Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In the Garden

( I hate the fact that I'm recycling an older post.  I did try to write an original story for this topic but it never hit take off speed, fizzled out and crashed when I ran out of runway.  This piece does fit the topic, its the best I can do for the moment.  We've all been there.)


She came on the foundation of a great journey of fear. I had been afraid of girls all my life until high school. Didn’t know how to talk to them or be around them. They were supernatural beings, mysterious and exciting, vastly superior to boys. If a girl borrowed my pencil, I felt honored. If she chewed on it, I would meditate on her tooth marks. I had only been able to bring myself to talk to girls after my family broke up and instead of living in houses, we lived in low rent apartments, a precursor of the communal life that would come for me later. I ran into girls my age as often I stepped into the hallway, and in the summer time, there was the swimming pool. For kids, the swimming pool is the great gathering place. Even if you find girls unapproachable, walking to school, and there by the pool side, the girls find you. Even if you’re afraid of them, they come to you and speak to you. Some girls are not turned off by shyness, but excited by it. Breaking through your shell becomes an interesting conquest, as though taming a wild animal that has showed up at their door. You learn that with an effort you can be a little witty, get them to laugh at your jokes. Soon you’re going out with them instead of collecting comic books.


Coming home from the library, I walked into a store called Fin Fare, to find out why it was called that. She was working behind the counter and she told me she knew me. She was in my school. She liked to stand behind me in the lunch line and listen to my voice, watch me talking to my little gang of friends. She thought I sounded smart. She thought I would be interesting to know better. After that I came by to visit whenever I could. So the Fin Fare girl and I became close friends. I met her when she got off work, and we walked. Walking was the door into conversation I had discovered on my own. I had learned that walking and talking went together as naturally as books and coffee. She talked about her family, her feelings, her resentments, her dreams. I listened. It was the one skill I wanted to learn well for her. Look at her face, enjoy her eyes, ask a question. Be ready for a quiz. I have since lost the knack of listening well, having become more solitary after many years on the road. She was interested in ideas, the great adolescent questions. We began to go places together. This was back in the day in Minneapolis when the Guthrie Theater could be a cheap date. We went to see live plays performed, Shakespeare and Steinbeck, and I imagined myself as a playwright someday. She didn’t laugh at these things, she thought it was possible.

My mother moved us to Georgia and she and I wrote letters continuously, almost daily, just as people would email today. My Dad invited me back up for the summer to talk about future plans for college. She was waiting to see me again. We had never left each others' thoughts for a day.

I was allowed to borrow my Dad's old Mercury Cougar, in a time before seat belts and bucket seats, when a kiss and a furtive feel in the dark before saying goodnight, were only a matter of sliding to the other end of the seat and gathering the other in your arms. The conversations and the protests began. That's enough; I think we'd better stop before we get crazy. But I like crazy. See you tomorrow. Okay. Good night. But you'll see me. See you. Miss you.

Another night, sitting in the dark. My hands under her clothes, like a conquering army gaining ground yard by yard, night by night. She pulls my hands away, puts them in my lap. I don’t know. I don’t know if we should. Should? Should what? You know. No, I don’t. I'm just saying. Are you okay? Yeah, I'm okay.

Another night. Sitting in the dark. My fingers have attained her nipples at long last, under the cloth of her T-shirt, having slipped in unopposed under the loose rim of her bra. Did she wear it loose for comfort, or for me? I don’t know what to do with them, how they should be touched. I know nothing. With each progress, my ignorance is miserable, which only fuels my clumsy determination and vanity. Her nipples feel so different from mine. Bigger. Tougher. Purposeful. Real. A girl's nipples are not the same. Pulls my hands away. I'm not ready. It’s okay. I know you're a virgin, she says. Yes, I say. I know you want to lose it. Yes, I say, but I'm okay. I want it to be with you. But when you’re ready to lose it too. I can wait. Then we'll both be ready. I'm not a virgin, she says, but I'm not ready. Not with you. You’re my best friend.

Whoa whoa whoa. Not a virgin?

My face burns. She can't see my face in the dark. Thank God. I've been slugged in the gut and I want to shove her out of the car, dump her on the pavement, call her something but I don’t dare. She has already given to a boy what she will not give to me. I thought I was worthy, but I'm nothing after all. There are better men, men she wants. Men who know how. I am not sexy. I'm not desirable. Easy to refuse. Easy to push away, because I'm a nice boy. The kind you can always talk to. The kind of boy who stops when you tell him to, eager to please.

What happened? I speak with cheerful curiosity, as if asking for a funny story, some old family gossip. I keep the tension out of my voice. No, its nothing. No, come on, tell me, I want to hear it now. You can’t just throw that out there, tell me. It's okay. It happened at a party, that's all. There was this guy. Do you love him? No! - nothing like that. Just a guy. He's a jerk.

Yes, I think, just a jerk - so you took it all down and fucked a jerk. For him you do it.

I was a little drunk. He brought me upstairs. I was just curious. You know what I mean? You get curious to see what it is, and he was just there. So I just let it happen. You just did it? Just like that? Sure. How? Upstairs, like I said. But how? What do you mean how? On a bed. The people who lived there, their bed. You know. You want to hear this? Yeah, I really do. Sure? You okay? I’m okay. This is really great, go on. This is a really great story. So anyway. We went upstairs in a room and got on the bed. It was over quick. So you did it upstairs on the bed. I was drunk, okay? How was it? It was awful. It hurt. Then he told me I was lousy, I didn’t know how to fuck, he said. He said I didn’t know anything. Well, you were a virgin right? I mean, how would you know? Yeah, that's right. You know something, that's right. How would I know?

I couldn’t stop myself wanting her words. All her words. I wanted her story. All her story forever. The more the words hurt me, the more voracious I became to gobble up her story like rat bait. I was changing. The story. I want to know the story. The story! Words are powerful when they’re the right words. Words are demons that can get in your head. I didn’t know that. Now I knew it in my bones, in the yammering of my skull. Words could have a powerful and terrible magic.

are you okay?  sure Im okay.  I want you to be okay because you're so good for me.  I'm okay allright.  you don't seem that okay.  stop asking me if Im okay if I say I’m okay I’m okay. 

okay


There she is spread on a bed. Opening to him, to his boorish claspings. Beer on her breath as he puts his tongue in her mouth. There. And there he is. There, sticking up like a ball peen hammer. I see him! Why are the lights on? Does he insist? Drunk or not, pushing her knees apart, nude, and he has her now, the boy she has chosen for herself.

Climbing on board, really knocking it in there. Get it done, get your hammer in boy, fuck her up one side and down the other, make her yell and bang her up good so she knows she's been done good big buddy, this girl who has chosen you instead of me, this girl who will never ever forget you long after I’m washed downstream - and in my wretchedness I discover I am utterly poisoned with love. Smitten.

I hear his slapping belly on top of hers. Hearing it! Words. Seeing them entwined like worms. I hear his grunts. Her squeals. She monkey-grins at the ceiling. Burn eyes! I see them perfectly. I am there. The bed springs rising rhythm. She digs her nails in his back and I am there beside them, an enraged, murderous ghost.

