Saturday, December 31, 2011


I must read at least 12 erotic fiction books in 2012. This is work not play, and yet the list is kind of tricky:
The Story of O by Pauline Rega
The Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
100 Days of Sodom by de Sade (although I might do Justine instead)
The memoir of Josephine Metzenbacher by Felix Salten (who wrote Bambi. I love this. I was obsessed by his books when I was a kid)
Ada or Ardor by Nabokov
The Story of the Eye by Bataille (which is my favourite erotic text)
Fanny Hill by John Cleland,
Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch,
Sadopaidea by Anonymous
Helene and Desire by Alexander Trocchi
The Tropic of Cancer (or Capricorn) Henry Miller
The Golden Lotus by Jin Ping Mei (suggested to me by the wonderful Eliot Weinberger)

I keep thinking I may have missed something, some key text I should be looking at. I am also not too excited about a couple of them, Henry Miller I have tried before and he feels like a dirge. I feel like there should be more surrealists texts in this list so if anyone knows of another surrealist erotic novel let me know. It is also very boysy but I suppose Paulina Regae and Anais Nin are strong enough to counter that. Anyway as I plunge into the fray y'all must be my guide. Happy 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Book New Year

You are inordinately obsessed by virginity, that first time. The boundary between innocence and experience, and yet it is nothing but a tiny curtain of flesh torn painfully. The cock in the cunt is nothing but a placement of flesh, like a flower arrangement or the fruit in a bowl. Still you linger on character after character, women who all give in to their longing without breaching the barricade of flesh.

2012 is yet to be torn open. I have my finger poised firmly in the velvety folds of flesh. You would call it honey, this seepage, one year leaking over into another. I would rip and tear it, you take your time, easing the folds apart, looking into the orifice of a new year, sniffing the sweet nectar of something not yet tasted.

I bury my teeth in the people of the past. I, carnivorous friend, take great bites out of loved ones and come up gasping and still hungry. I am buried up to my neck in the past. I am furious and loving all at once, and lustful, always lustful. I want to use the new year before it has taken its first breath. I want to be rid of this virginity that you value so highly. I want to get amongst it.

I have a superstition about new years. What I do on the eve will echo inside me for the entire year. So there are absences that will be noted. I will cry a little that you did not think it necessary to be with me at this time. I will at some point become lonely. I will write for a while, and eat well and drink a martini, glasses clinking off the potential of my future, and all the while I am wondering if I will survive yet another year. I have been high for too long. I anticipate the fall. I am holding it at bay and have been for days already. Not this year. Please. Not this superstition-full day of all the days. Let it pass in peace. Let me have words of love for the ones I care for. Just tonight and tomorrow night, please, keep the nightmares away.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


when she dies Brisbane will flood. She has been holding the water back with sheer will power. she is the cause of all the good things that have happened to me. when she dies everything I do will be covered in dust. I will still put in the effort but the magic will evaporate. people will not like me. they will see my meanness peeking out through the cracks in my aging skin. they will see my skill at manipulation. they will see behind the thin veneer to the lack of solid structure underneath. when she dies, I think, and I feel my chest tightening with my panic because I know the world will end. she is all that has been keeping it together and when she dies we die, you die. we all die. because when she dies it is the end.

Friday, December 16, 2011

sex books

Seems I will be forever writing sex books no matter how I try to resist.

Sex is at the heart of all adult human interactions and I sidle up to the subject yet again. A small struggle I suppose, because I wanted to prove that this was not all that I can do. The non-sex novels lie like taxidermied birds in my drawer. Lifeless not because they are wrecked or ugly, but because they cannot fly. I care for them. They are my first loves. I am even worried for the one that is wobbling like something newly hatched on the page. Even with a tentative nod from my editor I am still frightened for it. What if it remains stuffed and staring out with all the other stories of my heart? They only want the sex it seems. I love the sex too, and secretly I know that is what I will be remembered for. I can feel myself becoming excited by the new project. Aroused, perhaps. Surely that is the word for it.

I race back to the sexless newborn books, their wings only just beginning to unfurl. I breathe all the life I can in a few short weeks into their fledgling lungs. I hope you fly my loves. I hope you are ready for the world, because come 2012 I must race back towards the world of sex once more.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Here and now

Nothing seems to matter except what is here and now. All the times that have gone before have slipped from memory. I am left on an island of immediacy. All the lovers gone. All the care gone. All the thousands of words that might never have been written. Here now, in this stuggle I stand abandoned to the present moment. The temporary relief of the physical stimulation. The temporary relief of books written, published and well reviewed. None of this prepares me for this endless now when nothing is moving forward and every word I write is glue. I find myself stuck in a series of present moments and it is impossible, it seems, to escape at all.


Every time he meets with someone she dies just a little. Slipping backwards even as he gains momentum. She is letting go slowly but she is not certain if it is he she is letting go of or this tenuous grip on moving forward into her life. The march of days grinds to a halt. A slow creep now, one day trailing off into the next with no distinguishing mark to separate one from the other. When he kisses someone new she will take to her bed. When he creeps his hand under the line of a bra like he used to with her, she will pull the covers over her head. One finger, crawling under the line of her panties, whoever she is, real or imagined, and the girl climbs down into that crawlspace beneath the bed, peering sleeplessly at dust angels, breathing the litter of her own shed skin. They have had sex, his penis inserted into her body but from this angle she can't move, even to curl up into a more comforting spiral of despair. There are rumours that they are in love now, but she is beyond hearing. This is how she becomes undone, slowly and in direct opposite proportions to his own happiness.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


She feels the lack of him accutely. They have agreed to remain friends. Still she sees him across a crowd and feels as if a part of her has been torn out, her chest aches. She might be sick. This life without him feels like a cancer growing or worse, an organ removed. From the intensity of the pain she knows that she has given too much of herself already. She has been depleted by the relationship. All that has been removed is the sex, and yest, still friends, she feels like a pale imitation of herself. The watches him chat and flirt, so charming, with other girls. She knows the signs, the turn of his head, the sweet trip in his words, the boyish vulnerability. She feels like he has taken a part of her with him, her confidence, her quick wit. She will need to take these things back for herself. She looks around at a room bereft of anyone who might interest her. How many of these people will she sleep with, how many harts will she devour before she feels that part of her that is missing begin to grow once more?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reading as part of the work

What you read impacts on what you write. I know this is true from long hard struggles through the mire of mediocre writing. In the middle of reading a book which is fine. Good. Probably. Some people have called it good, and yet the writing is so flat and ordinary that I can feel all the inspiration been sucked out of me by the porous paper and the ink that is on it. What you read must be better than what you are writing. Some times this is difficult to achieve. You emerge, breathless from a book and know that you will never reach these dizzying heights. Still, reaching up towards them is good for your craft. This week I am stuck. This week I am in the middle of that average book that is possibly quite good. The writing plods and suddenly I am struck by the idea that I will only ever be as good as this thing I am reading now, this limp piece of prose that others seem to like. Find me something that flies. Find me a vessel to lift my own words off the ground or perhaps I will wallow here forever without any lift at all.

lost things

Looking down across the length of her flat belly it is impossible not to compare. We are different in so many ways, her skin and mine, her long lean torso, the sweet concave expanse just above her pubic bone. She is as I had imagined her, of course, because this dream is something cobbled together from my imaginings. In dream I stretch my arm out across her belly, little chest. I have always been happy with the swell of my own breasts, and now her tight small breasts seem perfect. I pluck the nipple up in between my lips, sweet cherry, pink as fruit. I must have a body of my own because I feel the desire swelling in it, but my body does not feature in the slow slide across her flesh, the heady scent of her sex, the lips parting and my tongue lost in the dampness there.
It has been so long since a dream like this has found me and I wallow in it. Perhaps I will come whilst sleeping, my mouth spasming in a synchronised dance with her own palpitations. I would wake with my back arched and the warm glow spreading through my skin.

The disturbance in the dream irritates me. I would rather dip my head further down, slip my tongue inside her where my finger has opened the path. I would rather follow this slow climb than bother with the visitors who turn up in the house with their noisy play, spilling pins on the floor that stick in my socks, making a mess in the pool with spilled pages. I drag myself away from her cunt in irritation and attempt to calmly clean up the mess that they make. When I wake there is that same feeling of dissatisfaction, an orgasm approached but lost to the tumult of a new day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I am back

I never once begrudged the six flights of stairs. I opened the door to the little loft apartment and there was the sky to greet me, a rainy afternoon in Paris and all the buildings looking so beautiful. The isolation of not knowing the language, the freedom this gives you to stare out at the world, freed suddenly from the need to participate. The two of us speaking English to each other and the intimacy that can be found when there is no one else to distract you from your love.

The storm rolled in and sleet found its way through the windows that turned their open mouths to taste the sky. I snapped them shut and we held each other listening to thunder, leaning against each other to save us from the sudden cold. A storm. Rain that obscured the breathtaking beauty of a city that was still a stranger. The newness of this place giving a new texture to the familiarity of your skin. A stretching out on a stranger's couch. Our shared history was the only thing that remained familiar and as such it seemed more beautiful to lie with you.

The owners of the appartment were men. Gay men we surmised, mainly because of the books, the shoes, the toiletries, the impecably styled ornaments. Making love on the couch of these faceless men, making love in their bed. The mirror that reflected our bodies. Knowing that they would have looked in this mirror to see themselves gorgeous in their skin. I avoided even a glance in that mirror but I saw you looking and it made me happy to know that in your eyes I was something to be looked at, something to be devoured with all of your senses.

