Sex and Creativity

Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities.

Erica Jong

(Archived post)

Sex toy incentiveMG00625-20140322-1049My husband knows I’m always looking for interesting articles about sex. He sent me one the other day about masturbation as a treatment for restless leg syndrome (It’s orgasm that actually seems to help. The means is optional.) This led us to an impromptu discussion of all of the other benefits of sex. Sex is a good sleep aid, sex can help with weight loss, sex can improve skin, hair and nails, just to name a few. The jury, however, is still out on whether sex is an aid or a deterrent to creativity.

For the nay-sayers, abstinence has long been touted as a way to focus sexual energy for creative purposes. On the other hand, a study at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne and the Open University showed that professional poets and artists had almost twice as many sex partners as other people. The study also showed that the number of sex partners increased as creative output went up. The conclusion drawn was that the more creative you are, the more sex partners you were likely to have.

I’m sure that’s a simplification, but I wonder which came first the sex or the creativity? Is it the creative force that makes us horny, or is it being horny that makes us creative? My guess is that every writer, poet or artist would answer that question differently. However, I don’t think there’s any denying the close connection between the creative force and sexuality. Nor do I think that’s particularly surprising. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Freud was right. It IS all about sex. But what I’m not sure of is that we really understand just what sex is all about.

Yes, the basic biology of it’s obvious, but we humans haven’t had sex simply to procreate in a very long time now. We’ve evolved to want, to expect, even to need more from the sex act than just the next generation. Perhaps that goes hand in hand with the evolution of what civilizes us, what sets us apart from our animal cousins — at least in our own eyes. For humans, many of our basic needs have evolved two meanings. First there is the concrete realm in which we’re born, nurtured, thrive, pass on our genes and die. But we develop another level of meaning when we no longer have to use all of our energy just to survive. When starvation is no longer an issue, food and its preparation and presentation becomes art. When keeping out the cold is no longer an issue, clothing becomes fashion, and magazines tell us how we can be walking galleries for the art of clothing. When finding shelter from the elements is no longer an issue, the very homes we live in become an artistic expression of ourselves. Artistic expression, for us, has become as important as function.

But all of these necessities are concrete. Sex is not. In the days of our ancestor, sex was the magic by which two people become three. Today sex is the magic by which two people become one, or by which one person becomes more herself or himself. Procreation has given way to re-creation, on the one hand, but on the other hand, how can an act that has evolved from the very need to create the next generation be rooted in anything but creativity?

How can the process of creating not be sexual in nature? Writing a story is a penetrative act resulting in something larger, something much more alive than the words on the page, than the idea conceived. That’s heady stuff. That’s the writer in full rut. It’s intimate, it’s messy, it’s rough and tumble, it’s voyeurism and exhibitionism and full-on heat. If it isn’t, then there hardly seems to be a point.

That being said, anyone who has had good sex, lingering sex, or even remembers a good teenage feel-up when time wasn’t an issue, and suddenly seemed no longer to exist, will recall that the end was subsumed in the means, the wonder of the act itself, the amazing intimacy with the other. Any writer or artist knows that experience up close and personal. At some point the creative act itself becomes the sum total of existence. The writer’s world shrinks to and expands out from that act, and the end no longer matters.

So how did I get from masturbation for restless leg syndrome to once more worshiping at the altar of the Divine Creative Sexual Force? Well I suppose it’s all just a part of the journey isn’t it? And besides, where else would I be expected to go with it?

 

The Music Behind the Book – Cameron D James (@Cameron_D_James)

tourbutton_bumpandgrindBump and Grind, part one in the five-part Go-Go Boys of Club 21 series, features, well, go-go dancers in a club.  Whenever I write, and especially while writing this book, I listen to music and the music usually sets the mood for my words.  So, for Bump and Grind, I found I was listening to a lot of electronica, club music, and other songs that really get you moving.  It was actually kind of hard to keep typing and resist getting up and dancing.

