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.

Girl on a Motorbike

I keep my copy of DIVA underneath the novel I am supposed to be reading for Uni. I took the job of night cashier at this out of town petrol station because I liked the idea of the time I would have for the serious reading I was always behind with. But magazines always got in the way and some magazines you just can’t put down especially when you’re nineteen and still unsure about your sexuality.

It was at about three o’clock that a powerful motorbike roared onto the forecourt. The rider dismounted, filled up and headed for the shop where I sat. It was only when the figure walked through the door that I could make out the feminine contours under the black leather. She stopped just inside the door and carefully removed her helmet before shaking loose a waterfall of auburn hair that gleamed in the harsh display lights.

She walked confidently towards me and I moved quickly to hide DIVA underneath the novel. She was up to me quickly, however, and a gauntleted hand took gentle hold of my wrist and we stayed for a long moment with the magazine hanging in mid-air.

“You read DIVA?”

I nodded, unsure what the correct answer was.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of is it, being into girls?”

“No.” I blurted out.

“I write erotic fiction for DIVA sometimes. You’ve probably read one of my stories.”

She paused before continuing

“Maybe you’d like to be in one of them?”

She smiled as she surveyed me like a predator toying with its prey.

“Cobra and mongoose” I thought, with a sort of feeling that I was snared and that, inexperienced as I was, I would actually have it no other way.

She unzipped the leather and pulled it back to reveal two magnificent breasts. She beckoned to me to come out from behind the counter. I complied without hesitation.

‘Worship me’ she said simply and I knelt tentatively before her, looking into her face before kissing the biking boots. The stranger squatted down, took my head in her hands and placed a gentle kiss on my forehead.

I kissed her right nipple before sucking on it and making it harden before taking it between her lips and squeezing. The woman let out an involuntary sigh as the pain began to turn to pleasure. I gave a little twist and felt the woman begin to writhe and struggle before adjusting her body to the pain. She let out another sigh. I twisted and pulled again before letting go and doing the same to the other breast. As I did so she felt the woman twist and wriggle and work her arms free from the sleeves of the leather suit. I took it in her hands and pulled it down to reveal a tattoo on the woman’s stomach which I instinctively kissed and muzzled my face against before sliding down to feel the lovely harshness of her pubic hair brushing against my face. I could now smell the woman’s arousal as I buried my face in the luxuriant auburn bush and moved my tongue to the woman’s exuberantly proud clit which I licked and caressed with quick movements of the tongue, like a snake sticking out its fork to feel its way. I licked and caressed, licked and caressed before sucking to make her hard. The woman was by now in a state of high arousal and I felt her stiffen and arch her back.

‘Worship my cunt, worship my cunt.’

I moved down to probe the rapidly dilating wet opening as the woman moved her hand down and began to massage the clit with the forefinger of her left hand. With the right she grabbed my hair and pulled it, harder and harder as she neared orgasm.

‘Harder harder’ she screamed pulling my hair so hard that I let out an involuntary howl of pain.

I pushed again and felt the tip entering between the labia into a warm place that was wet and smelt delightful. I worked my tongue up and down, tasted the sour juices of arousal, felt the stubble, rough against my cheek. I pushed until the rubbing became uncomfortable, then pushed some more. I needed pain to feel that I had earned the pleasure as arousal made my own clit stiffen and rub against my soft panties in a sweet agony of anticipation.

I slipped my jeans down and began to finger my clit as I felt her strain to keep from climaxing.

“I am waiting for you” she said. “Come on, quickly I can’t hold out any longer.“

I worked harder, harder, until I shouted

“I’m coming”

As the orgasm pulsed through me she came with a scream and dropped to her knees, kissed me, grabbing the back of my head to pull me close where I could smell the sweet breath before she pushed her tongue in deep for a slow lingering kiss.

The woman gently disengaged herself and handed me two twenty pound notes.

“For the petrol”

Then, without warning, she pulled on the helmet and headed for the door.

“Wait” I called, “I don’t even know your name”.

“Do you need to?” she said through a raised visor. “Read DIVA and you’ll found out. My pen name anyway. “

And with that she walked out of my life as nonchalantly as she had walked into it. I watched as she kicked off the stand, sat astride the huge machine and coaxed into a roar with a kick of her leather boot. I had no idea how long we had been together but the sun was coming up as she roared away down the dual carriageway towards London.

I returned to my seat behind the counter. In an hour I could go home. I picked up DIVA again and felt myself tingling at the thought that in just over an hour I would be in bed, masturbating to the beautiful stranger. I turned the pages of the magazine and started as I read,

“Short Erotic Fiction, Girl on a Motorbike.”

THE END

A Few Thoughts from Poland

This post begins and ends with a holiday. Recent news from the Irish Republic about the abortion debate reminded me of my first ever visit to Ireland, a cycling trip with a friend from Dublin to Dun Chaoin at the end of the Dingle Peninsula with its magical view out over the Great Blasket to the vast Atlantic stretching away behind it. This was in 1983 when the big news topic was the upcoming referendum to amend the constitution to include a clause protecting the unborn, effectively putting abortion, or rather the ban on abortion, beyond the legislative reach of the Dail. It became quickly apparent just how much power the Roman Catholic hierarchy exercised 60 years after partition. We didn’t , of course, know that, just a few streets away from where we were staying, ‘fallen’ women were still slaving away in laundries for the good of their immortal souls.