She smiles at me, her confessor. I feel so close to you, she says.

Well, goonnight. Goonnight. Goonnight. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Kiss kiss.

I drive down the block, go around the corner and pull over. I turn off the engine and roll up the windows so no one will hear me as I scream and pound the dashboard with my fists. I get out and walk in the dark silent streets for an hour.

I don’t see her for a week because I have been seeing her every moment of every day, splayed on the bed with the boy she chose. Each time it’s a little different, but the ending is always the same. She finally calls me on the phone to see if I'm alright. I'm fine. I thought you might be upset. Upset? Why, what for? Well, you know. No, no. You seemed upset. No, no. Just busy. Let's go somewhere tonight. Let's go eat. Let's go talk.

There is the restaurant. After the small meal, and the last of my money, we walk down Nicollet Avenue. We talk. She’s in the mood to talk "gut level", her phrase for intimacy. I'm grateful to her for reaching out to me. For coming back. I tell her that.

She leans against me, wraps around me, and we walk dreamily, stumbling into each other. I'm so glad I have you. You’re the only one I can talk to.

Back in the familiar dark. Parked in her driveway. The lights of her house are out. Her parents asleep. This time it’s different. It feels different. The fumbling goes farther. She lifts off her T-shirt and looks in my eyes and I am seeing a woman's bare chest for the first time in my life. I don’t know if we should, she says, I want to, but I don’t know. Why? Because if we do, listen, if we do, everything is going to change I just know it will. Are you ready for this? Yes, I say. Are you sure you want this? I'm sure.

T shirt back on. Climbing over the back. Wait. Unfastening. Unzipping. Just a second. Breathing fast. Quick. Quick. She's changing her mind every second. I don't know if we should. Fumbling. I don’t know if we should do this. Hurry. Are you sure? Yes. Oh yes. Jeans off. T shirt stays on. Hurry. If my step-dad comes out and sees us doing it, he'll kill me, I’m telling you. He'll beat me up.

Only half naked for me. Was she naked for him? Half sure of what she's doing. Maybe the guy really was a jerk. Maybe it’s easier for a girl when she doesn’t really like you. Maybe it comes harder when she likes you a lot, because there's more to lose. Everything is going to change – how does she know this? It’ll just get better of course. Won’t it? So confused. I feel ridiculous. This isn’t what I thought. Terrified. But it’s fantastic, because it’s with her, because it’s with her its fantastic. She’s chosen me. Exhilarated. It would be easy to call it off. But I’m always calling stuff off. All my stupid life, I've been hesitating. Afraid. I don’t want to hesitate this time. Not about this. Maybe this will never happen again if I hesitate. This time I want to pull the trigger. Yes, I want this, I say. Let's do this together.

I want to say I love you, to seal the deal but I'm so afraid she'll laugh. She's heard that tacky stuff before, probably. Maybe the clever jerk who got her fucked said that just to get her pants down. Then he told her she was such an awful fuck, maybe to ruin her for other guys. I'm terrified it will sound stupid if I say it out loud - I love you! - at this moment when its all going to happen if I just don't do anything to mess it up. I'm terrified of the power I’ve given her to hurt me.

She reclines on the back seat like an offering on an altar. She knows this thing better than I do. Her upper body is in shadows. Her lower body is in light. She waits to see what I will do with her body, with her feelings. She’s waiting for me to be good. Am I good? Her face hidden in the dark of the door well. Between the lush valley of her thighs, the street light on a rich delta of dark curls. There is where it must be done. Somewhere there. I'm sure that's how it works. That's what it said in the medical dictionary at home. Panic. Do people do this? When the moment comes, it all seems so unnatural. When death comes to me, will death feel like that too?

Once ready, having taken up that ancient masculine posture, hovering over her, I withdraw into a self conscious workmanship. I’m learning a new skill, without a teacher, but in the presence of an audience and judge of one. She opens a little and waits. I hear her breathing; see her belly rise and fall. I touch her, to find the wet spot. She opens more, resolved now, and I lower myself gingerly, holding my breath. Poking and probing, I can’t find the spot. Jesus Moses, this is stupid. This is crazy. I can’t see anything. The other guy, he could probably see everything when he was giving her the time upstairs on a proper bed with the light on and everything. Oh shit. Drunk my ass. She was just making that crappy lie to protect herself. She loved it. Bitch! She loved it and she wanted him bad. She got down on her knees and begged for it and sucked his goddamned dick! For sure - they stayed up all night banging away at it like ferrets and she called him back to beg for it all over again!

Lying Bitch!

She gasps loudly in pain. Jesus. I don’t even know what I just did. It’s all falling apart. No, I can't let my clumsiness hurt her, I will not, no matter what, even if I have to give this up in defeat and call it a night. Anyway, she knows it now, I’m no great lover, I have no confidence, I don’t have a clue about how this works, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing this for anyway, how I got into this. The other guy who fucked her, he's just a better cocksman than me and that’s how it is. Now she knows it too. Goddamnit. Godfuckingdammit all.

In an agony of humiliation I whisper words like a prayer to the shadows where she lurks, "I think I’ll need your help." I feel her hand touching me softly down there. I feel how she touches me. Her generosity. Her patience. Like a tug boat bringing a ship to the dock she takes hold of me there, gently pulls and guides me home. Trusting, I let her lead me. When I arrive, I feel something strange and hot pressing tentatively against me. I give an explorative little bump and I’m startled to feel it sink like a blade, to feel the flesh parting. She lets go of me, like a mother letting her child learn to walk, to let me find my own way now. I impale her easeful deepness, feel it slip further, and there is the strange gross sensation of warm slick meat enveloping me. And all this time I am thinking - am I doing this right? It feels . . . it feels . . . icky. Like raw meat. Is this natural? Is this what people do? Am I disgusting to her? Is this what Jerome kept doing to my friend Terri, until he ruined her life? Is this what my dad did to my mom? This. . . wet meat . . . Like sticking it in raw liver. He did this to her? Like this? Many times? And then I was born?

Her hand on my back, pressing me down all the way, encouraging. Relax. You're shaking all over. Are you okay? I'm okay.

When she had hurt me before, butchered me with her story, I had loved her more in that moment of misery than I had ever imagined possible, but now having arrived in paradise, in this awkward moment of consummation, I just want it to be over.

I settle over her and wait for my racing heart to slow down. I’m covered in sweat like a race horse. She moves under me, then seizes me aggressively, shifts her legs under me, working her hips hard and fast against my groin, whispering "you’re beautiful, you're beautiful". Those are all the things I’m supposed to be doing and saying to her. I don’t know how to speak words like that- you’re beautiful. I don’t know how to say I love you. I never ever said those words to anybody. No one had said them to me. Instinctively I don’t feel this is some reckless kind of passion coming from her, this is something else. Something calculated. She is determined to be The Fuck of The Century, to impress me all the way through, to make sure she is not "a lousy lay" ever in my eyes. Suddenly it all lets go, my orgasm weak and transparent, a sense of something leaving me and that’s all, as she flogs away at me furiously, babbling angry things. She stops. She tries again. She stops. She bursts into tears. I listen helplessly to my girl shaking under me sobbing in the dark.