Twenty years later we made love in Paris.

I wonder, way back then, drunk on that first night, if you had any thought for such a future, or if, just like in Paris, you only had eyes for me, naked in your arms.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In anticipation

Parisian girls with their perfect skin, pomaded and perfumed by the best in the world, glowing under a European sun, so soft that it makes them glow. Parisian girls with there calm worldly poise honed from the constant knowledge that they live in a place where everyone wants to live, they drink coffee at cafe's that other girls dream of, brush shoulders with the cool crowd, wake up each morning n Paris. Parisian girls so small at the waist that their clothes are like the clothes for dolls, stepping easily through a world where they are secure in the knowledge that every hot blooded man or woman is lusting after them. They wear the latest styles, the best designers, the slimmest cuts. They will be sure enough in their beautiful bodies that they can be gracious as they walk all over me with their expensive stilettos.

I anticipate my arrival in Paris. Blundering out of the plane, crashing through streets built for slimmer women, catching the eye of Parisian men for all the wrong reasons, big and clumsy and whale-like I am beached on a foreign shore where I can barely ask directions with my clumsy tongue.

Every shop window will reflect me back at me. Every woman who passes will be a sad shake of the head. Every fine pastry and baguette will be a complicated dance between hunger and gluttony.

I read someone's Post Secret note that had been posted on twitter. "When I see fat people eat I feel angry and confused". Now when I eat in public I wonder who is judging me. Which skinny pretty girls are tutting and looking and thinking that my ugliness is my own fault because I allow myself to eat. It is bad enough here in Australia, in our wide brown land. In Paris, I fear I will be knotted up inside by my own bad opinion of myself and by the beauty of others. They ask me if I am excited to be going to Paris, but truly, sometimes I am just plain scared.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I pack for France. I would like to be excited. I feel as if I should be busy learning french or reading about George Orwell, Andre Breton, Nin. I fell nothing except exhaustion. The last book has taken it all out of me somehow. The only thing I am looking forward to, my goal, is to sleep on the plane and read. 30something hours on a plane. Reading sleeping reading. What has happened to the part of me that should be stretched tight and vibrating with all the sexual excitement of the city of love? Instead of longing for the adventure of the new I am wishing my friend Benjamin were here so we could eat together and curl up lazily on the couch. I am depleted. I feel to tired for a holiday.

The french girls they say are beautiful. Always thin, always pretty with their big eyes and their mouths full of consonants. I know that when I am there I will be lusting as I always lust and yet, from this distance I am only afraid that I will appear monstrous beside them, heavy and big and ham fisted. I feel like a great mountain of flesh, and somewhere under it all I am sleeping, safe where no one will find me. This is how it is for me now. This pre-holiday lethargy. This pile of exhaustion and insecurity that I am buried under. Still. I am trying to crawl out. With the help of the pile of books at the bottom of my suitcase and that manuscript that I now mus cut back and polish till it shines. Only this is keeping me awake. Nothing more.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Such a roller-coaster week this week of publication. It is where all things private become public, everything you say in interviews must re thought and double thought. It is exhausting but every so often I stop and remind myself that this is a part of the job I have longed for all my life and I am finally living.

Still it has tilted me off course. I haven't written any of that book I was working on all week. I am removed from myself. Some days I have even been too distracted or distraught to think of sex. One more week. I tell myself this as I launch into the book tour, small as it is. At the end of this I will allow myself to slip back inside where it is damp and warm and alone. The safe spaces, my bath, my bed, my quiet communing with my own flesh. Odd this feeling of letting a book float away into the world. I feel as if it has abandoned me, betrayed me, tied a blindfold around my face and spun me off to some place else. I am a curl of tightly wound thoughts that fist up like a fern before it wakes. I hear the echoes of my insecurities thumping against my temple like a migraine. I am unsettled and all I want to do is write, but when I sit down there are only the panic words, the fear words, the insecurities.

Be careful what we wish for. And yet through all of this I am terribly proud of this new birthed-book. I knew what I wanted to achieve and I did it, quickly and without too many wrong steps. Not everyone will love it, but some will, others will be irked by it, challenged by it, made curious by it. Even now I read it and I think, this is something new. This is something I have rarely seen. This alone is an achievement I must stand up for and be proud of. If I can do with a novel what I have done with this book then perhaps I can relax into this strange anxiety inducing job I have chosen to do.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

frightened of sex

Why are people so frightened of sex?

It doesn't make sense in my head. Sex does not kill. Sex is something we do for pleasure, for love, for entertainment, for connection. When sex is used as a weapon it is the violence, the lack of consent, the abuse of power that is to blame, not the act of sex at all. Why the fear? Why the vilification? Why does it seem that I am the only one who does not understand this?

When people I love feel like they can't be seen to condone my latest book because of the sex, my world feels a little unsettled. I know there are people who have it the wrong way around, who somehow have come to believe that sex is dangerous, evil, wrong. When people who don't believe this at all feel they will be judged by their association with me then I feel suddenly saddened.

I don't feel like my work is dangerous at all. It is all about love. It is all about forcing a reader to look at different configurations of love. It is an exercise in re-thinking the unthinkable.

Dear friend, dear reader

I don't understand how standing side by side with me can cause you any trouble. I know you are nervous. Your world seems so precarious right now, but if you stepped aside and thought about this without your own stress and your own insecurities you would know that the only person I am risking is myself. I don't even feel like I have risked myself in this process. It is an ethical puzzle that I am working out on the page.

Your nervousness about it seems unfounded. If there is any truth in it then I don't want to be living in this world at all. What do we do? Avoid gay friends because the mainstream Australians may not like people to be gay? Stop liking challenging film and art in case someone thinks we are subversive?

I have to admit I am saddened by this sudden turn of events. I know, with some thought you will re-think this, step back from this decision but it will be too late of course. I wonder how many other friends will step away from me now in case I get negative media or feedback. I wonder if yesterday's very good day was the last I will experience in it's pure pleasure for some while.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


We long for their approval.

That is what it comes down to. That is why we are who we become. Our parent's approval, or in my case, a grandparent, my grandmother. It was always impossible to make her proud. So now, as an adult I make sure that my achievements continue that pattern. I write sex because this is something she will never approve of. No matter how well I succeed in this I will underline my failure in her eyes. Even my mother who makes some attempt at being proud, can barely look at the book. There is no, congratulations, no, it looks beautiful. I mention my book tour vaguely and she skips away and starts a different topic. No matter how successful I become I will not gain their approval. I praise her successes, her story published, a draft of her kids book successfully completed. I listen to her stories about the writers group but she will never listen to my stories of publication or a book tour. There is no point mentioning these things to my grandmother at all. She is frail now and any stress or anger about my work will be damaging to her already poorly health. It has always been like this for me. My support of them has been constant and clear. Despite her clear insanities I have praised my grandmother's work and supported her idea that her crazy tourist attraction is a success despite any evidence otherwise. Writing about sex is my way of confirming that I will never be as good as they are. Being kicked out of my PHD was so traumatic for me because it seemed like my grandmother's hand shooting out to smack me firmly. Putting me in my place.

The woman is old now, sometimes confused, unable to even lift a spoon to feed herself at times. I am not sure how reconcile this reality for how I have shaped my life, reacting to her disappointment of me, setting myself up to fail in her eyes.

When she is dead will I perhaps be free to see my successes for what they are? It is too late I think. This is the shape of my life now. I live out her regrets and I am now unable to live for myself alone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Imaginary lovers

I am going to France.

I am going to France on our 20th anniversary. All this time in love can be exhausting. What was fresh seems old now. What seemed old has suddenly acquired a kind of retro chic. I am going to France to eat and to drink and to think about sex. The sex museums are a quest. I refuse to research them before I go. It is my plan to come to each museum with as little knowledge of the place as I can. I know the musee de l'eroticism is several stories tall, somewhere between five and seven floors of sex, I forget the exact number. I know it is in the red light district which may make my husband uncomfortable. I may have to go alone. His presence or lack of it will greatly effect the story. My visit will lead to sex. Not a real lover, but a phantom. A love born of the museum. Perhaps we will make love in the place itself or maybe she or he will lead me out onto the streets of Paris where reality and fantasy combine.

The plan is that each museum will be a erotic adventure. I may take my boy there with me or perhaps I will sneak away when he is not looking to consummate the desire which is inflamed by the building itself. I am not yet sure how this will work. All I know is that this book will be part memoir, part erotic adventure, a blurring of the lines between fact and fiction, where until now I have clearly delineated one from the other.

To travel is to dream. In this book of museums I will write the trael narrative that we would choose to live if only we were brave enough, a sometimes gorgeous, often frightening romp through the openly displayed sex of a dozen countries. So. Now. To France, and then to London where, in a little private room, S J Watson and his husband Nic will lead us on a very special adventure of our own.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How we feel about sex

In Australia, the National Museum of erotica opened in 2001 in Canberra and closed a few years later in 2003. You can tell a lot about a country by the way they present sex. MoNA has it's finger on the pulsing clitorus of the country. It presents its work as modern art, without a whisper of the word sex and yet it is all about the vaginas. Almost all of the artworks in the building are about copulation or masturbation. The locals find it shocking and wonder why it is not presented with warnings to protect the sensibilities of the children.

