia. Dan placed his finger very gently on her clit and began to massage it with finesse and delicacy. Agata felt herself becoming hard and Dan began to rub more vigorously. As Agata grew wetter, Dan took the fingers of his left hand and pushed four of them into her rapidly dilating and, by now, very wet vagina. He began to move in and out, slowly at first then picking up speed, did it more and mote vigorously.

He took his finger off her clit and said,

‘Go on you do it yourself’ and Agata massaged her clit vigorously as Dan put a further finger inside and they both picked up the pace until he finished her off and she came with a scream.

‘See how nice it is?’

Dan smiled and kissed her gently on the top of the head.

‘And now I want you to fuck me but not with your fingers.’

He stood up and made his way across the room and took a dildo out of his bag.   Agata gasped.

‘Don’t worry’ said Dan, ‘This is my prick well one of several actually I keep in a draw. It won’t hurt believe me.’

He strapped it on, rolled a condom onto the end and applied a little lubricant. He dropped onto the mattress and began to finger Agata again. She found this very pleasant. No one had ever touched her like that before. It seemed instinctive on Dan’s part.

‘I fuck you as a man but I touch you as a woman.’

Dan continued to massage Agata’s clit with an expertise she was unused to and suddenly she felt her juices rising. Dan stuck a finger inside her, then another, then another,

‘Three fingers’ he said. ‘You’re soaking wet. And ripe for a good fucking.’

‘Bend over the chair.’

Agata did as she was told. She was a little disconcerted by this, it was different from anything she had experienced before. She sensed Dan coming up behind her, let out an involuntary gasp as the felt the cold dildo touch her. Dan felt for the pening and slid in.

‘I’m all in’ he announced. ‘Is it nice?’

‘Yes’ she said struggling for words.

Dan began to move in and out, slowly and deliberately at first then, gradually picking up the pace. Soon he was working away quickly and thighs were slapping against her bottom as he moved in. Agata shut her eyes. She thought of home, the time she lost her virginity, the ordeal in the confessional the following week. She thought about the men who came to her for a cheap fuck, a massage, covered oral that she was still learning to do, realising that she had never really experienced sex like this before. She used to joke about transsexuals but now she was giving herself to a beautiful man who was still a woman. Dan knew what he wanted, he was skilled and experienced, he was……..

He let the pace slacken.

‘Keep going’ she said and Dan grabbed her roughly and pushed in hard and deep. Soon he was thumping away harder than ever. Agata began to play with her clit.

‘Harder harder I want to come!’

He came in again two mote thumps and she came.

Dan withdrew. She turned round, looked at him, looked at the big strap-on, looked at the smile on his face.

‘I’ve never paid for it before’ he said. ‘I just had to try.’

He took a step towards her, pulled her head towards him to kiss her. She resisted.

‘I’m sorry, I don’t do kissing.’

‘You’ll kiss me though, feel me, feel my soft skin, I will kiss you like you’ve never been kissed before.’

He grabbed her head pulled her towards him. Agata closed her eyes and opened her mouth. His tongue slid into her mouth just as smoothly as the dildo had entered her cunt. She let herself go limp. He put a finger inside her, wet it with her juices, and put it in her mouth.

‘That’s the taste of you.’

There was a knock on the door. Justyna called

‘Time’s up.’

‘Still busy’ called Agata. She did not want this to end.

Dan pulled away, took off the strap-on and said to Agata

‘Kneel before me and lick my cunt. I want to feel your tongue on my clit.’

She knelt before him, felt the hard cold floor digging into her knees. She looked at Dan’s shaven pussy. She had never been this close to someone else’s cunt before. Dan held the labia apart with his fingers and she began to lick at the opening, felt the sour juices……..she was confused, giving cunnilingus to the man who had just given her the best fucking of her life.

She took hold of Dan’s buttocks, pulled him a little closer towards her and worked his cunt with her tongue, worked her way to his clit, worked it until she heard him come.

‘Thank you’ he said almost matter of factly.

He pulled his trousers back on, took a twenty pound note out of the pocket and handed it to Agata..

‘It’s not so much.’ she protested.

‘But I’ve gone over time and you have been so good.’ He smiled and put on his shirt and jacket. After he had put his shoes on he gave her a peck on the cheek and made for the door.

‘I’ll show you out,’ said Agata almost as an afterthought.

When she returned to the room thoughts were racing through her head. Nothing seemed real any more, she was almost floating in an alternative reality where nothing was quite what it seemed. Then she noticed that Dan had left his strap-on.

Justyna came in.

‘That was a long time nearly an hour I hope you took extra money from him.’

‘I did’ replied Agata ‘but I didn’t want to,’

She smiled.

‘I’ve learned so much. Let me tell you what I have learned.’

She walked across to Justyna and gently pulled down her skirt. Her friend was ready for work, had no underwear and she knelt before her and began to worship her friend’s cunt. She would be good at this she knew. She enjoyed the stubble rubbing against her face, she loved the smell, She could feel Justyna becoming aroused. She stood up, with Justyna’s juices on her tongue and slid it into her friend’s mouth.