"What is it? What's wrong?"

“I can’t make you come.”

“. . . what . . ?”

"You didn’t come. I’m shitty at this, I’m no good!"

"But you did.”

"I didn’t feel you."

"But you did. You made me come good."

"Really?"

"It was greatest thing that ever happened to me. You made me come so good. You’re wonderful." I find her mouth by the sound of her sniffles, kiss her and hold her tight. I whisper in her hair "You were really great. I love you fine. You’re the best." I feel false. Selfish. Hollow.

I kiss her beautiful face; I kiss her ears and whisper assuring things to her. It’s what I’ve wanted all my life, ever since I knew there was such a thing, and it’s all going wrong. But there’s one more thing going wrong, the worst thing of all. The revelation. I get it now.

Now that we’ve both eaten the apple, the realization, the thing we can’t ever talk about is growing. She is right. She is right about everything. We’re not in the garden of innocence anymore. We’ll never get it back like it was. How did she know? It's all going to change now. 


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One moment among many...

Life changing moments - it seems I've had maybe more than my fair share - and some like this one I'm about to recall, didn't always leave a pleasant memory. Years ago, when I was but a lad, quite naive but thinking I was worldly-wise I made a mistake that would change forever how I looked at life and some people I thought I knew. Years later I wrote about it, but gave it a happy ending as per my publishers wishes. My story didn't have an HEA - turned out the bastard was married - and although I might be called many things, a cheat is not one of them.
Just a little set up to the tale. At the time I was a nightclub singer in London. My sister was pregnant and going through a rough time with her soon to be ex husband. This is a true story, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent. LOL.

 UNDER THE LAW. J.P. BOWIE

 It was a dead night at the Lido Club. Located on Frith Street, just off Old Compton Street, it was generally a lively spot, picking up some patrons from Ronnie Scott’s jazz club after they’d closed for the night. But for some reason, there were few people about as Peter got out of the taxi and ran down the long flight of stairs that took him into the dimly lit, smoky club. He’d been performing there for over a year, and he didn’t mind the place since it happened to be within walking distance from his flat. Even late at night, he’d never had a problem getting home from this notoriously seedy part of the West End.
After saying hello to the trio, he ran to the mens' room and tidied up. Some of Dinah’s face powder was evident on his jacket lapel, and his hair needed combing. He sighed as he gazed at his reflection in the pockmarked mirror and hummed a few bars of There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This! Denny Forbes, the comedian who preceded him, had seen him come in and was starting to introduce him, eager to get away from the non-receptive audience.
“No peace for the wicked,” Peter muttered, straightening his jacket and walking onstage, all smiles. Grabbing the mike from Denny, he was about to start his first song when he spotted Detective Inspector John Reed sitting by himself at a corner table. Well, well…maybe there would be something better than this, after all.
His set finished, he wandered over to where John sat, a big smile on his face.
“Hello again,” Peter said, sitting opposite him. “This is a nice surprise.”
John’s smile got even bigger. “I think I’m becoming your number one fan. You’re really very good, you know.”
“Thank you.” Peter returned his smile with a shy one of his own. “I’m trying not to blush.” Their eyes met, and to Peter’s amazement, John covered his hand with his own.
“I wouldn’t have thought you guilty of false modesty.” He squeezed Peter’s hand gently, and Peter did blush as his cock hardened at the other man’s touch. John’s hand was dry and warm. Strong.
Peter shivered as a sudden vision of John’s naked body pressed to his flashed into his mind.
Oh, my god, control yourself.
“I ordered you a drink,” John said, still holding Peter’s hand.
“You don’t have to get me drunk, you know.”
“That’s good.” He looked up and released Peter’s hand as the waiter arrived with the drink.
“But I think I need one right about now.” Peter chuckled then took a long sip. He winked at John. “You’re a man of many surprises, aren’t you?”
“How so?”
“Well, sending me drinks, showing up here alone, holding my hand—which by the way, felt very nice.”
“Yes, it did.” John’s smile was slow and sexy. “Can I surprise you some more with a confession?”
“I can’t wait.”
“I think you are the most attractive man I have ever met.”
“Now I really am blushing,” Peter said, laughing.
“I mean it. Those green eyes of yours are a distinct turn on.”
“Well, thank you…” Peter reached across the table and touched John’s fingers. “So, what happens now?”
“Don’t you live just around the corner?”
“Inspector!” Peter laughed. “What are you suggesting?”
John grinned at him and ran his fingertips over the back of Peter’s hand, sending shivers all through the young man’s body.
“I think you’re not that na├»ve.”
“No, I’m not.” Then his smile faded as he remembered. “Damn.”“What’s wrong?”
“My sister…oh, shit…she’s staying the night. Her bastard husband has been smacking her around. She’s pregnant, and—”
“Wait.” John leaned across the table, staring into Peter’s eyes, his own now hard and cold. “Has she reported this to the police? Beating up a pregnant woman, any woman for that matter, is a criminal offence.”
“Believe me, John, I’ve tried to get her to go to the police. She won’t hear of it. The sad thing is she still loves the oaf.”
John shook his head. “The times I’ve heard that one.”
“And now that I’ve remembered her—and feeling like a complete shit for not doing so earlier—I have to go.” Peter rose from the table. “I’m sorry about this, John.”
“I’ll walk you home.”
“Oh, there’s no need.”
“Yes, there is.” He gave Peter a quick smile. “And don’t ever argue with the law.”
“Sorry ossifer,” Peter joked.
John threw some pound notes onto the table. “Let’s go.”
Peter had to admit it felt good having John’s tall, wide-shouldered presence striding along at his side as they made their way through the darkened streets. He stole occasional glances at the handsome man and smiled to himself. Damn, but John was attractive.
“So, you walk this every night?” John asked.
“Uh huh. I’ve never had an escort before.” That wasn’t exactly true as Scott used to sometimes meet him at the Lido and walk back home with him—in the days when Scott cared enough to do that.
“These streets can get rowdy some nights.”
“Yes. I’ve been lucky, I suppose,” Peter remarked. “A friend of mine was chased up Charing Cross Road one night by a knife-waving thug.”
John chuckled. “And what d’you suppose your friend did to deserve that kind of attention?”
“Ah well, he wouldn’t say exactly. But knowing Terry, it was probably something quite outrageous. Here we are,” Peter said as they stopped at an imposing oak door with Victorian carvings. He pulled his door key from his jacket pocket. “I’m sorry I can’t ask you up.”“So am I.” John produced a notepad from inside his coat. “What’s your phone number?” He scribbled down the number Peter gave him then stowed the pad back in his pocket. “Can we step inside for a moment or two? I’d like to say goodnight properly.”
Peter’s hand trembled from anticipation as he inserted the key into the lock. A goodnight kiss. John’s lips on his. That plump, full, lower lip to nibble on. He was hard again. He pushed open the door, and suddenly, he was wrapped in John’s arms, his mouth covered by a moist, sexy warmth that brought him an instant brain meltdown. He was dimly aware of the door slamming shut behind them, then it was all John and only John he could hear, and feel and smell.
***
So in that moment I fell for John's quiet charisma and charm and in the next few months was led in a merry dance of lies and ultimate heartbreak. Of course I was young and eventually regarded it as a lesson to be learned and never repeated...Well, like I said I was young.