As a country we are fairly covert about sex. I suppose that is why my work came unstuck at university. It was unashamedly sexual in content and yet perhaps I should have used the word 'erotic' instead of 'pornographic'. I should have hidden behind concepts of sexual fantasy in literature rather than taking the bull firmly by the horns and dabbling with the darker arts of bestiality. I should have called it romance perhaps, certainly Triptych is the most romantic thing I have ever written. Love is at the heart of it, and love too in the throbbing cunt. The coupling does not come with grief or shame, but with a burst of romantic emotion, kisses, kind words, adoration. I should have taken a lesson from MoNA and hidden my sex in the concept of modern art.

I will visit the erotic museums of the world. I imagine that I will learn a lot about a country from the way we show or do not show our sex. Perhaps I will be proved wrong, but I imagine that the heart of a culture will be revealed in its sex museum. I am excited by this project. I will approach a country knowing nothing about its history. I am a blank slate and the impressions that I gather will have a single focus. Sex. This is the next thing now.

I am excited.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I have been away.

I have had a blow, a falling out and down. A split with the university when I thought I was in it for the long haul. I thought I was doing well. I was doing well. There was talk of me finishing my PHD early I was doing so well. Too well perhaps because the threat of the headlines "University Funds Pornography" were enough to cause a rift between us.

That is a whole story in itself, but although sex is at the heart of it it has nothing to do with sex at all. In fact I found that the pain and anxiety of the split between the university and I moved me away from the writing of sex.

I began a young adult novel and I do enjoy the writing of it. A palate cleanser, I call it. I still have not completed the project I was working on. The first part, Triptych will be published on October the 1st, two weeks away, and on my birthday. I have begun a second trilogy, a very dark beast indeed, abstract like our nightmares. The first in the series is complete. I have two more to finish.

I have a plan. I will finish my kids adventure, the completely sexless book and then I will plunge back into the world of genitals and furtive rubbings.

The wonderful Eliot Weinberger suggested some readings. The Golden Lotus, written in China in 399 AD. The most erotic book ever written three volumes long. I have begun the first and we have not got to the sex yet, but I can feel it coming. I will keep you posted.

But for now: I was down, but not defeated. I am back.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Praying Mantis

“Praying Mantis,” he said then and his voice was rich and sticky like something you would have to chew for a long time before it melted on your tongue.

She looked to where he was pointing. A tiny brown stick swayed back and forth on a branch. It had seemed like just another stick in a nest of them, but she could now make out it’s outline, and further along the branch another, slightly larger mantis.

“I thought it was just the stick insects in here, but it seems they got a couple of these guys trapped along with all the others.”

“What others.”

“You don’t see them? There are hundreds of them.”

He pointed randomly at different branches. She felt her brow furrow. Relaxed her forehead. She didn’t want him to notice that she needed glasses but refused to wear them. She wanted him to see her without her flaws, dressed in her finest cotton frock, stockings, the exciting tug of her suspenders humming like a harpstring under the breezy skirt.

“You just need to see the leaves in a different way. They are not leaves at all. They are wings. Can you see them?”

Then suddenly she could. It was so obvious in fact that she couldn’t believe that she hadn’t seen it before. So many of the leaves were not leaves. So many of the sticks were not sticks. She noticed the tiny eyes, the hairlike feelers, the stiff legs stretched out at odd angles. She took in a breath of air and the new information coursed through her like oxygen. Nothing was what it seemed to be. She looked up at the man through a tangle of insects and wondered what secrets the calm mask of his chiselled face might be hiding.

“I think the mantis is about to mate.” He said, nodding slightly, staring intently at the drama which was about to unfold before them.

“Don’t the girls eat the boys after mating? I think I heard that somewhere.”

“Yes, sure. But it is more sinister than that. Sometimes the girl will bite off his head at the beginning of the mating. The body of the boy will continue to mate as if it is alive. A zombie Mantis you could call it, and even more surprising, if the amorous couple are disturbed, the headless male will sometimes play dead, falling to the ground and lying perfectly still until the threatening creature has wandered safely away, only to leap up and continue to fuck as if it were alive and well when really it is a dead thing, playing dead, then playing life again, and making new life in the process.”

“That’s awful. How do you know stuff like that?”

“I’m an entymologist.” He stepped around the glass tube, held out his hand.

“Dr Ellsworth. I work at the university.”

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The research

When we talk about sex it becomes meaningless. Even here on the blog it is only the fiction or creative non fiction that sings. We cannot describe that which must be felt in the body. We can talk about the body and the meaning that is contained within it. We can talk about the language of sex and I can tear my writing apart, but honestly you can only feel it and as soon as you think about it it stops being sex at all.

When I am sitting in a cafe writing about sex I only know it is working when I surface, breathless, trying to maintain composure. It is like a wave of words takes me and plunges me into the heart of the sexual experience. I recapture the build towards orgasm. Occasionally, rarely but once or twice I have let my body continue to its secret climax. This is the sex research, the real thing, this riding the wave and letting it tumble me into the sea bed.

If you ask me what my research is like I would have to tell you it is so removed from sex that I might be talking about laying carpet. I feel the buzz of it in my temple and I find it difficult to equate it with what I do in the work. So what do I get from all this surface chatter. Some way to contextualise what my body knows without thinking. My words on the page are just a conduit for my body to speak its language. This sex research is like a fig-leaf, something that obscures the true wonderful physical nature of the act.

I sit in a state of anxiety, knowing that this whole new framework of study may be swept out from beneath me. I wonder if I will still read those articles I printed, the book by Angela Carter, the encyclopedia erotica. Maybe not. I will plunge into the words instead, let the authors take me with their words, the real erotic experience, the books that make me come. I will learn b reading fiction. This is what I do best. I tell myself therefore that it is alright if they take it all away from me, but I find I am curled up on the floor anyway, beside my bed, as I used to curl up as a child. I cannot enjoy the good things that are happening because the fear of failure is equally as overwhelming as my love of sex.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Feeling sexy

Just because it involves your genitals does not mean it is sexual. The examination, your breast squeezed between the glass plates like a hunk of meat. Your labia spread and held open with a metal device. Your sexual history pored over in minute detail. The cold and clinical non-sexual going over is not conducive to sexiness.

And yet there is the examination of your breast, the piece of meat squeezed relentlessly between glass plates while that person, that significant other watches, detatched but vigilant. Your labia spread and held open, an examination, the cold chill of metal in that hot part of you, the spreading of the metal fingers and that other, looking, poking, exploring inside. Your sexual history held open to be devoured by hungry eyes, one hand on their clit or cock, one finger turning the page, licking turning.

So sexy? It is all in the way you look at it, I suppose.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dream houses

I had a dream last night and I just can't shake it. I owned a house. It was something I had just purchased, I think. When my friends came for dinner it seemed like a warming. There were spiral staircases everywhere, nothing was finished. The walls were missing in places. When I tried to find a large saucepan to cook pasta there were only tiny things. I had to break the pasta into smaller and smaller pieces, putting it strand by strand into a miniature pot of boiled water. There were a lot of friends to feed. We would have had to eat in shifts. I still felt proud of the grand decay of the house but I realised then that it had been an impractical purchase.

Then the dream changed, perhaps time had passed or maybe I woke and then settled back again to sleep. In this new part of the dream it was a Saturday. I was on the beach which seemed to stretch out to an exquisite ocean. The house overlooked the sand. The weather was perfect. There were dozens of people on the shore. Some of them climbed up onto my veranda. There were too many of them. I tried to convince them to leave my house alone but there were too many missing walls and the revelers continued to pour inside.

I know what the dream means but I don't know what to do about it. I recognise the feeling of invasion, people streaming in before the walls are shored up. I know that what I own is grand yet incomplete, not yet ready to share, even with my friends.

It is indeed grand, this sex project I have begun and yet I feel incapable of defending it. My impulse is to walk back to the beach where the weather is perfect. My longing is for the shallows, and then beyond that for a place of drowning.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The one thing this kind of daily exposure does is force you to be less critical. I wonder what the blogging does. Is it just self-indulgence? Even as I write this a chorus of faceless readers yell out 'yes' and I cringe. So what it does therefore is force me to write with little self-judgement, to face my doubts, to put myself in the firing line and learn to duck effectively. It doesn't matter if anyone reads it, this is an exercise in playing chicken. I am standing on the track and holding my arms out. I am naked and there is a train hurtling towards me. If I don't destroy myself with self-doubt I will survive this process. All the criticism that the world can throw at me has already been stared down. I go to face yet another committee tomorrow. I am supposed to defend my project, my process, myself. I stand naked and defenseless but at least I am familiar with that pose. I do it here on the blog every day and no one has killed me yet so I suppose I will survive whatever tomorrow will throw at me.

