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Back To Our Animal Nature

In my last blog post of 6 February, I ruminated on whether internet porn, chat rooms and all of the technology that makes the inconsequential voyeuristic experience possible have made sex too safe, too bloodless. Writing about the bloodlessness of virtual sex and the closed, once-removed, environment in which it takes place made me wonder if the popularity of fang bangers in erotica, and in books, films and television is, in a very literal sense, an unconscious offensive against that safe, bloodless sex.

The cleaning up of sex, the dressing it up for proper company by keeping the physicality of it once-removed isn’t just something that happens online. It’s something with which we’re bombarded every day by the media and by social pressure. We are informed on a regular basis that the sanitizing, deodorizing, decorating waxing and reshaping of the equipment is a must if we want good sex.

Fang bangers return our animal nature to the bedroom. What could be a better counter for bloodless, sanitized sex than sex with a vampire? And how better to get back in touch with the animal in us than sex with a werewolf? I wonder if on some unconscious level we miss our animal nature, we miss dirty, nasty sex that doesn’t involve a computer, or expensive lingerie, or waxing off all body hair and making sure all of our bits smell springtime fresh.

When I first conceived the idea of The Pet Shop, back when it was a short story for Black Lace, and later when it became the Zoo in one of my favourite chapters in The Initiation of Ms Holly, it was that same desire to reconnect with the natural, unashamed, naughtiness of which our animal counterparts seemingly partake, to reconnect with a spontaneity driven by desire and not marketing. It seems to me that fang bangers are at the forefront of that return to a more earthy connection with sex.

A quick glance back through mythology – all types of mythology — reveals the common archetype of creatures that are half animal, half human, often gods or demigods. There has never been a time when the part of us that is most closely related to our animal cousins hasn’t frightened us. The Creationist battle against evolution is the most timely example. How can we be both like gods and like animals? If anything, having a big brain only strengthens the drive of our ‘lower’ brain. We can run but we can’t hide.

Our archetypal connection to the beast and the blood may be temporarily sublimated or denied, even dressed up and taught to dance, but it will never go away. The loss of control we fear is ultimately the very thing we crave, the thing we find so alluring in tales of vampires and werewolves.

True enough, biology cares nothing for control, nor does it care who it hurts in furthering its cause. Our big brain can balance our lower brain, can come to some sort of agreement with that lower brain, but it can’t deny it, at least not in any way enduring or healthy or satisfying.


Early Valentine Heat Wave hits Sh! Hoxton During Erotica Reading

Fearless Sh! leaders, Jo and Renee, with Kay Jaybee and me
The heat wave was at Sh! Hoxton Friday night with an early Valentine Reading. Sh! Women’s Stores are THE place to go, not only for yummy sex toys and hot erotica of all types, but they are also fabulous promoters of great erotic literature. When one of the Sh! Women’s Stores holds an erotic reading event, it is THE place to be to hear the good stuff.  And last night, the Sh! Chix didn’t disappoint.

The event was hosted by Maxim Jakubowski, in celebration of his long-running Mammoth series, ‘The Mammoth Books of Best New Erotica.’ Volume 10 (which he informed us is really volume 15, but the first five weren’t numbered) will be out in April. In addition to Maxim, readers included the lovely Kristina Lloyd, bonk buster diva, Rebecca Chance, and sci fi legend, Ian Watson. The evening was a wonderful reminder that erotica comes in all genres.
Maxim deep in thought
Sh! not only presented another fabulous evening of aural titillation, but the event was a true who’s who among smutters. In addition to the readers, who rocked, I got to rub shoulders with the wickedly brilliant Kay Jaybee, the exquisite Rebecca Bond, and to totally mysterious Remittance Girl.

After being read to, drinking copious amounts of fizz,chomping cupcakes, and fondling all of the lovely goodies Sh! has to offer, the party spilled out into the streets and ended up at having noms at Bogayo Moroccan Restaurant. There was much eating and  drinking, and Ian even joined the resident belly dancer in a demonstration of just one more of his many talents. And, of course, we talked about writing. We talked about writing until some of us had to scramble in order to catch trains. In fact, it was such a fun time, I have it on good authority that SOME trains were missed! 
KristinKay Jaybee and I, who were in the same hotel, carried on the discussion of writing over chocolate from the vending machine until the wee hours, and reluctantly tabled the subject until breakfast. Not that I need a reminder, but Friday night was one anyway – a reminder of why I can’t imagine life without writing.

I know for a fact Sh! is planning another erotica extravaganza April 9th. It will include delicious offerings from Lucy Felthouse’s naughty anthology, Uniform Behaviour, and Kay Jaybee will be titillating with excerpts from her hot new novel, ‘The Perfect Submissive.’ I’m also told there will be an art exhibition extraordinaire. Don’t wait too long to RSVP for this one. A hot offering like this is bound to fill up fast.