Monday, April 28, 2014

Art For Art's Sake

By Lisabet Sarai

Give me your body,
Give me your mind,
Open your heart,
Pull down the blind...

The headphones you've given me as a Christmas present cocoon me from outside sounds, but you're speaking to me through the music. This is another gift, a live album by 10 CC, a band I've never heard of but whose name (you inform me with one of your arch grins) is based on the amount of seminal fluid in the average ejaculation. With you every choice is symbolic and every symbol is sexual.

It's morning, January. Chill winter sunlight reflects off the snow and spills in through the picture window, above the double mattress that serves as my bed in this low rent apartment. We're caught in the heart of a yellow diamond, glowing from the inside out.

My back is to the window and to you. I sit, naked, facing the Radio Shack stereo, hypnotized by the record's spin, acutely aware of your bare body behind me. You rest your big hands on my shoulders, leaving my nipples to tighten unattended and my cunt to ache. Your presence is warmth, power, potential without limits. You've already fucked me. You'll fuck me again soon, maybe tying my wrists first, or reddening my  bottom. Right now, though, your deceptively innocent hands keep me grounded and urge me to listen.

Give me your body,
Give me your mind...

I'm claimed already, but still you ask, and I answer without words. These are my gifts to you, gifts you know well how to use. You're in my mind now, whispering of all the trials and delights to come, though all my ears hear is the music. The headphones make the music solid, visceral. I'm drowning in music.

Are you hard? Perhaps. I don't remember the tease of your cock against my spine. I'm focused on the lyrics, breathless with desire, eager to yield everything to someone so expert in getting inside my head. Later you'll call me “suggestible” and laugh, but at this moment, I have no doubt that magic exists, that you are its master, and mine.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Length Over Speed

by Jean Roberta

When I took my first self-defense class for women, I realized what amusingly ineffective-looking fists my little hands make. Actually, I suspected years earlier that my hands would never make very useful weapons of self-defense.

In general, whenever I consider the advisability of getting off my bum to do something to render me fitter, healthier, and more likely to survive in adverse conditions (such as an attack by a predatory stranger), I wonder if I have any natural strengths – not as a writer or an intellectual, but as a human animal, a physical being.

The physical accomplishments that I remember all have to do with endurance rather than brute strength or speed. I still remember a cold winter day in the 1980s when I had to clear a very long concrete walk of snow AND an underlying sheet of ice. I used a shovel and an ice pick. It took me hours, and I did it in installments of about one hour each. It had to be done, because I was an elected official in the single-parent co-op that rented out space to a day care centre, and any slip-and-fall accident involving parents or their children could have resulted in a messy lawsuit. Not to mention negative publicity.

The director of the day care centre had wakened me when the sky was still dark with a shrill warning that the walk was a disaster waiting to happen, and if the co-op members hadn’t been diligently shoveling snow whenever it fell, I was responsible.

After a day of unaccustomed manual labour, I thought I would feel like a rusted Tin Woman the next morning, but I didn’t. I woke up feeling energized from my workout in the fresh Canadian air. Ha, I thought. I remembered my hardy working-class ancestors, and felt lucky to come from good stock.

Before my stint as a single-parent co-op leader, I used to scrounge some income by posing nude for art classes at the local university. The instructor always asked if I could stay motionless for a certain length of time, and I always said yes. In some cases, I regretted having so much pride.

This experience gave rise to a story of mine which doesn’t seem to be part of my backlist because the narrator is male, and I chose a French-Canadian pen name to suit: Jean Blanchfils (i.e. John Whiteboy, or “son of Blanche,” the name of my maternal grandmother).

Here is a passage from “Focal Point,” in which “Johnny,” as the female art instructor calls him, holds his pose for the allotted time:

********************

There’s something about being naked in a roomful of fully-dressed people that makes it hard for me to assert myself. In fact, trying not to get hard usually took up most of my energy. I stood quietly, forcing my arms to stay at my sides, while Ms. Muff strutted around me in her black jeans, tossing her sun-bleached hair and looking amused. She probably fantasized about cutting me up and serving choice bits as hors d’oeuvres at the next lesbian brunch or gallery opening.

“Face the ladder,” she ordered, “then hold onto the rung at your chin-level. Can you hold that pose without moving for thirty minutes?”

Even with the eyes of twenty-five students, mostly women over thirty, on my boyish derriere, I had my pride. I couldn’t refuse the challenge. “Sure,” I answered loudly enough for my audience to hear.

As I settled into my pose, I could almost hear the silent laughter of the mid-life dyke set as they studied my chestnut hair, the long muscles in my back, my firm ass and my hairy legs. I was a young male specimen to them. On their Amazon planet, I would be lucky to be kept alive for stud service.

I could see the clock with its slowly-moving second hand. Ten minutes into my pose, I was feeling the pull in my shoulders. Then I felt something else: a steady look like a hand squeezing each of my asscheeks.

I looked around as far as I could, listening to the sound of charcoal pencils on
newsprint. Terrance was sketching my body with long, strong strokes, glancing up from
time to time. Catching my eyes, he gave me a warning look: don’t move, boy.

His attention made me shiver. I wanted to stay in position for him, but my arms were aching and my back was in knots. I had only served half my sentence, and I already felt crucified. Obviously my summer job at Burger on the Run hadn’t turned me into an
Olympic athlete.

I tried to take my mind off the strain on my arms by thinking about Terrance: his
solid build, his hawk nose and crystal-blue eyes, his neat wood-brown beard, his long,
experienced, nicotine-stained fingers. He looked like an old man to me. I had never
thought of myself as a daddy’s boy, but I had never met a daddy like him before.

I had ten minutes to go. Hanging onto the ladder for dear life, I could feel my whole body sagging lower. I wanted my watchers, including all the women, to know how much I was giving for their art. I am Man, hear me grunt.

***********************

Of course, our hero becomes better-acquainted with Terrance after class.

This story first appeared in public in Prometheus, the glossy journal of a venerable BDSM association, TES of New York City. Then the story was republished in Erotic Tales, edited and self-published by Justus Roux of Michigan.

I think this story has had its best run among my gay-male friends. A long, steady jog is what I’m aiming for.
------------

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Rage

by Annabeth Leong

I don't like exercise that focuses me on my appearance. In all too many classes I've attended, I've heard the instructor yell, "Think about that bikini body," or, "Work off that pizza you ate on Saturday night." This bothers me for feminist reasons, but mostly it bothers me because it's not what I'm there for. Exercise has sometimes made me look good as a side effect, but wanting to look good has never kept me coming back.