Back to it

I have printed out a heap of things that might help me sort out my relationship to the language of sex. A pile of stuff and yet I haven't had a chance to read even one essay. I have had my hands in the guts of it up to the elbows, words staining my skin like beetroot. Beside me The Sadeian Woman by Angela Carter remains unopened. It has been all breasts and arse and cunt for so many days that perhaps a bit of theory will feel like some small relief. Certainly I might have something better to talk about here than the day-in day-out of my turbulent moods. Tomorrow I face the committee and after that I might cry a bit before finding something new to think about.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


This commitment to writing a post about sex every day did not take into count how unsexy university can be. At this point in it all - emotional crossroads - there is nothing happening in my body at all. No sleep, no creative work to speak of, just an endless self-protective argument, and you know what? None of it matters. If you stand far enough away, I am just a slab of meat with genitals attached. Soon enough I will die and the genitals will stand for nothing. I have not and probably will not procreate. I am the last of a genetic line. The genetics of my line are flawed and should not be replicated. But that is okay because from this distance I am no more than a flash at the end of a replication of cells. What I think and what I say and what I create means nothing and never will mean anything. If an asteroid were to plummet into the earth right now you would not miss any of it. Crazy even wasting time thinking of it. Meaningless and then you die so what is the big problem?

The books. See the books mean something. They mean something to me. Salinger and Fitzgerald and Nabokov. But when I am dead that meaning is negated and I will die soon enough. I am dieing a little everyday. He talks about Kipling. I know nothing about Kipling and I feel a rush of wonder. More things to discover. A tiny flutter of sense in senselessness. But then I open my eyes in the morning and I stare up at the ceiling and I wonder why I am dragging myself out of bed anyway.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Paper trail

So I began my hunt through language, mostly this involved downloading essays that I have yet to read. I keep touching Umberto Eco wishing he had something to say on the subject as I always find he is a joy to read. I have Angela Carter and Kathy Acker to look at now and a dozen journal articles that seem to be related. What is the language of sex? It is a different thing to every person I am sure, but I have a way of looking at it and words that make it feel like you are seeing it through my eyes. I am tempted to start with my spreadsheet, authors at the side, words along the bottom. How many times does Nicholson Barker say 'cunt'. Not too many would be my suspicion. I save my cunts for the perfect moment, not wanting to wear it out. Who is going to tell me about language? I know the feminists have a position. The queer theorists talk about words. I suppose I want to hear it from the linguists although that is a whole new mess to plunge myself into.

And so begins the archeological dig.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Writers who speak to me

To tell you the truth, I won't be happy if I end up being T. C. Boyle or even Johathan Franzen despite how much I love them. Just to torture myself I refuse to be happy unless I am Jeffrey Eugenides or Nabokov or Fitzgerald or Salinger. I would tear myself up if I were McEwan, trying to crack the idea of a satisfying ending, same goes for Paul Auster I am afraid. I would be just as cranky and pleased with myself as Annie Proulx if I were her and in fact I would probably throw that memoir out there just out of sheer self-satisfied spite knowing I could go back to fiction as quickly as I could raise my middle finger. Being Nicholson Baker I could possibly retire with a certain smug content and if I were M J Hyland I would sleep more easily at night knowing I have made something close to perfect. To tell you the truth, if I were Ondaatje I just don't know what I would do, probably cry a lot and chain myself to the desk and tangle myself up in tortured gorgeous metaphors in search of a half decent plot.

I can't help but compare and contrast and sure it is arrogant of me to even breathe these names alongside my own, but right now I am just as intimidated by the books on my shelves as I am by the other women I see walking down the street. My posts about sex have been usurped by a sudden wave of self-doubt. The demon is back and he is devouring me from the inside out. He has eaten my ego as an entree and he is gnawing on the bones of my self-esteem. Every sentence I write now is accompanied by a voice that tells me I should look at my sentences, if I want to write something half decent I should go back to it at a sentence level even though I know this is precisely how not to write a novel.

Back to the sex. That is what this blog is about, and yet sex seems so trivial at this moment. I am drawn to John McGahern and Willy Vlautin and Carver, these are the people who hold my hand and stand by me and urge me on. Patrick McGrath tells me that I don't have to be perfect. I can still produce precious gems in the rubble of a work that seems not quite complete. Nin tells me, fuck it, just be honest and stick to what you are good at and ideas of excellence can go to hell. Anne Enright says come outside for a minute and have a smoke and remember what it was you came here for. Sonya Hartnett plays chase and I haven't caught her yet but perhaps we can run side by side for a while if I train really hard. Chris Ware says it is easy although I know it is not. He tells me to keep looking in places that other people discount. In the end you will find it in the places you have gone back to since you were a child.

I know I am a bit mad again. Have been for weeks. I know that the output has been solid and sustained but a little on the scary side. I drop between highs and lows in a matter of minutes. I can maintain two opposing views at the same time. There is a novel just out of my reach and I keep throwing lines out to catch it. Reeling them in with the bait barely nibbled at. This might be the one. This might be the wave I ride to satisfaction. I wish I could just hop on board it, stop boring you all about it here and get back to the plain talking sex.


He believes in talent and I do not.

Talent, I tell him, is a myth. I have to believe this because everything I achieve I do so because of hard work. If it is all about talent then I might as well stop now. I will never write something truly beautiful. I will never be the writer I want to be. All my life since I was 12 or so I have wanted nothing but to write something beautiful. Something emotionally moving and perfectly formed. Once or twice I have seen the skeleton of what I could potentially write but the flesh has fallen off it.

Now I read The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides and I remember that this is all I have ever wanted to do. To write something that is perfect. Something that is true. If all it takes is talent then I have lost my opportunity. I have chosen the wrong path. i am still clinging to the idea that somehow through sheer tenacity and hard work I will make the shadow of a thing into the thing itself.

I have written two perfectly fine novels and up till now they have languished in the bottom drawer of my editor. In the first one there is that shadowy outline. There is something good in there. I know it, yet this is the less commercial of the two. The other has a stronger plot, a mood and a good hook. There is no reason why they should not be published as I know they are much better than the books that line the shelves at the bookshops. Still they are not Eugenides. If this is true, if the man has written three perfect offerings through sheer talent then I should try to find some other meaning in life. Literature has been my religion. The pursuit of the perfect novel is my holy grail. If this is never to be achieved then I should spend my time trying to come to terms with the fact that I will die with that feeling that I have never succeeded. I think of my grandmother who has all the talent in the world and who has never used it successfully. Surely there has to be a balance between talent and intelligent use of that talent and hard work.

The only person that I have met who works harder than I do is my husband. I think that is the glue that binds us. I admire how he can push himself beyond where I can go. I stop and look at the river for a moment and run myself a bath but he spends every waking second with a whip to his back urging himself on.

Maybe I am just not pushing myself beyond my limits. Maybe that is why I fail? Or maybe my friend is right. It is all about talent. And then - I am sunk.

Friday, July 22, 2011


There are words you use to make love to me. I long to pluck them from the page, words for genitals, words for what you do with your genitals. I want to pick the bones of the books clean. I would do a comparative study. I would start with House of Holes, making spread sheets to group Nicholson Baker's use of language, words for cock and cunt and tit. Venn Diagrammes outlining where Baker intersects with Nin, what words are exclusive to Bataille, what are the words we most commonly share. I want to intersect my circle with one I have made for Eugenides. I know that sex is not really his thing. It would be a little shower of words where I am gushing like an open tap. What words of love do I share with McEwan, where does my language penetrate the work of George Orwell.

The diagrams are useless, but they are my little erotic sketches. My etchings. And maybe, sometime, I will be in a room with Baker and I will ask him if he wants to see my diagrams. Diagram could be a word for cunt, my circle opening out to contain the words cock and prick and erection.

Ah the fun we could have with a little word play. I will start the project as soon as I return.


He says I should go back on the drugs. He is the one who hears it when I am down, my first port of call in a storm and no doubt he is fatigued. It seems like I am perpetually down, fighting my way up to the surface of the ocean, seeing it but unable to reach it. I think that sooner or later my lungs will burst and I will die. But strangely I just keep on living, tenaciously. I distract myself with work. As long as I am not at rest I will continue to struggle on. Then there is a day when all the work is over and I am faced with myself and the panic sets in. I am chasing my own tail, eating myself from the toes up. It is as if I have set a trap for myself and the more I try to free myself the tighter the noose around my neck.

My life is wonderful. I have no need to complain. I have enough of everything, too much. I am over-blessed. The problem is that I am stuck with myself. Like a conjoined twin desperate to struggle free of my own flesh, I would stab myself in the face repeatedly, I would tear at my chest till I find the black heart of me and remove its gangrenous scent.

Every day I wake up and face the world smiling and no one could tell.

I met a man on the road who worked at the salmon farms. 80 seals broke into the nets. It was carnage, a frenzy. They were pulling the livers out of fish without eating them. It was a festival of murder. The workers threw explosives into the pen, not to hurt the seals but to shock them, scare them out of the pen and into the open ocean. He said you just couldn't tell from looking at the water, the ocean was calm but all this death and destruction being carried out below. That is what it is for me. There are explosions going off inside me, carnage, a feeding frenzy with one part of me tearing the life out of another, and yet out here in the world it is just a calm smile and an overabundance.

He is the only one I tell and that is all he sees of me. Distress, anxiousness, tears. It seems that every day I open my mouth and the guts of it spill out where he can see. I have worn him out and he tells me to take drugs, knowing that if I take them then the writing stops. Knowing that if I take them my sex-drive dulls, the world retreats and I am stuck in a pleasant fog. The smells of things become less acute. I no longer cry when I pass a particular flower. I can tolerate bad television and mediocre literature. In short, the seals die and the fish just swim around stunned and subdued.