‘I’ve learned that nothing is as beautiful as a woman’s body, that nothing is as lovely as a cunt.  I’ll sleep with men for money, but for me I have to sleep with girls.’

‘Lean over the chair and I’ll take you.’

Justyna made as if to protest.

‘He left this. I don’t think it was an accident. We have to try this.’

Agata had little idea of how to use the strap-on but she was determined to try. She put it on, walked up to Justyna, slapped her bottom before feeling for her rapidly dampening cunt.

‘I’ve never fucked a girl before.’

And they both laughed.

THE END

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When Three’s A Crowd

As you may have read in a recent post I have had three in a bed sex with my partner and another woman and enjoyed it. When we were looking for someone for this we looked on the websites of several independent escorts and spoke to a couple of them. They told us that although they enjoy seeing couples  they always approach such bookings with caution. One said that she would never accept a couple booking from a man without first talking to the woman. This is because three in a bed with two women is a common male fantasy and some men pressurise reluctant partners into doing something they don’t really want to do. It is quite right that sex workers take this approach.

I am inclined to think that the reluctance of some women to engage in threesomes is nothing compared to the reaction of men to a two man one woman threesome.  I once suggested this to my partner. Now I am not sure that I would get turned on at seeing him with another man but it is something about which I am curious. So I broached the issue very gently suggesting that as we had both enjoyed sharing our bed with a woman it seemed like a logical next step.

He was reluctant even to talk about it. I asked him if seeing me with a woman had turned him on? Yes, it was something he had long fantasised about. So, my argument continued, what if I found seeing you with another man  a turn-on erotic, what if I soaked the bed as I watched you? Answer came there none, just embarrassed silence.

I could see the conversation going nowhere so dropped it. Yet this is man who is open to so much, who likes to cross dress, who has visited a dominatrix and who tells me he has fantasised about engaging in forced bi at the command of a dominatrix, dressed up as a slut. It seems, however, that there are some fantasies that some men want to leave as just that, fantasies. Yet they expect the women in their lives  to act out their other fantasies.

So what do I do? Actually it is not something I am desperate to and I can live without it. But I would like to try at least once and I would also like to understand  the double standards that even sexually liberated and open-minded men apply.

How I Promoted Trafficking and the Global Sex Trade

The title of this post is, of course, ironic. I write about sex work issues from time to time and am asked on occasions what I know about it. The answer is not as much as many other people who write in defence of sex workers’ rights but, I suspect, more than a lot of those who post from the other side. I have never been a sex worker, although I have a good friend who works as a dominatrix, but I have been a client. For some this makes me an incarnation of evil, accessory to trafficking etc. etc. I just want to say a little about my experience and the impressions it left me with.

A few years ago I was working away from home on an interim contract, in Manchester to be precise. I loved my time there. It is a city with a vibrancy I find rather lacking in Birmingham where I live. Every other week my partner took time off work and came to visit. We had great sex, somehow being in another city, in the impersonality of a hotel room took us out of ourselves and encouraged us to try new things. In short we were uninhibited.

Then, for my birthday we decided to do something we had often discussed and booked a girl from a local escort agency for some three in a bed fun. I felt nervous but once the girl arrived and the money had been handed over I relaxed. She was friendly and chatty and put us at our ease. As she slipped into something more comfortable, we slipped into ……nothing and the fun began. I quickly relaxed and found an enjoyment I had not known in being kissed and touched by a woman. I felt an incredible high after she had gone.

Some months later we repeated the experience with a different girl. A longer booking this time as my partner wanted to explore his cross dressing urges. I dressed him ,made him up and together with the escort we walked the short distance to the safety of the gay quarter for a drink. He had been very nervous as we walked through hotel reception and into the street, where he felt very vulnerable but we placed him between us, put our arms round him to give him assurance. We would look after him, keep him safe. It was  a wonderful moment of trust, a giving of himself. Back in the hotel room he remained dressed and gave himself to both of us in turn. It was another beautiful moment.

You may ask why we had to pay to do this. Surely we could have found someone to play with us? Yes but that would have taken time, involved getting to know the person and possible emotional entanglements  To pay someone was easier on both counts. Both the escorts we saw opened doors for us, helped us to explore our sexuality. Apart from that we enjoyed their company and they, I hope, enjoyed ours.

So I am a sex worker’s client. I do not regret it one bit. The girls we saw were bright and attractive and fully aware of what they were doing. Everything we did was discussed beforehand and a price agreed. We paid them well and they provided us with what we wanted. It was, in other words, a business transaction of benefit to both parties. No coercion, no exploitation, no rape. There are those who would make what we did a criminal offence. I would have a criminal record and the girls would be forced underground and exposed to the dangers of real criminals. So I say thanks again to Christina and Alex and I promise I will continue to do my little bit to defend your and other sex workers’ rights.     .