But how do you translate music, an entirely auditory experience, to the written page?  And how do you translate the captivating sight of a nubile young man dancing and grinding to the beat into words?  That was my big challenge with Bump and Grind.

It took several re-writes and, in the end, several nudges and strongly-worded suggestions from my editor.  I think the final product has that captivating quality to it that I had wanted right from the start.  Through the stages of writing and editing, I could see I was close to what I was trying to achieve, but I just wasn’t quite there, so it was a huge relief when the pieces started falling into place.

My hope is that the experience of music and dancing in the club is as vivid and detailed as the hot sex and the deep character emotions.

To get you in the mood, and to give you an idea of the kinds of things I was listening to while putting Bump and Grind together, I thought I’d end this with some of my favourite electronica and club tracks.  :)

Bloes Brothers #24 – Wanklemut (though ANYTHING on the Bloes Brothers Soundcloud page is great)

Just Be by DJ Tiesto

This Light Between Us by Armin van Buuren, featuring Christian Burns

Beautiful Life by Armin van Buuren, featuring Cindy Alma (and the entire album this comes from, Intense, is a piece of musical art)

Let Me Go by Young London

 

Bump and GrindExcerpt – Bump and Grind

We’re the go-go boys of Club 21. We dance, we fuel fantasies, and we give ourselves to the beat. We bump, we grind, and before each shift we have a jerk off competition; the order in which we cum determines who gets the most desirable dance platform.

Normally, I shoot first, earning me the prime spot by the DJ. Ken usually comes shortly after me; he claims I get him excited. Lance, our new guy, he’s always last and ends up with the crappy spot by the pool tables.

Today, I decided to try something different—a strategy, if you will—to teach Lance an important lesson about being a go-go boy. I yanked down the front of my shorts and let my cock hang out, then grabbed it in my fist, stroking up and down the shaft. In front of me, Liam and Ken stood with their shorts tucked under their balls as they pumped with vigor.

I held back, loosening my grip just a bit, but still keeping it tight enough to stay hard and throbbing. I grunted and faked an impending climax, hoping it would give the other guys incentive to rush to completion.

The faking worked. Ken groaned and numerous rockets of hot, white cum launched from his cock. His load splattered on the tiled floor, like some abstract painter’s creation, a wad of it dropping on my toes.

“Sorry, Liam,” Ken said as he came down from that high of orgasm. I doubted Ken was actually sorry—he was definitely the bad boy of our trio. He drank, partied, and had a high-octane sex drive.

I looked at the cum on my feet and then winked at him. “Ken, you sick fucker. You can lick it off.”

He stuck his tongue out at me, then crossed his arms and watched Lance and I battle to the finish. I kept stroking, making my effort look convincing. Lance fixed me with his usual cocky stare. Lust glazed his eyes too, no doubt fuelled by the actions of his fist.

“Uhhh…” Lance groaned as his cock fired off a dozen good bullets of cum, showering across the diamond-tile floor. Fuck, he could shoot a mean load.

Lance had joined us three weeks ago and I didn’t know too much about him. He was a quiet jock, a much better fit than Aaron, the airhead twink who he’d replaced. Having a jock in our small group was good for bringing in more customers. Ken and I were well-toned and we all had boyish charm—it was part of the job, after all—but Lance’s body was hard and toned, and packed with an impressive array of muscle. And boy, could he dance.

I didn’t realize I’d stopped stroking until Ken said, “You planning on coming?”

I shrugged, letting go of my cock. “I don’t think it’s happening tonight…probably shouldn’t have tugged it this afternoon.”

Ken snorted. “Whatever.” He swiped a bead of cum from his dick and licked it off, then tugged up his shorts and headed to the staff bathroom to grab paper towels.

Lance and I pulled up our shorts too. I smiled at him, trying to give my best look of sheepish defeat.

“That was on purpose, wasn’t it?” He asked.

I leaned in close to him. “Yeah. Now, why do you think I did it?”