I write this post because he is alone watching the horror of my internal nightmare without help. I write this because I want to free him of this lonely position, keeper of ghastly secrets. I know he has been swimming beside me keeping my chin above water without complaint. Go get drugs he tells me and of course I will not. No one else knows about this daily horror show and perhaps I should start hiding it from him as well. Keep him at arms length.

When I return home I will start kayaking again. Out on the water where it is just me and the tide. I feel calmer when I am close to a place of drowning. Perhaps I will replace our chats with the river. When we talk I will put on a smile. It is a terrible thing to be one thing to all others and fall into myself in front of that one true friend. It is a burden and I will lift this off his shoulders. When I return I will stop the slow leak and trap all the hungry seals inside.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I still like the sealife more - in a sexual way. It was easier to write about the octopus than the dog. Even in the edits I can sense the difference. If I had to have sex with a non-human creature it would be something aquatic. I know this as I pull the salmon out of the net. A pang of guilt, it is dying, drowning in air. Still it's body is lithe and silver and the slipperiness of it is sensual. Even as it dies I think of sex. I bring the club down hard on the back of its head. Blood in the eye. I kill it and I know there is something wrong with the fact that I am enjoying the slip of its body in my hand as it dies. Batailles is right at my shoulder. Sex, death and fish. I am sure this is wrong on so many levels.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

collecting smut

I would be like him. I would collect things sexual, old video tapes, super 8 film, daguerreotype prints, etchings, paintings, all kinds of genitalia. This is who I am and it would be better if I collected something less obvious, fragments of shattered glass, prosthetic limbs. I wish I wasn't so one-eyed about it all. I wish that new book I am writing didn't circle back to sex.

I am reading the new Jeffrey Eugenides and I wish I could disguise my work as he has done. He pretends his book is about the search for spirituality, the thirst for knowledge, but at the heart of it is a throbbing lean towards orgasm. At least that is my reading of it, something so carnal and simple that it is a thing of beauty. He wants her wants someone else. They all just want to partner up and fuck.

That is the subject of my new book too but I can't help myself, I strip away the pretense of higher thinking, I abandon reason for the thing itself. If I could collect something other than sex it would be glass eyes or wax organs. I can't help myself from cutting us down to our component parts. We are flesh. Whatever we say or learn or think, we are nothing but animated slabs of meat layed out around our fleshy genitals.


The cloaca is a room full of jars. The smell alerts you to its purpose. Jars that are a perfect representation of our digestive system. Jars that make poo. The poo is sealed in plastic bags although I didn't really stay long enough to see that. It was all about orifices anyway, poo holes and vaginas. There were a lot of vaginas. My vagina can be art. When you look at them all lined up like that there is a rhythm to them. Still each one must be individually scanned and of course I am looking to see which one looks like my own. Even with art I am comparing myself. Is my labia too long, have I more hair than her, how would I look if I shaved like this?

Can I not just enjoy art for arts sake? Must it always be a competition? I wonder if men look at the penises in the paintings and compare and contrast the way I do. Is it just a girl thing?

Monday, July 18, 2011


There is a sheet flapping on a hill in the rain. Sleet perhaps, it is cold enough. There is snow on the mountains. I have just finished yet another essay about sex. Back at my computer I try to write the novel without any sex. That is my commitment. No sex, just for once and yet, here, in the second paragraph she touches his arm and it takes all of my commitment to stay out of his pants where his penis would be tentatively rising.

No sex in the book I tell myself and make it more subtle than that, a slight jolt as if the woman is unearthed.

I worry that I have become a joke. That fat sex lady, that old fat sex lady. A caricature. I worry that it will be too late when they all grow up and realise that it is terrible to be old and fat and that despite your age or sex you are still a sexual being no matter how quiet you are about it. So the book without sex? Am I just writing it to pretend that I can be like everyone else, acting my age, ducking away from my usual position as a target for their jokes? I see saw between worrying about being laughed at and not even caring at all.

I sit at the window and balance my laptop uncomfortably. This house is not set up for writers. The view is one to be enjoyed from the comfort of your reclining chair facing the giant television screen. There are no tables with views despite the fact that every where you look is a picture postcard.

I watch the white sheet getting wet with sleet on the line. I watch the fog of rain marching over the white peaks of the mountain, obscuring it. I worry that my essay on sex will be accompanied by more laughter. I worry about the people in my new novel, the older woman, the young man. I worry that yet again, I am writing something that will betray my fears about aging. Everyone will point and laugh. That old sex woman, just can't help herself, even in her novel without sex there is a subtext there. I care too much about what everyone else thinks of me and yet, some days I just don't care at all.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


If you fall off the boat you die. The ocean is cold enough to kill you. Weed in your hair and fish picking at your bones till you are clean. The idea is that you go to sleep with the cold, a gentle death and one I come back to.

Two days ago I dreamed that a young woman I vaguely know was screaming at me, hurling abuse. I deserved it. She was right to call me what she did. I am not to rest easy. I woke up after hardly any sleep and fell back fitfully, returning to her, facing her anger as I too afraid to face the truth of my fears in real life.

I look in the water and it is clear and icy and it would rock you to sleep. There is something calming about the possibility of death. The difference between my shouting woman and the lure of an icy mermaid is a huge leap. Back there are my mistakes, tangled in the wrack of my dreams, my fears, my unrest. Here there is just the calm cold final kiss of nature. Somehow it makes me happy to be so close to my own end although I know I am not yet so far down that I will leap off the boat to find it.

Down in the deep death is a naked woman with nice breasts. There is the image of me suckling, drowning, breathing in her cold milk as if it were air. There is something akin to orgasm in her embrace. My nipples turned hard by the freeze of my own death, the shot of salt water tearing into every orifice with her ragged nails. She is not a gentle lover, I am sure of it, but some days I peer down over the side of the boat and I long for her kiss, preferring this than that awful sleepless night and the day of crying that followed it.

lick her fingers

On the plane, the stewardess passes me and I want to lick her fingers. A man with a limp and I am suddenly in love with him a little bit. I think about his penis. A girl shopping at the markets, I imagine her nude despite the snow on the mountain.

It certainly isn't spring but for some reason my body is responding to the bitter weather. This sometimes happens. Yesterday I was so down I cried for most of the day. Today I have a headache from the crying and an urge to undress the wait staff. Swings and Roundabouts.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book two edits

In Tasmania I will get book 2 to edit.

This is the place where I caught my octopus and landed it on the page.
This is the place of all things wild. The perfect place to work on the bestial novella.
This is the place where my good work finds its feet. Books are begun here, books are finished here, books get fatter on salmon and oysters.

I have a new book brewing. A book with no sex in it. An anomalie. I might start that while I am waiting, in between the fishing and the festivities.

There is erratic internet connection, there is no network for my phone. I imagine I may miss a post here and there, but by the time the trip is over book two will be edited and possibly something else will begin.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What we trade for sex

Sometimes it pays to look at the ledger. Sex is valuable and it must be traded. Sometimes that is a financial transaction as in prostitution or expensive pornography. Then there are the costs of one night stands, meals and fine wine and dancing.

How can I put a price on my self respect, the friends I have lost to jealousy, my morals and my ethics, the hours that were frittered away thinking about one potential lover or another when I might have been writing that book that remains incomplete. My past is a war zone of mistakes and many of them are balanced in the ledger against the sex.

My time is over now. I may pretend that it is not with my young friends and my fantasies, but I have climbed my way back into credit and the sex is the thing that I have put back into an easy place. I trade the potential of adventure for a steady even portioning of sex.

You have a choice now. Your meals have been irregular but satisfying. None of the risk that comes with leaping into a relationship. Some demands, sure but not the kind that you can't talk your way out of. Now your choice is clear. Safe easy sex occasionally without the engagement of your heart, or all the joy of risk and care, the sex with strings that you have been avoiding.

We all make choices, my friend. There are profits and losses with every choice we make. I feel your anxiousness but I cannot take it on board. I have my own ledger to keep account of and therefore I must turn and leave you to your own mistakes now.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

kids book

I am pretty keen to write a kids book. Only problem is that sex gets in the way. My childhood was infused with sexual interactions with the world and yet if I write about kids being sexual people get all uppity jiggety twitchy about the whole thing. Child pornography they call it when we present the truth about childhood, which is that all things sexual fascinate some of us, just as all things gendered become complicated.

Bill Hensen reminds us of this when he photographs an angel boy, a cherub, not yet in his teens, the tiny penis has an erection, semi-hard. This is a visual slap of a reminder that we are sexy sexual beings from such a young age.

It would be a struggle to write my children without that vague unease that the world of adult sexuality is brushing up against the membrane of their world. Sex is a part of our innocence, it is not a threat to it. Of course, abuse is a different thing entirely, but our own self-paced forays into the world of sexuality should be spoken about in children's literature. We rub our young bodies up against the world when we are children, we touch ourselves and others, we slip into the joy of that pre-orgasmic state whenever we are free from prying parental eyes. Then, later, when we are clearer about our desires we get crushes, we act out, we have dreams, we long for consummation. I understand that other adults want to silence me when I even begin to articulate these things, but I wonder how the kids feel about it. I wonder how it would be to put a kids book of my own making out into the world.

Monday, July 11, 2011


She has dedicated so much time to me. She is my first reader and that is a dedicated position. I dedicate the book to her but she deserves so much more. I have seen her reading grow over the years, her tastes mature, her analysis grow and change.