This was before the child abuse scandals which, conventional wisdom has it, have broken the Church as a political force. Recent reports from Ireland, concerning both abortion and possible legislation to criminalise sex work, suggest that the demise of the Church has been much exaggerated.

Further east the position in one of Europe’s arch Catholic countries was a little different then. Communism was crumbling in Poland to the extent that only a military coup had been able to shore up the system and 1983 was a from year of shortages, power cuts and so on. Nonetheless it had brought some benefits to women. Abortion and contraception were both freely available. Not that i wanted to exaggerate the benefits. Most women worked and received little help at home with cooking and child rearing. They also bore the brunt of the soul destroying waits in queues before empty shops. Nonetheless they were spared the worst effects of ecclesiastical misogyny.

This all changed in 1989. It is important to say that Poland has become a relatively stable democracy in the last twenty four years. The clergy have had to learn the hard way that Poles will not put up with instructions from the pulpit on election day. Indeed between 1995 and 2005 neither the President nor Prime Minister were Catholics. This was a disappointment to the likes of the Primate Cardinal Glemp who genuinely wanted Poland to become a confessional state but he soon discovered that he could bully governments of any colour and the list of demands was soon handed in, a Concordat was demanded and granted, Church lands confiscated by the Communists were restored, resulting in an unseemly land grab, while a systematic attack on the rights of women was orchestrated.

A ban on abortion was introduced in 1993. This has resulted in two important cases being brought to the ECHR. The first was that of Alicja Tysiac who wanted an abortion for health reasons, specifically that she had impaired vision and her pregnancy carried a threat of her losing her eyesight altogether. Polish law would actually have allowed her to have one but she could not find a doctor willing to perform one. The other case involved a 14 year old girl, pregnant following a rape, who was similarly denied an abortion. Polish law does have limited exemptions to the ban as I mentioned above but in practice the right to a termination can be difficult to enforce. Even these limited exemptions are under threat. r even though was denied an abortion. There are some on the right pressing for an Irish style amendment to the constitution but, thankfully, nothing has come of this yet.
What the Church wants, it generally gets. There will be no in vitro fertilisation anytime soon, and no gay marriage. I have discussed Poland’s antediluvian attitudes to LGBT people here. Having said that Poland does not have its first openly gay MP and the world’s only transgender MP, Anna Grodzka. They are both members of the Palikot’s Movement party, named after its founder, a milionaire businessman called Janusz Palikot. this party standing on an openly anti-clerical platform achieved 10% of the vote in the last elections and as much as 25% amongst first time voters suggesting that things are changing.  Palikot is saying things that need to be said but has a history of opportunism and if advances in women’s rights and LGBT rights are in his hands we need to worry.

The Church is keen to promote the idea of the ‘Matka Polka’ the devoted mother who stays at home to care for her children, to cook and clean for her husband and so on. In reality most women in Poland work. Low wages mean that families with children cannot survive on one income. At work they enjoy little job security. What does the allegedly pro-life Church have to say about employers who sack women for becoming pregnant? You’ve guessed it – nothing. At home, as in Communist days, the work falls mainly on their shoulders.

Domestic violence has never been taken seriously by many in Poland. It doesn’t happen, many people think, because every Polish man is a gentleman who opens doors, gives up his seat on the bus and would never dream of raising his hand against a woman. Some twenty years ago a left of centre government funded a helpline for victims of domestic violence, with a hard hitting poster campaign to publicise it. The scale of the problem quickly became apparent, painfully so for many Poles, so much so, in fact that a minister in the subsequent right of centre government withdrew funding on the grounds that it was encouraging Catholic mothers to desert their families and, therefore, wrong. He had nothing to say about the abuse that drove women to do this.

So we arrive in 2013 and my latest holiday. I had the chance to discuss these issues with some women but sadly the general awareness of them is low. One woman I spoke to suggested that Alicja Tysiac was a ‘whore’ for wanting a termination to save her sight. Feminism is seen as the hobby of a handful of educated metropolitan women and of no relevance to others in their daily struggle to make ends meet. Some Polish women have had successful careers in business and politics. They are the exception. The power of the Church has been a major factor (but not the only one) in making Polish women second class citizens in their own country. If the position of Polish women in 1983 was in some respects better than that of Irish women it certainly isn’t now.

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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A Tale of John and Linda

A lot has been written about transsexuals and whether they are welcome in feminist circles, whether they are ‘proper’ women and so on. I don’t know any stats but have a probably superficial impression that  that most transgender people are biological males wanting to live as women. We seem to hear little about biological women who identify as male.

I met Linda some years ago through a shared interest in poetry and we became friends. We lost touch for a few years before re-establishing contact via social media. Linda is no longer Linda. Linda is now John. John is a stylish man in his early thirties, still at the start of the long and difficult process  that will end in gender reassignment surgery. He jokes that he already has a prick, several in fact and keeps them in a draw.  He is now, just as he was years ago, sensitive and intelligent with a love for poetry. We have the same things in common as we did when we first became friends. That a girl friend has become a platonic male friend has really changed nothing in our friendship. And I will support John in his journey. The essential worth of a human being is surely something that transcends gender