“Hmm…are you trying to teach me another one of your go-go boy secrets?”

I grabbed my thick bulge and gave it a shake for him. “See this?”

Lance looked down at my basket and bit his lip, then reached in his shorts and adjusted himself. “Mmm. I get it. Don’t come so you’ve got a bigger bulge.”

“The bigger the bulge, the bigger the tips, no matter where you dance. I’ll prove it to you. I plan to make a killing tonight. Tomorrow, you can try and do the same. I bet you’ll make more than your usual thirty-seven bucks.”

Ken came back with the paper towels and started wiping up the cum. He paused and looked up at us. I think he knew we had cut off a conversation upon his return. “Boys?”

I looked at Lance—he would keep a straight face if I lied. “We’re talking about bulges,” I said.

A wicked grin crossed Ken’s lips as he wiped more cum up from the floor, then from my foot. “Bulges are one of my favorite things to talk about.” He tossed the paper towels in the wastebasket. “Are we talking about a particular bulge?”

Lance looked as if he’d been caught red-handed with porn. “Liam’s.”

“Oh…in that case, that’s definitely a bulge I like.” Ken grabbed the front of my tight shorts, groping my cock and balls.

I swatted his hand away. “No touching unless you’re tipping. You know the rules.”

Ken laughed and swiftly turned around. He slapped my ass as he passed me. “I like your butt better than your bulge, anyway.”

 

Blurb – Bump and Grind

Liam loves the life of being a go-go boy—dancing, partying, constant adoration from hot clients. The only thing he has to worry about is if he’s using the right moves as he grinds to the beat to win the affection of the highest tippers.

But tonight, there’s a new patron at Club 21—Ryan, a dream hunk and former porn celebrity—and he’s got eyes for Liam, and Liam alone. A private dance is a no-touch affair, but when Ryan rents Liam for half an hour all for himself, the experience forever changes how Liam sees his life in the club.

Buy Links:

All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iBooks | Smashwords

 

About Cameron D. James

Cameron D. James is a life-long lover of books, voraciously reading everything from the classics to sci-fi, romance to science and nature, and thrillers to erotica. Understandably, a love of books led to a love of writing, having penned his first story in grade seven (about stolen baseball cards). Having written millions of words by now, Cameron now focusses on one of his favourite genres — gay erotica.

Cameron is a fan of Star Trek, having seen every episode of every series (including the animated series) and every movie at least twice. In addition to Star Trek, Cameron also loves physical exercise and seeing how far he can push his body. He’s taken kickboxing, Bikram hot yoga (that’s the super hot and tough one), diving, personal training at the gym, and likes his regular Wii workouts (seriously, they’re a lot more intense than they look).

Other interests include listening to electronica music (particularly Armin Van Buuren), puttering around the house (and attempting to grow a garden), and gawking at cute twink baristas at the various coffee shops where’s he’s such a regular that he’s known by first name.

Connect with Cameron D. James:

Website | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest

 

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The Alternate Universe of Tight Deadlines

the screamIt’s hard to think in the midst of writing for a tight deadline. Some days it’s even hard to breathe. Having my head down means I often forget which day it is and what time it is. These days my mind works way faster than my body does, and I run out of stamina and need to sleep long before I run out of words to write or ideas for more words to write.

Tight deadlines have a way of stripping me bare and, believe me, I don’t mean in a sexy way, urgh! What I mean is that my world gets stripped down to write … eat and sleep when I must, force myself into a couple of workouts – as much as anything because that keeps my brain sharp. Then I do it all over again. My head’s always buzzing from lack of sleep, and each day the deadline closes in, I become less and less social, more and more reclusive and less and less aware of everything else around me. Every time I’m faced with a tight deadline I swear I won’t do it again. Every time I wonder how the hell I’m going to get through it this time, and every time I promise myself I’ll go easier on me next time. But I never do.