I respect her more with each year that passes. I trust her more. I bind myself to her. I write her name in the front of this draft of the book and I want people to know that she is an inspriation, because of her reading, sure, but also because she is gorgeous. When I think of her I can write the characters that others like to read, the good looking women, because she is beautiful, the sexy ones as she is sexy.

KLW I love you. I could not do it without you. Stick with me, because I promise I will stick with you.

the books that count

so now I have put the bulk of the books back onto the bookcase. All those big heavy hard to read things that break sex down into it's component parts. All disembodied penises and vaginas. This is how I see it. They are useful, I need them to get the job done, but they are the business without the poetry.

Now that I have cleared away all of that I am left with a small pile of books that are so close to my heart. I am left with the fiction, the good fiction, the Nin and Batailles the Nabakov and Mcewan and I leave the pile beside my computer because these are the books that segue into my heart work, the fiction. I do not open them as I start to edit but they stand by me. They have a place on the headboard of my bed to take care of my dreams.


So - lips - the things in the centre of your face, the dark with blood flaps of skin that you kiss with, or perhaps the other lips, reddened with blood, thickened, the things you should kiss if you are game, although, sadly many aren't. Still, lips are the words for them although sometimes it feels like it is the wrong word.

Like when do you use 'cunt'. Do you save it up for the punch, the opening of those under-lips, the splay-legged sopping wet spread-eagled desire of the thing is ready for the plunge of the - member? Or is that too parliamentary? Cock? Too porn? Manhood? I don't like manhood particularly although she is not opposed to it, my editor. We wrestle over words but I don't put up much of a fight, as usual. All I ask is that you make me sound like myself. If I never use a word then I will never use it, no matter how often you suggest it.

Mostly we are good dance partners at this line by line, word by word. Mostly I don't care which way you put me, sentences placed arse-up, my infinities split all to hell. Mostly I am careless with apostrophes and my bares are bears. I am sure you roll your eyes each time I repeat a mistake that you are tired of.

It is cautious work, not like the ripping into language that initiated this dance. All foreplay spent, the sex done and dusted and this is just the mopping up. Still, you can make my vagina into a sex or a cunt but keep your hand off my manhood because I will have none of it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The illusive post stae 2 orgasm

It is important to masturbate after the submission. It is like a gift to your body for holding you upright through the horrible days you have just endured. This is nothing of course. This is as a period is in relation to birth. This cramp that has lasted days will be repeated again at confirmation, and then in the weeks and months leading up to the final submission. Still, this is like your first ever menstrual bleed, the one that made you frightened you had somehow damaged yourself, drawing blood. The one that made you so nauseous you vomited at school.

I am lying in a bath when the cramping has stopped for a moment. Of course there will be revisions. It will not pass. I know this as surely as I know how painful the final writing up will be. They will send me back but by then I will be clear headed and rested. I will have an idea of it and it will just be cutting back.

So lying in the bath.

Difficult to concentrate when any mention of sex feels like it needs a citation. This orgasm here and now needs to be situated in a literary history of all orgasms. Is it as great as the ones described by Alina Reyes? Anais Nin? Ian McEwan? Did McEwan ever mention women's orgasms at all? What external visual or textual stimulus will need to be taken into consideration with this particular climax?

So lying in the bath I hope, sincerely, that I can switch my exhausted, limp, inquiring mind off long enough to come.

Bloody Birth of the stage 2 document

Carefully take hold of your clitoris using a pair of long nosed pliers. Stretch, not all at once, just a fraction of an inch at a time. A little peaked cap, numb now from all the pressure on it. Still, keep stretching. At some point you will make an incision and put a small bullet inside. At the end of a week you will take the bullet out and replace it by a larger bullet. This process is repeated every week or so. It lasts three months, four if you get an extention. Your urethra has become a part of the project stretched as it is to the size of a penis. You pee standing up. For a time it may make you feel powerful. You can fuck your boyfriend if you like, not with a blunt instrument like a small dildo, but with your now sizeable clitoris.

I forgot to mention what you had been eating, Batailles, Sontag, Ponz, several essays from the huge hard backed two volume Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature. Growing fat with all this eating and sitting in one spot at your computer. A fat little hunched gnomic girl now with a huge extended clitoris to fuck with and pee from.

Of course these books are all indigestible. They sit in your belly like a bastard. What you don't know, fat and one-eyed and blind to the rest of the goddamned world, is that sooner or later that information has to come out, and when it does it will slide down your urethra, thick-spined, bloated with theory. You will hold that bulging length of clitoris and it will be agony. Weeks and weeks of agony, and then that final, blood-clotting push over the course of three long days when you think your faux-cock will tear.

And then there it is, suddenly. The bastard. Its references embryonic and unformed, its commas all misplaced, its linking sentences like malformed stumps of arms and legs. It opens its mouth and a small sound comes out. Not words yet, but some form of communication.

Ah stage bloody two PhD document. Now I just have to gender reassign you as a PDF.

Friday, July 8, 2011

citations and the sex books

I am surrounded by the books. They spill out over the lounge which is covered in a velvety fabric. I like to lie naked on this lounge in summer. Lying naked on it surrounded by fiction is a very different experience to this, here now. The big heavy volumes of the Encyclopedia of Erotic literature spill open to random pages (Cohen, Leonard in one, and Noel, Bernard in the other). A History of Perversion lies splay-legged as a gymnast on the back of the couch, Rosewarne's Part Time Perverts is jabbing me in the back like an irrepressible errection. I no longer notice the paleolithic image on the front of Sinners and Citizens, the huge Gumby-like figure of the 'man' giving it to an airborne Pokey suspended as he is on Gumby's elongated prick.

I have to get this fucking document about fucking done. That is the flaccid and erect of it. I have to get it done now, immediately, right here on this goddamn velvet couch. No languid naked rolling in tactile ecstasy, no diversions of dish-washing or masturbation. I must tie myself to this couch like a bottom, flay myself repeatedly like a top. Get it done! Get it done! Get the fucking document done!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Knowing what you want.

Mostly, if I set out to achieve something I do it. Usually this involves dogged one-eyedness, hard work, lots of stress, commitment to craft. I think the only problem then is knowing what you want to achieve. So many times I have sat down to write something with a list of what I want to do mapped out in my head. I get to the end and yes, I have done what I have set out to do. I had a goal and I stuck to it. It is only when it is done that I realise that there might have been other, better goals to try to achieve.

I think of my grandmother, all those hours slaving to create the things she has created. I will make a life sized triceratops out of paper mace she says and then after months of sleepless nights that is exactly what she has achieved. I will make a miniature Alpaca as small as the palm of my hand, and, weeks later that is what she has made. All these years completing projects that she wanted to do and yet at the end of it all it just adds up to a scattergun menagerie.

Be careful what you wish for.

I wish for a serious long and sustained career writing fiction, and yet I am distracted by journalism, non-fiction, an exegesis. The years are precious. I feel something awful happening to my body, the beginning of an inevitable decay. I sink back into the depression I was free of for all those years. I need to know that my plan is solid and achievable. I need to have my long term goals. I have set myself on the path of writing about sex and therefore I need to value this. Yes I want to write serious novels, but the whole miraculous world of human sexuality allows for much seriousness as well as much frivolity.

I need to be careful about the next projects, make sure that they count, they move me forward, they teach me new skills and help me develop as a writer. I am certain that one day I will end up like a second rate Philip Roth, writing the same novel every year which is published each Christmas, the novella about how I lost my youth and yet am still sexually obsessed with youth. The book of the aging writer. All I can hope is that I find new angles into the universal story of sex. All I hope is that I am open to new ideas, write the book and then move on to something else that develops my work further.


I can't shake the dread. I suppose that sex would alleviate the feeling. It is impossible to warm my feet, my head feels like it is releasing all the energy in my body through the cold crown, my limbs are dough, swelling, ready to be punched down and cooked in a hot oven till they are hard. I have no love of self and yet I smile and converse and seem to do all the things a live human being does only inside I am all hollow and leaked-out.

Sex would help. I know this. Sex would give me a rush that might last an hour, two, an evening. I would have some small relief. But there is the night time to come and the waking in darkness and that heart pounding sense that it is already over, I am dead inside and it is only my body, clinging to the possibility of one last tumble that keeps a semblance of life.

Am I ready to take the plunge into darkness? Perhaps the writing will keep me upright if it is dark enough to dig a tunnel underneath my distress.

A list.

Today? A list.

Nicholson Baker "House of Holes" (not till next October) and "Vox"
Frank Moorhouse "Sonny" (not till next year)
Peter Blazey "Love Cries" (out of print but worth the search just for the Moorhouse alone which is a part of Sonny)
Rod Jones "Night Pictures" (Sorry, may be out of print too)
All Hail George Batailles for "The Story of the Eye"
And while you are reading that you might as well pick up Susan Sontag's "The Pornographic Imagination"
Anais Nin (of course) for "Little Birds" and "Delta of Venus"
Linda Jaivin "Eat Me"
Catherine Millet "The Secret Life of Catherine M"
Michel Houellebecq "Atomised"
Ian McEwan "First Love Last Rights" and "The Cement Garden"
Cameron Redfern (Sonya Hartnett) "Landscape with Animals"
Susanna Moore "In the Cut"
Catherine Breillat "Pornocracy"

All of this and more and while you are at it throw in films by Greenaway and Hanneke and Breillat and this is truly only the beginning. Sometimes I am overwhelmed.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Site specific teaser

“I am a little disappointed that you are wearing a bra. I hope you have no underpants on. Shall I check?”