Kristina and Kevin


(Sex) Toys R Us – Well At Least Sexy Novels

 Never underestimate the playful nature of a human being, no matter what age. My ever vigilant husband has just discovered The Initiation of Ms Holly selling in a most unusual place. It’s not surprising to find Holly in train stations, airports, bookstores, even sex shops, but Toys R Us? That’s right, The Initiation of Ms Holly is now selling at Toys R Us in the UK!

 I’m always happy to find my work selling in places I didn’t expect, but I find the idea of Holly amidst the Space Hoppers and Barbie dolls and remote control race cars the coolest thing ever! Little Susie and Tommy get their toys, and mummy and daddy get theirs too. Everybody goes home happy.

 I’ve never liked the idea that once we reach a certain age, we aren’t supposed to play with toys any longer, and that Holly is in a toy store seems a vindication of my battle cry of ‘toys for all ages.’ Frankly the thought of reading The Initiation of Ms Holly on a Space Hopper is the stuff that fantasies are made of.


Virtually Aroused — Is It Enough?

For Superbowl Sunday, some churches in the US are designating today Porn Sunday, and many will be showing a video sermon with NFL players talking about how porn has messed up their lives. Questions involving porn addiction are common among the agony aunts these days, often involving the porn addiction of a lover and the resulting lack of sex in the relationship.Wednesday night on Ch 4’s series, ‘The Joy of Teen Sex,’ teen journalist, Billie J D Porter, discussed with her peers and with a psychologist, the implications of technology in teen sex, including chat rooms and porn addictions.

Sex demands something of the participants. Granted the returns are not always equal and there are always risks, sometimes terrible risks – emotionally and physically. I’ve always said that erotica is the ultimate safe sex, but even the reading of an erotic story is a two-way exchange demanding something of the reader. But I wonder if maybe the real problem with virtual sex and having porn so readily available online is that the sex provided is TOO safe, hermetically sealed sex, sex without the Other.  

I’m the first to say ‘yay’ to sex for one. I think masturbation is the cornerstone of healthy a sex life and everyone deserves a little self pleasure. But when sex for one is once-removed through the power of technology, and we’re left with sex that demands nothing of us other than showing up in front of the monitor, sex itself is declawed, disempowered, bloodless.  Even in more participatory situations, like chat rooms, the virtual world is by its very nature a closed environment where sex occurs in isolation. No one gets hurt, no one gets dirty, no one has to engage with the wet ware and the messiness that goes along with it.  

When sex is no risk, no mess, no fuss, then the urge for more and more can hardly come as a surprise, nor can the blurring of the lines between the real and the virtual. We’re beings of flesh and blood. Reality is the mess of it all we live in. But the mess doesn’t come without its fringe benefits, rough and tumble, primal body benefits that make us human, make us connected to ourselves and to each other. I can’t help but feel that by taking the flesh and blood, brain and brawn mess out of sex, virtual reality has made sex too predictable, too safe to ever possibly be enough for our true animal nature, and our large, needy brains. We were never intended to be sexual couch potatoes, and more will never be enough unless at least some of it is real.


A Peek at The Pet Shop

The Pet Shop now has a cover! And the fabulous folks at Xcite Books have assured me the rest is not far behind.  Here is just a glimpse of what you can expect when you open that cover. 

In appreciation for a job well done, STELLA JAMES ‘s boss sends her a Pet for the weekend – a human Pet. The mischievous TINO comes straight from THE PET SHOP complete with a collar, a leash, and an erection. Stella soon discovers that the pleasure of keeping Pets, especially this one, is extremely addicting.

Obsessed with Tino and with the reclusive philanthropist, VINCENT EVANSTON, who looks like Tino, but couldn’t be more different, Stella is drawn into the secret world of The Pet Shop. As her animal lust awakens, Stella must walk the thin line that separates the business of pleasure from the more dangerous business of the heart or suffer the consequences.

A  Peek Inside 

Wet and cold, Stella was trembling hard enough that is was an effort not to spill the cocoa. ‘You’re Tino, aren’t you?’ She spoke between chattering teeth.                       

His back stiffened slightly, then relaxed again as he continued to dig through his pack. ‘I’m Vincent.’

She sat the cup down next to her and chafed her arms. ‘I know you’re Vincent, Vincent Evanston, but you’re Tino. I mean he’s you, isn’t he?’

He turned on her quickly and grabbed her shoulders so that she feared he would shake her. Instead he began to chafe her arms, his dark eyes locked on hers. ‘I told you, Tino’s not here.’ 

‘But I — ’

He swallowed up her words in an open-mouth kiss, taking her breath away, taking away her ability to think with the heat of it, the expressive depth of it. He bit her lip as he pulled back, still holding her gaze. ‘Tino’s not here,’ he repeated. His voice held the tiniest edge of warning.

© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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