Striking drills are my favorite physical thing to do. I like to let go on a punching bag or strike shield, gloved or ungloved, with fists, with elbows, with the heels of my hands, with feet, with shins, with knees. When I do this, I get to a place I can't access any other way. My mind is blank and focused and I lose all sense of time. It is pure and perfect and I am never looking at the clock or wondering when it will be over. I can go until I won't be able to move the next day, but I don't give a fuck what it does for my bikini body.

Here's what I'm looking for:
the cessation of mental noise
relief from all my words, words, words
the flex of flesh
the joy of bunching and releasing muscle
feeling strong
feeling fucking deadly
the thud of impact
the crisp sensation of a quick, precise strike
the noise
the rage

More than anything else, it's the rage. I doubt you would think it to look at me. I actually have a lot of trouble expressing anger, or even feeling it except for when it's just me and the strike shield. I just know that there's a lot of it blocked up inside me, and this is the only thing that gets it out.

I don't picture the face of an enemy. I don't think of anything specific. I actually don't think of anything at all. It's just something that takes me over after a few hits. It's there in my chest, and it is one of the coldest, cleanest things I know.

Sometimes, I think about the stories of berserkers, and I think that I would be one if the time and place were right. Knowing what fills my body when I'm striking, I can see myself in a battle frenzy.

I have trouble explaining this to people, and I'm frustrated by the way a lot of exercise classes pull me out of this feeling. I often get the idea that women are supposed to exercise to look pretty, and that people are taken aback if I try to say that I'm there to give this rage somewhere to go (I think this gets accepted for men as a way to turn negative feelings into something positive).

I like the white sensation behind my eyes strike after strike, sweat pouring off the end of my nose, muscles burning along the sides of my ribcage, but I also don't want this stuff to stay inside me. I need to sweat it out because I'm pretty sure it poisons if it congeals.

For my bachelorette party, I took the girls for a private lesson at a boxing gym. I always notice how most girls need to be taught that it's okay to hit something without holding back. They start out tentative. They need to be encouraged. My response has always been deep gratitude that this, finally, is something that's okay for me to hit without holding back. I think some of the most thrilling words I've ever heard are Brad Pitt's, from Fight Club: "I want you to hit me as hard as you can."

I liked watching the other girls get it, but mostly I was too caught up to look out for anybody else. At that party, the instructor made a comment. "Who is it?" he asked. "Mother-in-law?"

I didn't know how to answer his question. He was thinking way too small. It was a continent. It was, as the Violent Femmes would say, "Everything, everything, everything, everything."

I often think of the hulk's line from the recent Avengers movie, when he explains his secret, the reason the transformation to the beast is always available to him. "I'm always angry," he says, looking mild-mannered as he does.

As a writer, it's strange to think of how I need this blank space to express the rage. I've written a few things out of anger ("Risk Rider and Dare Take the Con" in Coming Together: For Equality), but mostly the emotion makes my hands shake too much to type. The rage seems too intense, too unfeminine, too scary, and too far beyond words.

People are constantly being exhorted to exercise these days. For their health. For their appearance. Because it's one of the things we're supposed to do. As with many other things, I think it only works if you find your own reason. And this is mine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stairmaster

By Daddy X

It’s the view. The ladies using that stairmaster in front of me are quite concerned with their posteriors.

So am I.  

I’m already pumped up to the equivalent of a quarter mile when a thin, pasty looking woman mounts the machine. I usually prefer a plumper, rounder body but that tall and svelte in red leotard tights proves a surprising delight on an otherwise doggy day. I was twice her age over a decade ago.

She steps up on the machine. Shapely treasures undulate beneath bright O my god red silky skin tights. Long leotard legs lift and fall. In and out the machine’s heavy pistons slide. She must motivate the mechanism metered at the max for her mass I’d imagine, requiring rigorous personal prowess on those muscular pontoons activating the platforms. The effort resulting of course in a fine, rhythmic flow of reciprocal torque between individual strokes, exposing sides of her character defined by flexing aspects tightening up those two contained halves of her teeny tiny ass. All the while tactile fabric caresses the flawless epidermal surfaces lying just Jesus I’ll bet underneath.

The limp, the fine, the lovely lady plateaus. Leans her fab figure forward. Finds her frequent strider stroke. That’s tremendous for me ‘cause there’s that tighter tempo to it.  Rather than badda boomba, she’s more of a chooka chooka. In the tooka. The spinal arc now lies horizontal, parallel to the floor. Beads of sweat moisten the concave curve. That ass so skinny, now acquiring definition, style. So round, so tempting, the way she got it tipped up and out like that. Really firm in the fundament.

The lover for whom she lavishes such attention on her assets is a lucky, lucky soul and I’m thinking they must fool around back there every now and then.

Or maybe she has no lover at this time. And maybe this is her way of seeking one.

Yesss

Each and every tiny shift in position provides major changes in shape and textural relationship betwixt the two satin ensconced rounds, rubbing friction heated together not twenty feet from my face. To make that clear: When she’s standing straight upright, those twin tight globes morph to rounded grinding squared off bricks, gobbling and chewing the thin red fabric pinched in between. Which, when bent back down and pushed back out freeees it’s sweat dampened Rorschach dark in the shape of an elongated V pussy, absorbing wet spread crimson from the shadowy depths of the divide. That is, until she stands back up again. Then the inverted triangle across her upper ass gets ground once more between those masticating cheeks. Buttocks again squeeze flat. Her back arches, elbows out, backside chugging like it does, tugging tight at the slit red translucent jello hot fabric. Exacting twitches elicit teases of tushes, satin whispers, ether specters, holy hints of epidermal touching on the very complexity of her dynamic layers. Then back to the short, quick, fuck-steps, alternating feet on springing high ersatz step-stairs.

On the other hand, the basic fact that just a tiny tilt flips her tookas to a different tangent, from upright and uptight, to teeny-tiny tipped up … rotundo … seemed to me- To bump up against a universal fandango.

Observing the force in those long legs, I now get the laws of physics pertaining to the nut cracker fulcrum effect up there between those thighs, powered by those hard gluteus maximi at the apex clenching intensity of the grasping she could rip my dick off benefits of the machine while her skinny gams continue pumping up and down. Up and down. 

I’m thinking how my wife gave me these silk boxers for Christmas. How sensual it is wearing them. It’s like getting a pretty good hand job just walking along.  