In some ways it’s like being in an alternate universe in which everything revolves around writing and story … er … wait a minute. I always live in that universe. In some ways it’s like living in an alternate alternate universe – one that fits a little tighter, with edges that are a little rougher and a whole lot more intense.

Tight deadline as the year closes in around me seem to be a place in which I find myself every year. I suppose it’s the shape of my life, the unconscious ebb and flow of who I am as a person and the desperate race to crowd just one more thing in before the year runs out and becomes history, one more thing that will broaden the definition of me just a little bit more.

The thing that truly drives me crazy about tight deadlines at the end of the year is that there’s so much more I wanted to get done before the year runs out on me. I know all writers suffer from having way more ideas that they ever have time to write, but the suffering seems worse as the year draws to a close.

Nothing feels quite right, the world around me is completely out of focus, and I only feel truly myself when I’m working on the story. I do whatever else I have to do in a fog of self-doubt, while thoughts linger on the WIP and what I wish I still had time to write.

I’m excited that it’s Wade’s story that will close out 2014. And as is always the case, the unfolding of the story is an adventure and an experience
that leaves me wanting to see what happens next. I don’t think any character has surprised me quite as much as Wade has, and as I press on to finish before the end of the year, I find myself once again tunnel-visioned and oblivious to almost everything else around me.

Writing imageI apologise for the abundance of posts from the archives at the moment, though I’ve done my best to pick out some of the best. I apologise for being somewhere else, even when I’m here. I’m happily writing away in Wade’s Dungeon, and if you were there with me, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else either. I promise to invite you all in early next year, and you can hang out there as long as you want. But for now, it’s just me and Wade and Carla ordering pizza and drinking way more coffee than we probably should.

 

Sex and the Big Brain

(Archive)

Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500I had a sex blogger ask me once how I could possibly write about things I hadn’t experienced. My answer at the time, though accurate, was a bit flippant I suppose. I said that it’s fiction. It’s no more difficult for me to write about sex that I’ve not experienced than it is for Thomas Harris to write about serial killers when he certainly isn’t one.

I think I can write about sex I’ve never experienced, would never even want to experience in the real world because I have a big brain. Oh, not my brain in particular. All humans have ‘em, and we use them in sex even when we’re not having sex. The thing about having a big brain is that it adds a new dimension to a biological act. In the hormonal, pheromonal soup that drives us to fuck, we get the added pleasure of making it up as we go along. In our heads — anyway we like it. And this, we can do completely and totally without the help of anyone else.

Which leads me to wonder how much of fiction writing – any genre of fiction writing – is really our big brain masturbating – first for our own pleasure, and if we get lucky and our work gets published, then we get to be exhibitionists and do it for an audience. Is that yet another layer of our sexuality? There’ve been countless of books and essays written on the connection between sexuality and creativity, and I’ve experienced it myself. When it’s right, when I’m in the zone, the rush, the high, the incredible buzz of getting characters and plot to move together in just the right tango of conflict and passion and drive, the experience from a writer’s point of view is extremely sexual, and yet somehow better than sex. It’s sex on steroids, it’s free-falling, it’s roller coaster riding, it’s fast cars, mountain tops and touching the tiger all rolled into one. And it all happens in some nebulous part of our brains that only a neurosurgeon might be able to pin-point for us. And who cares? Who cares as long as it gets us there!

Those moments don’t happen often, but it doesn’t matter. They happen often enough to push us forward, to keep us going and writing and longing and digging deep for the next wild brain-gasm. I just came off of one of those experiences while racing to finish the draft of The Exhibition. It was a
late-night write, a dark, dangerous sex scene in which the characters staged a coup and completely took control of the action. I came away staggering, looking down at my hands, wondering how the hell I wrote that. I was too hyped to sleep, too creeped out to think about who might be america-artist-art-paintings-prints-note-cards-by-howard-chandler-christy-nude-women-reading-approximate-original-size-18x16waiting for me in my dreams after what I’d just written. And yet … And yet I felt stretched, expanded, like for a second I’d seen sex at the core where the dark and light meet and swallow each other up. And what’s left is a wild, crazy pull to translate what just happened into some kind of written account that will convey that feeling, that sense of being beyond myself, yet deeper into the dark recess of myself than I felt really comfortable going. And as any writer would, longing to drag my reader right in there with me, into the dark, into the fire.