She felt a hand resting on her bottom and her heart began to race in her chest. The thumping of it rattled her. The voice was low and husky, but it was, indeed the voice of a woman.

The hand explored the fabric of her dress, pressing against the cotton, flat-palmed, searching for seems.

“Good. Shame you decided to wear the bra though, you do have such nice full breasts. I bet the nipples are getting hard right now and that would have been nice to see.”

Her nipples were, indeed getting hard. She could feel them pulling tight against her bra, a pretty bra, thick, luxurious cups with a lace trim. She had chosen it specifically for Si with the idea that he might just find a moment to slip his hand inside her dress and feel the soft, intricate lace clinging to the significant swell of flesh, warmed by it, shaped by it. Now her plans for an unprecedented adventure had been thwarted. She thought back through their email exchange, wondering if Si had ever specifically mentioned his gender. She had pictured him naked when he said he was naked, touching himself, she had imagined a cock. But she supposed she had assumed so much based on very little. I am going to come soon, he told her on chat and she immediately pictured the spurt of semen from the eye of an engorged penis. The image of this was enough for her to join him. Did you come too? And she had been able to type honestly, so goddamned hard I hit my head on the bed head.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


They had to use themselves for experiments. Hooking up some unsuspecting citizen to measure the duration of an orgasm would not do. They took lovers, or made love with their wives, and even though this was all in the name of science they still got caught up in games of the heart that were not intended.

We touch the clitoris and it is directly connected to the heart it seems. Even I can not avoid this correlation. Sometimes emotions overtake us when we venture into sex. Sex can be easy and fun but it is not always so. The science proves this to us. Someone disbarred, someone divorced, all this and emotions running high despite the dependence on electronic equipment.

I feel my heart tearing itself up inside the safe containment of my chest. I find myself crying. I have nightmares. My self-esteem plummets yet again. I intellectualise it all as research. I make another abortive attempt at theory. I learn to speak sex as if it were a medical complaint.

And sometimes, like now, I imagine that I walk up to the top of a bridge and leap off it. I follow in the footsteps of the romantics and the poets. I wish I had some wasting disease or an addiction to drugs. It is annoying to be at the mercy of my heart and I am happier to say that I am at the mercy of my lust, although lust is clean and this ache is something else again.

Friday, July 1, 2011

reading it in strange places

The thrill comes from the juxtaposition of the erotic and the mundane. It is like this in fiction, bumping your head on the bed head whilst a lover spreads the lips of your vulva open and dips their tongue inside. The cramp in your leg mid thrust, all this these that humanise the act you are indulging in. It happens in pornography, the actor or actress seems confused or awkward for just a second and suddenly we are aware of the whole mechanism of the thing, the camera crew, the set, the fluffers. We know now that this is a man and a woman or a girl and girl or two men perhaps but that they will go home when the filming is over and somehow this makes the process more erotic. Just a human being like me or you being fucked and fucking.

If you are in the most boring of spaces and you are dripping with desire, or concealing a hard on then this is an extra charge. Pornographic literature should be read on the bus, or in the lobby of a government building, or in the library. It is the fact that these spaces are places you would not have sex in. It is the relative banality of the architecture, the austerity of the space. Sex and bureaucracy should not go together and yet here I am putting one thing inside the other and the juxtaposition charges the room with this added transgressive quality. It must be read in strange, sexless places.

This is all I ask of you.

Empty packages

Sometimes it is not the content, but the way you are initiated. The wait to be given the password, the size and weight of the key. Sometimes it is not the food that is served but the significance of the meal. Sometimes it is not the person you want but the reasons why you wanted them.

Sometimes it is the room you were in when you first- or the fact that someone was in the next room. Sometimes it is the longing that you wanted all along, and the actual gain seems so insignificant in comparison.

In that same room. In that same house, with the secret password and the vague element of surprise and it should all be there, the whole package deal.

So why is it that when you have it within your grasp it feels somehow empty?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Loving Eugenides

I say 'I love him' and I wonder if I mean it. I love his words. They do something that effects both my brain and my stomach in a way that reminds me of sex. I want to have sex with the words he has written. I have no way of expressing how wonderful these words are. The only way would be to open my mouth and take them in, eat them and be filled with them as a result. This is how I sometimes feel about my friends. I love them in a way that is inexpressible. I want to devour them and to share this experience with all the world and yet also I am jealous of them, as if I alone should be able to experience the pleasures of their company. No one else loves them in quite the way I love them. The only way to express this effectively would be through sex.

I want to have sex with my friends. I have written a whole book that speaks to this. I read a collection of stories by one of them and I feel myself opening, my chest, my mind, my cunt. Sex would express this, and yet sex is never enough. I have forgotten the disappointment of the morning after, waking, and knowing that the only way I can speak to them again is to fuck again. Knowing that I am the only person who would like to fuck continually without stopping. Knowing that there is then the disappointment of conversation, a time when our skin goes back to what it was, something untouched and clothed.

I want to have sex with Jeffrey Eugenides for all the reasons that I want to fuck my friends, not because I love them in particular, but because I love their work, or the things they say, or their small acts of kindness and it breaks my heart to watch them and not respond with my whole body. When I finish this book the disappointment will be like waking up with a new lover and sitting beside them at breakfast, remembering that we are separate people and that my feelings belong wholly to myself. This writing and reading is the most intimate of things and for the duration of this book I will be the lover of Eugenides. I will stop and wonder at his words and know that we have found some connection. I will kid myself that my reading of his work has everything to do with his intention.

THis morning in the bath I masturbated with a copy of "The Marriage Plot" in my other hand. It was not a sex scene and yet the placement of words was enough to make me come, not the little rise and fall of an orgasm that is the result of my current consumption of pornography, but instead a back-arching tremor that seemed to centre myself in my inner thighs. This is the kind of orgasm that I cannot currently achieve by watching double penetration and yet these words have dug a pit of emotion and my chest has opened and I say 'I love him', meaning perhaps that finally I have found a moment in which I can love myself.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unspeakably Blue Too (2)

Toby referred to his penis as a Ronnie Scott. She could not be sure if this was the name for his penis specifically or just any penis that looked like his. He had no foreskin. When they were teenagers, playing with it in the linen cupboard, their shoulders crammed in between the blankets and the stiff bristled broom, he would like to joke about it. He used to make her touch his scar. Our parents damaged me emotionally he told her, warped my relationship to my Ronnie Scott. She used to like it when he made it jump for her. She was too old for the sheer delight she felt, watching him wiggle it with the power of his mind and yet she clapped and giggled and made him do the trick where she held her hand over it and made it levitate, growing longer, lifting up out of his lap. Back then she was not to know that it was disproportionately large. Later, when she was more experienced in such matters she measured her new lover's cock against her hand. She liked the small ones better, the ones that hid defensively in their skin coats, frightened or cold or just lazy perhaps, but she liked the effort it took to coax them out of hiding. If the stiff protruberence of flesh stretched from the tip of her fingers and half way down to her elbow she would call it a Ronnie Scott and remember her brother when she settled on to it with some difficulty.

Counting down to a new thing.

He leans over and kisses her, more to break the painful silence than to fill some need. They are here alone together. Everyone else is gathered at a party, huddled around waiting for fireworks. Now it is just the two of them and suddenly he realises what he is supposed to do. The date gives the moment a special significance and although he chooses not to follow this kind of thing she is waiting for the kiss. Has been all evening.

A kiss won't change anything, this is what he is thinking. With his eyes closed she could be any girl. There are a couple he would rather have here with him. He imagines one of them, her short cropped bob swinging around her pretty face. He kisses as if it is her. With his eyes closed it is just a pair of lips, tasting prettily of lipstick, a cheek that smells of powder, a tongue. She has a little bow mouth which opens and inside it i wet and warm and trembly. His hand moves to the back of her head. He has been told he excels at kissing. We must all have one special skill. The kissing makes up for his lack of confidence when his pants are down. The foreplay saves him from his difficulties with the main event.

So this is what he will do. He will kiss her. His hand finds her knee. He strokes her thigh. If she were one of his other friends he would be excited by now, but he is not. He will put his finger inside her, another one of his skills. He will make her happy when he puts his finger into her because that is what she wants.

He moves his hand up her thigh in slow increments. The kissing is the thing to concentrate on. He moves his tongue into her mouth at just the right time. He hears her sigh. His hand is there at the edge of her pants. He wriggles it and his finger slips under the elastic. She shifts. Her hips are encouraging him onward. He is excited by the way a woman responds to him. It is flattering. He wishes it was some other girl, someone he likes more. He will kiss her and he will finger her and then he will tell her they should just be friends. They should just be friends. It is not that he has been forced into this. She has chased him and he has succumbed. One sweet transgression and he will be done with it. He inches his finger forward, feeling the close trimmed patch of hair, the wetness, again flattering, the heat of her radiating out. He kisses her deep as his finger slips inside because this is what she will like. She does. She sighs. He has her hooked on his hand and it is bitter sweet. So much ground to track back over, the winding down.