So, for me, at least- Stepping out and on the streets with floppy silk junk is a really juicy leg lob bouncing jerk job. But that’s me. While for now, on this recliner bike, it more resembles a sloppy blowjob. So I’m hoping I don’t embarrass myself in these light gray sweats like I would at the school hops when I’d find myself in a slow dance grinding with some chick to the point where throes of teenage fluid stress governed by unseen hormonal agents overtook my testicular capacity to hold on to my action and whoops! I’d splooge down the front of my khakis. Then the girl would break away and say something like: “Can’t you just dance? They’d sneer at me, look at my stained crotch, maybe slap me right there on the dance floor. They’d leave me alone with my jumpy hard-on and a trickle down my pants when I coughed. And I’d think to myself: “Something may be frottage with me.” But then I looked up “frottage” and if it sounded pretty okay on the subway or in a crowded elevator car up to the upper floors. Because they never say anything in such tight quarters. So I dream about frottage with this girl on the stairmaster.

Now she pumps the pedals harder. The strain is taking a toll on her and on those upper thighs. Still the high steps. Sweat has darkened her hair and it’s sticking to her neck. She bends over again, alerting me to the fact that the tight crimson crotch of the tight red tights have turned a dark wet. And damn if her leotard hasn’t crept down in back, so by now, her fucking ass dimples have puddled up around her exposed black thong. I’m getting wetter and wetter as well. In fact, I’m pedaling faster and faster. The leg with my cock sliding alongside is bouncing up and down in time with her pumping. It’s getting better and better along with the wetter and wetter. And the juicier and juicier I get. Now my dick’s flopping around in there more and more in the slippery slick bunched up silk- And the better and better it gets.

Then fuckin’ A she’s changed her stride again. Standing up straight once more, it’s back to the short, quick, tip-toe steps. Pip-pip-pip. Faster and faster she pumps those pads. Now crossing her forearms, she leans forward, elbows laid along a horizontal shaft, which tips her churn out at yet another cantilevered cant.

And does she allow a lover’s finger free access back there? And what would a finger be subjected to, say … a knuckle deep? Or so. And then what would the tip of a long finger experience with the stairs going up and down activated by the way her powerful ass pumps up like it does? Or then again- What it would feel like, maybe with two knuckles in.  Or what would it look like with my entire index finger curling its way up and into that puckered opening? I’m thinking the rest of my fist would obviously twist. It’d twist and moosh that fucking crack wider, for chrisssakes wider, spreading those malleable buns apart, misshaping her cheeks from in between as I twist a fucking fist full of knuckles back and forth one hundred eighty degrees.

And if her butt would just stay stuck out there at that one level. And if a guy could just stand there held there behind her there like on a rig there, or a platform there of some sort on the stairmaster there with the end of a dick stuck in there? What ministrations would be felt on my glans when that grippy anus snapped behind it? Or, say then, what if I maybe pushed in more or less half way?  Again, how that would differ from all the way in? Think all the way in to the sudsy open rectal void beyond but still tightly constricted at the ah so rubber band tight private entrance to the fundamental passageway to her heart. And ahhh, what carnal knowledge of which internal organs would my dick be privy to?  And what would the hippity hoppity thing experience slapping around her insides? If I had anything to say about it, it would likely be waving side to side, sloshing round and round, slipping back and forth between the lemon squeezers, firm on both sides of the in and out of it all. With those strong muscles so velvety clenching just inside the opening. Were they as tough and tumble inside as those on the surface?

And its O so powerful grinding in there, with her pumping her ass up and into that singular shape it is now, and what fucking shape it was back then. And O if she would just let me put it in for research purposes. And if she would Onnnnnly tell me if it felt better? Or different? ? To either of us? If, we, say, angled ourselves a little bit to the left side.  Or if she would only wiggle it?  Or not? Or then what if I waved it around using the funky fulcrum of her rigid sphincter to arc it around the damp, dark, uncharted areas of her insides? But then again, how it would feel to me if only- If only I angled myself to the right?

It’s sure getting better and better if I can only keep up the pedaling and pedaling. And my dick is Jesus flopping around in there in the viscous suds with the silky slickety and the milky wet. And I’m pumping. She’s pumping and sweating. I’m sweating, pumping now crazy for thirty minutes. I’m sprinting at forty miles an hour godammit, and I can’t stand it, she points the damp part right at me. Her tush keeps chugging and morphing. She’s forming that O so shape shifting rear end with the dark crack so translucent deep and isn’t she round, those shallow dimples so firm back there with the stretched thong? And if only on that  in that… “Awwww WWWWAG IT, BABY!”

Whoops!

Aw shit- the management.
                                                      

The phone rang in the neat little suburban home. A prim, white haired lady answered:

“Hello.”

“Yes it is.”

“Oh no. What is it this time?”

“Oh my. The poor girl.”

“Yes, yes. Umm … did he touch anyone?”

“Thank God.”

A pause. She listens, eyes closed, head shaking. 

“I’m so sorry. Thank you for not calling the police.”

Another, shorter pause.

“Of course.”

“Yes, of course. I’ll be right down to get him. I’ll cancel the membership then.”


END

Monday, April 21, 2014

An Exercise in Discussing Exercise

I have so little to say about exercise that I’m going to cheat and include a comment I made on Lisabet’s post last week on this topic. But first, to distract the reader, I’m stealing an amusing bit that’s had a workout on Facebook and elsewhere lately.



(My first thought on seeing this was that I’m glad the calories don’t scream when you eat them.)  

Maybe I was born too long ago for the concept of “working out” as such to take hold in my formative years. I think the only time I've used a gym-type machine was having my heart checked on a treadmill a few years ago (it was just fine--turned out I was having muscle spasms in my back.) I think I'd be more likely to use work-out equipment if my efforts were powering something, like, I don't know, charging batteries or turning the roast on a spit in a medieval kitchen. I do exercises at home for my back, though, and take brisk walks (a mile or more) daily, weather permitting. And before I sold my retail business, I was on my feet much of the day, with plenty of stretching and bending and lifting when shipments came in (a likely cause of those muscle spasms.) I'm sure I should be doing more, but my stats are all okay, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.

It’s not that I don’t value exercise for its own sake. My brisk mile walks are exhilarating even when they’re along the same stretch of rural road I’ve traveled hundreds of times, but when I can manage it I go farther along trails through the woods with more to see. I’d rather have exercise accomplish something beyond conditioning, like get me to the top of a mountain and down again, but I have to admit that my knees aren’t what they were in my youth, especially when it comes to the down again part, so I stick to less ambitious hikes.

When it comes to my fictional characters, though, I’m free to imagine feats that I’ve never come close to mastering. I’ve written about champion figure skaters, rodeo riders, skiers (I did ski in my relative youth, but never very well,) and rock climbers, possibly my favorites. I’ve done some scrambling up rocks, but never the technical kind of thing with ropes and pitons, although I’ve done as much research as one can by watching climbers and studying their accounts.  It may seem strange to think of an activity as generally slow as rock climbing as being exercise, but the conditioning requirements are rigorous, and muscles can work as hard maintaining balance and challenging gravity as they can running. It’s just a different dynamic. At least that’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

All of which is leading up to, you guessed it, a space-filling story excerpt, since really, I don’t have all that much to say about exercise. And you can probably guess the title of the story, too.