It was a long time before I could sleep. It was a long time before I felt quite like myself again. And that’s what got me thinking about my big brain,
which at times, seems so much bigger than just the space in my head. And I guess maybe I do have to experience something in order to write about it. But the big brain creates that experience in the privacy of my own head. That being the case, how could I not keep going back for more? How could I not want desperately to write what my big brain allows me to experience? How could I not want to bring it out and flaunt it for the reader’s full participation?

 

Voyeur or Body Thief

(From the Archives)
One of the most intriguing parts of story for me has always been the way in which the reader interacts with it, more specifically the way in which http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-black-white-writing-pen-image20156020the reader interacts with the characters in a story. I find that interaction especially intriguing in erotica and erotic romance.

To me, the power of story is that it’s many faceted and it’s never static. And, no matter how old the story is, it’s never finished as long as there’s someone new to read it and to bring their experience into it. Like most writers of fiction, I’m forever trying to analyse how a powerful story is internalised, and why what moves one reader deeply, what can be a life-changing experience for one may be nothing more exciting than window shopping for another.

In my own experience as a reader, there are two extremes. I can approach a story as a voyeur, on the outside looking in from a safe distance, or I can be a body thief at the other end of the spectrum and replace the main character in the story with myself.

One extreme allows the reader to watch without engaging and the other allows the reader to create sort of a sing-along-Sound of Music- ish experience for themselves. As a reader, I’ve done both and had decent experiences of novels doing both. As a writer, however, I don’t wish to create a story that allows my reader to be a voyeur of a body thief.

As a writer I want to create a story that’s a full-on, in-the-body, stay-present experience from beginning to end. I want characters that readers can identify with and are drawn to but don’t necessarily want to be. I want a plot that feels more like abseiling with a questionable rope than watching the world go by from the window of a car. I want to create that tight-rope walk in the middle. I want to create that place in story where the imagination of the reader is fully engaged with the story the writer created. That place is the place where the story is a different experience for each reader. That’s the place where the story is a living thing that matters more than the words of which it’s made up. It matters more because the reader has connected with it, engaged with it, been changed by it. In that place, the story and the reader are in relationship. Neither can embody the other, neither can watch from a distance. The end result may be a HEA, the end result may be disturbing and unsettling, but at the end of a really good read, the journey to get there is at least as important as the end result.

Erotica and erotic romance are by their nature a visceral experience. Though I think that’s probably true of any good story. I don’t think good
erotica can be watched from a distance any more than it can be the tale of the body thief. While either will get you there, there’s no guarantee that the journey will be a quality one. And I want a quality journey. I want to come to the end wishing I hadn’t gotten there so quickly, wishing I’d had the will power to slow down and savour the experience just a little longer. I want to come to the end wondering just what layers, what subtleties, what nuances I missed because I got caught up in the runaway train ride and couldn’t quite take it all in.

A good read is the gift that keeps on giving. Long after I’ve finished the story, the experience lingers, and little tidbits that I raced through during Sleeping woman reading181340322466666994_IswNAb85_bthe read bubble up from my unconscious to surprise me, intrigue me, make me think about the story on still other levels, from still other angles. When I can’t get it out of my head, when I find myself, long after I’ve come to the end, thinking about the journey, thinking about the characters, thinking about the plot twists and turns, then I know the story has gotten inside me and burrowed deep. There was no pane of glass in between; there was no body for me to inhabit because all bodies were fully occupied by characters with their own minds and their own agendas. The experience extends itself to something that stays with me long after the read is finished and makes me try all the harder to create that multi-layered experience in my own writing.

 
© 2014 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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