He can hear the fireworks starting up there on the hill, music, distant, echoing back on itself. Everybody communing to usher in a new day and here he is, alone with a girl he is perhaps fond of. He pushes into her and his finger is wet with her. He can smell that dank musk behind the perfume. He is wondering how long he should finger her for before making his retreat. She has begun to shift her hips forward onto him. She is tipping her pelvis, exciting herself against his thumb. He feels vaguely unsettled by her rising passion. He slips a second finger into her. He will give her this till the calendar changes. At the stroke of midnight he can stop. He kisses her, pushes forward with two fingers, rubs with the flat of his thumb. He waits, not breathing, listening for the beginning of the countdown to echoe off the hollow of the hills.

Monday, June 27, 2011

When it is fun

I am only interested in it when it is fun. At the moment sex seems so difficult. There is always so much thought to be put into it, where to situate it, what lense to use, when really? It should just be take your gear off and leap in. I need to re-find my sponteneity. Theorists have taken my genitals and held them hostage. It was all fun and games till it stopped being fun.

Yesterday I stumbled on a pornographic website. You couldn't get in without emailing them for a password. My interest was piqued. When I gained access it was all dark horror and although I was not aroused (have not been aroused for days) I was still responding to the idea that this material was too dangerous to access without the key. I wondered if it would be terrible, what, exactly I would see. It was stylish, and interesting and yes, a little icky at some points. There was violence which I realised is something you very rarely see in pornography. The response to the violence was well performed and therefore looked like real fear at times. I am glad I saw it but I do not know exactly how I respond to the material.

I am numb. I have lost my desire and yet I can still orgasm, masturbate often. It is my head that has shut off from it. My head has detatched from my body and is thinking of other things even as my body experiences ecstacy. I blame the theorists, the sex books, the texts. I might give myself a break from it all this weekend.

We will see

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Not funny

Black, sure, but not a black comedy. I tried to mould it, shape it, and I am sure it could be done. I could make it fit into something that could be vaguely funny, but perhaps it is fine as it is. Not funny. Not at all funny. There is longing and disgust and violence and sorrow and for some reason I just can't find the funny side of any of it. It might just be my mood. Sex is usually a riot.

maybe when I start the next story, the one about the corpse, maybe I will start from a moment of comedy, how to get a flaccid penis inside you. How to make his arm hug you tight. There must be a funny side to all this and sometimes I wonder if it is inherently funny, this running after a dog. Maybe this kind of desire is funny in and of itself despite how I am responding to it right now. Maybe it is just my mood, finding the dark side of everything. I sit through a comic movie and I nod. I understand it is amusing. I know where it is clever and where it has heart and yet I do not crack a smile, not even once.

I wonder what is wrong with me. But of course I know. I won't sink too low because I recognise it when it hits, but still, I am not sure if it is funny.

small light

I can't pretend that this level is bouyant. It is not. I can see the waterline somewhere above me and know I am half drowned. Still I smile and laugh at things and converse. I beg for sex, and feel like dog when I am thrown a bone. I know I am being placated. Still I rise to the surface for long enough to take a breath. But now I am falling. Next weekend there may be more sex. A little light at the end of this tunnel.

In books I read about how sex is central to our humanity. I find that different sexualities can be equally valued, at least in theory, if not when I look up from my book to the real world. Gay marriage is recognised in New York. I smile and celebrate by clinking glasses with someone I vaguely know. I download three books each one tackling sex in a different way, each one recognising, celebrating difference.

He reads 8 pages of the book and tells me that it isn't funny at all but that perhaps that doesn't matter. He says he likes it, but it is about sex so he will probably not read all of it. He doesn't like reading about sex.

I feel like a freak. I have always felt like a freak.

I write in the blog knowing they won't read it anyway. I promised myself I would document this strange journey into the center of the world. Now I am on the path I wonder why I am here at all.

I have a tooth ache. I imagine I have cancer for no good reason. As soon as I have recovered from one orgasm I feel sad that I have to wait till I have another. Just for that moment I was happy, or not happy, but clean. There is no other way to describe it, scrubbed clean of myself, weightless and blinded by a small light shining right in my eyes.

I should not write in the blog while I am at the bottom of things, but then if I did that as a rule I would not have written Affection at all. So I will hit 'publish post' now, before I have a chance to take it back. This is me naked. Here. I will not link to it on twitter or on facebook and maybe, posted early, tomorrow's post will slip by unnoticed and I will begin to feel buoyant once more.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Animal dreams.

You would think that the animals would haunt my dreams.

I read that a dog just keeps coming and coming, gushing sperm to lubricate the act of coitus. I don't know how reliable my source is. He says he is a zoophile but so could anyone. There are no pictures. The book it is in is not a peer reviewed source. I find this difficult to believe when I have seen bestial porn and the dog seems to come quickly, once, and then jump off and move on.

This is the kind of thing that bothers me now. I see a Labrador tied to a post and she is beautiful and I think, how could you not love a Labrador? Why did my editor make me change it to an Alsatian? Labs of this age and fitness are a perfect choice for a sexual partner. But of course I notice that I am now sexualising every dog I see.

I love animals. I feel almost maternal towards them, and you would think that this constant sexualisation would lead to an unhealthy outlook. I would see it in my nightmares, which are constant and violent. But no. I dream of the end of the world and there are no animals in it. My interest is purely for my research and my writing. It seems that it is impossible to change your sexual orientation so easily. After watching bestial porn I am tired and in need of a break and, without even thinking, I click onto some porn. Even this human and human does nothing for me and so I go out searching for something to arouse me. I find it in a series of photographs, a woman with large breasts swimming underwater. How vanilla. Breasts. No genitals. Sometimes I am disturbed by how ordinary my fantasies can be. There are no dogs in my dreams, no big horse penises. Sometimes there are fish or octopus but I suspect this is just symbolic.

Still I continue on with my study and wait to see if there are any animal dreams.

too late

Maybe it is too late to take back what has been between them. It is not the words so much but how they were interpreted. And all the times in bed and out of it, when their timing was off. His reluctance for sex, her over-zealousness for it. His wilting penis, her dry vagina. They know too much about how they do not fit together. They know each others secrets, lack of energy, stretch marks, insecurities about weight and looks and performance. Each of them has held something up to taunt the other. Neither of them play fair.

They will miss the sex. She more than him. But still, some times, he will miss it.

She will miss the kissing.

He will miss being touched.

They would be happier if they did not part, but it is too late now.

He has made her feel like she is just someone to pass time with. She has made him feel like he is clumsy and inattentive in bed.

She shrugs. They never had enough sex anyway.

He shrugs. It's not like they were ever in a relationship.

They move on without knowing that this was the best they would ever be, this tug-o-war with such a sweet place in the middle where they found balance for a while. They walk away and it is all behind them, their best times gone.

But she is not to know. She wonders, briefly why she feels so hollowed out, but doesn't stop to contemplate it, there are things she should be doing and she does them with a strange empty echo in her chest.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


THey come to fix the plumbing and they are two men. They have tools, a big bag of them. One is cute in the way girls like, charming, compact, muscular. The other has more potential. I am reading 5 different types of porn when they arrive. Nicholson Baker (literary) Suzie Bright (annecdotal) Alan McKee (academic) The Horseman (bestial) and Grosz (queer). The bulk of their maleness fills the room. It is odd how my friends do not command the space like plumbers in uniform with tool bags.

I am not attracted to them, and yet it is impossible when you have five windows of writing about porn open on your laptop not to imagine the machinations. That is indeed a very fine shifting spanner you have there. Do you want the smallest one? asks the partner. Small, not smallest as the French say - he answers and that would be a sexual reference right there.

I am not a fan of men in uniform. I am not a fan of men in particular. Not this kind of man full of testosterone and a faint whiff of excrement. I prefer men and women who spend their lives reading and thinking. That is just the way I bend I suppose.

Still, there are plenty of double entendres that could be made with a dictionary of plumbing. Perhaps I will venture there next time there is a blockage in my pipes.

Oral sex

He enjoys her down on her knees between his legs but he is conflicted. He rarely reciprocates. That once, and that was good. She always goes on about it, replaying the scene, his eyes staring up at her from his place between her legs. His fingers inside her. The way she came, convulsing on his hand, juicing up around it, making him hard to feel so powerfully in charge of her orgasm. That once, and another time but only for a second. One or two licks before moving on to other things.

To tell you the truth he prefers her down between his knees sucking him. She has learned how to use her tongue more effectively. He hopes he has taught her this, but perhaps it was just her overcoming her shyness. At first it was barely passable, a tentative nothing blowjob. But now there is a rhythm to it and when her mouth is on him he can barely contain himself. Does not contain himself. He comes and she swallows. All these things are like a gift to him.

He has grown to expect these gifts over time. Not to take them for granted, because he is always surprised and grateful. He never asks for the gifts, but he accepts them knowing he will never reciprocate. Girls don't expect that kind of thing, although when he does it they are often overwhelmingly happy. He would. If there was time. He would if they didn't slip into the habits they have gouged out for themselves. He would if it wasn't so damp down there, if it didn't smell of wet earth and mushrooms, if he were less meticulous about hygiene.

So she is down on her knees and he comes in her mouth and she swallows it and he is grateful. Maybe if he loved her he would find the time to reciprocate. Maybe if they were a couple. This is a casual thing, has been for years now, on and off. She is sexy and he likes her and when he leaves he feels a slight twinge of guilt but he leaves her anyway.

That is just how it is between them. That, he thinks, is how it will always be.