Climbing The Wall

Sacchi Green

Nothing focuses the mind in the body like a vertical rockface. On one side, an infinity of air and light; on the other, the uncompromising rigidity of stone. I clung between these absolutes, toes edged into a slanting crevice, fingers jammed into a narrow crack, weight poised in utter compliance with gravity.

I had forgotten the intensity, the controlled rush; forgotten, too, the exultant surge of horniness. When I could pause on the insubstantial security of a narrow belay ledge I savored the moment. The view of the green valley with the river winding through was all well enough, but Sigri Hakkala's fine, broad, muscular butt in canary-yellow stretch fabric twenty feet above commanded all my attention.

Why Sigri? Proximity? We'd been casual friends for years, members of a fluctuating group of dykes sharing a rundown ski lodge in the valley. If she'd ever figured in my fantasies, it'd been as a mead-companion, a Viking warrior ravaging villages by my side as we bore off not-unwilling maidens. Now I found myself recalling rumors that she'd done some porn films in her starving-student days, and wondered whether her big breasts made it harder to maneuver close to the rock on overhangs. When she splayed her legs wide to reach a new foothold, I ached to slip a hand between her round, powerful buttocks and feel their strength as they clamped together again.

All fantasy fueled by adrenaline. People had been trying to throw us together all week, on the theory that the recently bereaved must want to compare notes. We'd been trying just as hard to avoid each other.

So why choose to climb together? The simple answer was trust in each other's competence. This route was only moderately difficult, iron bolts not more than twenty-five feet apart, but when you take the lead with the belaying rope and call, "Watch me," you damned sure need to know that when your partner on the other end answers, "Go for it, I've got you," she has, absolutely, got you, and will hold you if your grip fails or a rock edge breaks away and you plummet down the unforgiving cliff face.

Somewhat less simple to understand was my willingness to let Sigri lead most of the way. She'd raised a quizzical eyebrow each time as I waved her ahead. I couldn't explain to myself, much less to her, my sudden obsession with looking up at her muscular, well-padded body.

Whatever the trigger, this surge of pure lust was both agony and exhilaration, like the awakening of an anaesthetized limb.



[This story, originally published in Best Women’s Erotica 2001, deals with physical and mental exertion as a means to recovery from bereavement, as when the main character muses that “Each precise, careful shift along the cliff from hold to hold said, ‘Yes!’ to life. The rough scrape of granite against hands, knees, chest, drove home the stark reality of the flesh, and its capacity for extremes.”

And, incidentally, the characters do go on to indulge in some vigorous calisthenics of a sexual nature, though not while still on the rock face.]


   

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sexercise!

Post by Lily Harlem

I guess like most people I've tried all sorts of exercise over the years, some I've stuck with for a long time, others not so much. A few things have hurt like hell (spinning), other times they've been quite pleasant (yoga). But I've settled into a routine now - so as not to let the dreaded writers bum take hold - of walking the dogs, swimming and sex.



Sex, yes, sex is great exercise and here's why I'm into 'horizontal jogging'…

People who have regular sex have fewer sick days, which must mean fewer illnesses in fact, researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of antibodies compared to students who had sex less often, meaning a better immune system.

The more sex you have the more you want, which, unlike getting on a treadmill (for me at least) is a great motivation for exercise.



I enjoy pilates and yoga, but if you engage your core while having sex and isolate the muscles around your pelvic floor, it will give you the same benefits. It will not only strengthen your six-pack, it'll make your tummy look flatter and heighten the orgasm - or rather coregasm!

Calorie burning - Men on average burn 120 calories during lovemaking while women lose around 90, the equivalent of a brisk uphill walk, a game of doubles tennis or a 15 minute jog. Of course it depends if you're going for porn-star exercise or muffled under the duvet late a night exercise! If you want to see what positions burn the most calories check out this Fitness Magazine Article.



Flexi-sex. In the average yoga class, you can burn anywhere between 100 and 300 calories per half hour. Incorporating some of your favorite yoga poses into your sex life can definitely up the caloric ante and stretch your hip flexors at the same time. (I'll let you take creative liberty with this one.) 

So, there you have it, no more excuses, have more sex right now and get in shape :-)

Lily x




Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Cold and Lonely Winter

by Giselle Renarde

It's been a sedentary winter. The cold! The cold!  Who would go out in those frigid temperatures if they didn't have to? And I didn't have to, so I didn't. I sat on this couch or in that chair and I wrote stories. Or I slept. Slept a lot. Slept until noon, until one, until two...

Have I mentioned I'm a writer?

Is it really Vitamin D deficiency that triggers the dreaded SAD?  I've been taking my D-drops and I've still been D-pressed.  I have a theory, although it could be unique to me. Or not.  It's all the walking I don't do when it's cold out.

I actually love the winter, but this year was hellishly frigid, if that's a thing. I love snow. I don't mind trekking through it at all--I even went snowshoeing with my sister in January, and that was the happiest day of my winter.  It was sunny and the trees (the ones that survived December's ice storm) blocked the wind, so the air actually felt warm enough that I took off my hat and mitts. 

My sister tells me that, in Japan, doctors recommend "forest time" when people are stressed. I could really get behind that. Walking is one of my favourite activities.  I live in the middle of a city, so I walk in the middle of the city, but Toronto's full of forest.  Wherever you are, you can find one.  We've got plenty of trees.

I once knew a guy who started walking and didn't stop until he got to Vancouver.  Some days I think I could do that, except I'd miss the cats.  I'd miss some people, too, but none of those people rely on me to feed them or sanitize their bathrooms.  Actually, I could blame the cats most days for my inability to get out of bed. When I wake up, they're still sleeping. On me. My cats sleep on me.  And if you've got a cat sleeping on you, how can you get up? It's physically impossible.

My cats are depressed, too, according to my vet. He kind of blames me, which is exactly what I need to hear. Thanks.

There's a gym in my building. I've lived here ten years. Want to guess how many times I've used it? (Did you guess zero? Because the answer is zero.)

I can walk for hours, easily, but not on a treadmill.  Outside, in the fresh air--in the forest, ideally.  Once I start walking, I never want to stop.  I never want to come home.  I just want to walk and walk and walk forever.  It's hard to turn around.

(By the way, I've got big plans to write a book about depression. Maybe you can help me: http://likeits1999diary.blogspot.ca/2014/04/why-i-want-to-write-book-about.html )

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Three Workouts for Erotic Writers: The Could You Would You, The Tarot Spread and the Jazz Riff


You learn the most from writers who are considerably better than you are and you learn a lot from writers who are worse than you are. But if I were able to go back in time and meet someone I'd probably choose William Shakespeare, not the least because he spoke pretty good English so you can have a beer with him, but also I'd want to pepper him with questions about craft. Among other things I'd want him to show me how to cut a feather quill and write with it and ask him - considering how expensive paper is, do you revise, Will? Do you write drafts? Do you rewrite? Yes? How many times? Do you write asymmetrically like I do, or front to back with an outline? I don't have to ask him where he got his ideas, because the fact is I already know the answer to that. 

 He used the Tarot Spread and The Jazz Riff.

One of the finest craft books I've studied, and I've studied quite a few, is a book specifically about erotic writing by the venerable Susie Bright of "Best American Erotica" fame, called "How to Write a Dirty Story". If you've never read a book on erotica craft and want to try just one, try this one. Its full of scholarly analysis, feminism, business wisdom and nuts and bolts exercises that truly work. I'm going to explain a couple of her exercises plus one of my own invention based on something I read in Stephen King's book on craft "On Writing".
Attend.

Could You Would You?
When men are sitting around in public places as I am at this moment pecking away in the back of my favorite coffee shop we play a game in our heads which I'm very sure women play too. You see a hot looking woman walk by in summer clothes, tiny shorts and flips flops, brasserie optional and your eyes follow her and imagine her naked. You ask yourself - If you could fuck her would you do it? The key word being "Could". Meaning if you could fuck her without totally destroying your marriage, breaking the heart of a good spouse who loves you, causing your kid to hate you with contempt and losing your job and good name just so you can stick your selfish little dick in there and hammer her a good one for a couple of minutes until you get off - yeah, meaning something like that maybe - would you? You survey the room, imagine a perfect world of no consequences and - that woman? No. That woman there? Boy Howdy. And twice on Sunday. How about that one? The interesting question is to explore what kind of woman turns you on and why they do.

Suzie Bright takes this game a little further and asks you to play with your fantasies and write them down in a series of three scenarios. You should stop reading this, get some paper and a pen and work this out.because if you take this craft exercise seriously this is definitely worth your time.
You still sitting there, bub?
G'wan, find a pen, get out of here. Scat.
Okay now -
Ms Bright writes:

"Give yourself two minutes to answer each question. When your time is up, stop, even
if you haven't finished your sentence:

  1. Write down an erotic fantasy about a sexual experience you would have in a minute if it were offered to you, no questions asked. It should be about something you would have no reservations or conditions about doing in real life.
  2. Write down an erotic fantasy about a sexual experience you would have only under certain conditions.  You could give yourself up whole heartedly under these conditions, but otherwise not at all.
  3. Write down an erotic fantasy that is completely satisfying to you in your imagination but that you could not do either because it is physically impossible or something you could never bring yourself to do in real life. But in your imagination it is completely fulfilling.
I actually got a decent story from number 2 - would maybe do if you could. My fantasy was that I would like to experience sex and orgasm as a woman in a woman's body to see how it differs from the male experience of excitement and release, but only if I could magically be a man again afterward. That became "The Happy Resurrection of Gregor Samsa", Franz Kafka's character from "The Metamorphosis" who awoke to find himself changed into " a monstrous vermin", usually depicted as a huge cockroach. I imagined the Samsa-cockroach awakening now incarnated as a woman and then looking for sex. Lisabet helped me get the female sensations right with that one.

The Character Splits (Tarot Card Spread) Exercise
Another exercise that Susie Bright explains in detail, though I will not, is "The Character Splits Exercise". I've also written about this on the ERWA blog as the "Found Story".
Natural evolution has preserved life for 3 billion years in this world by incorporating random elements into the genetic mix, using sex to combine random genetics into constantly changing and adapting life forms. If God wants one thing for you in this world - it's to get laid. Then you die. This is how organic life responds to contingency, say, mega-volcanoes and big ass asteroids. You can write stories this way too.
Susie Bright describes the Character Splits exercise:

Take five scraps of paper and write one name on each, the name of a family member or a close friend:
  1. Lisabet
  2. Renee
  3. Jack
  4. Maria
  5. Uncle Tony
Take five scraps of paper in a separate pile and name five famous people:
  1. Yoko Ono
  2. Brad Pitt
  3. Justin Bieber
  4. Ernest Hemingway
  5. Count Dracula
Finally in a third pile take five scraps of paper naming simple events of the day:
  1. Showering
  2. Eating Breakfast
  3. Walking the dog
  4. Waiting in a line
  5. Paying bills
Pick an element at random from each pile and combine them. Say, Lisabet and Brad Pitt and Showering. (In my way of thinking this is like drawing card images from a Tarot deck and combining them and then listening to your intuition to see what story they suggest)
Take this scrap pile of elements and compose it into an erotic fantasy, Say Lisabet getting it on with Brad Pitt in the shower, that's an easy one, or Yoko Ono running into Count Dracula one evening while walking the dog and having a tryst in the bushes. What would Yoko Ono and Count Dracula talk about in the afterglow? Do you really prefer virgins? Did you really split up the Beatles?

Your people. Your mundane activities. Your tarot cards. The key is to draw on random elements you normally wouldn't be thinking of and combining them into something that would not have occurred to you. You can do this with stories too. Take down a book of fairy tales, a book of war stories and maybe a book of poetry, things that have nothing to do with each other, rip random paragraphs from each and shuffle them and challenge yourself to turn them into something. The key is challenge.


The Jazz Riff
Modern jazz bands often have a front man who noodles off some kind of a spontaneous melody for a few measures and tosses it to the next player who noodles around off it, then tosses it to the next player and the next. So you have a central melody interpreted on different instruments by different styles.
Stephen King wrote a wonderful craft book and autobiography called "On Writing" in which he offers encouragement to us wanna-bes and some very practical tricks of the trade. One of the things he explains in detail that I absolutely took to heart is the lost art of "pastiche", the literary version of a jazz riff. When he was starting out he would take a paragraph from a favorite writer, some paragraph he especially loved and would copy it out it out with a pencil - not a keyboard - with a pencil slowly, so he could mouth the sounds of those words. So he could FEEL those words. So he could think in his head with that sound and that feeling. To BE that writer for a little while. Word for word I've patiently copied paragraphs on stacks of yellow legal pads from Ray Bradbury, Angela Carter and Vladimir Nabokov, verbal high wire walkers who can knock you on your ass with a single phrase. Trying to hear them in my head, trying to get that sound and keep it for myself. Trying to love words the way they do. I don;t understand writer's who don;t love language. If you want to improve yourself as a writer, don;t worry about style, learn to love words. Read poetry. Listen for the music. Pastiche the music. Play the notes along with poets you love. When writing an action scene I take down my Robert E Howard and his punchy fast moving descriptions of skulls being "split to the teeth" with battle axes. I want that sound. When writing a sex scene I fill my head with Anais Nin. Dialogue, I consult my Ernest Hemingway and Elmore Leonard. Not for their words which belong to them - for their music.
When I get stuck I have a copy of John Updike or Angela Carter in easy reach, crack it open at random with my thumbs and riff off of the first thing I see:
"She sits in a chair covered in moth-ravaged burgundy, at the low round table and distributes the cards; sometimes the lark sings but often remains a sullen mound of drab feathers." "The Lady of the House of Love" Angela Carter (The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories)
And I might go: "Nixie sat sullenly in the moth chewed chair, humped like a storm bedraggled raven, a sulking, sullen mound of feathers." Once I get that first sentence going the rest often follows. But you only get to do that if you love words and sentences. Love is the thing, always.