KD: I recently had the pleasure of writing a story for the yummy new Sweetmeats anthology, Immoral Views. Immoral Views is not only a fabulous feast of voyeuristic erotica, but it’s even more of a treat for the eyes because it’s illustrated, very naughtily, by the talented Florian Meacci. Filthy stories with equally filthy illustrations are the brainchild of Sweetmeat Press’s captain of naughtiness, KoJo Black, who titillated me with so much delicious info in this interview that I’m only going to share the first half with you today. Come back Sunday for further titillation. Welcome, KoJo!
KD: What would you most like people to know about KoJo Black?
KoJo: Like anyone, I suppose, I have many guises. But as an author and a publisher, I am most proud of being an immodest, unrepentant and dissolute eroticist. Thinking about it more, I must be what the French would call a ‘gourmand’. This word doesn’t quite carry into English, where it simply means ‘greedy’. I prefer the French definition – that of a person who loves to taste, savour, indulge and immerse. I find myself describing so many things as delicious – words, people, places, sensations, food, experiences. And it is this idea of finding and promoting the excitement, the deliciousness, in all things (with a stout and proud thrust toward the carnal) that I try to bring the books I write and publish.
And it was that ideology that brought the ‘Sweetmeats’ name into being. This idea of whisking up deliciously debauched erotic treats for people to savour and share – that was with me from the very start.
KD: What I’m dying to know, KoJo, is what inspired Sweetmeats Press, and how did it come to be?
KoJo: Sweetmeats actually began as a film production company. And the ethos with which I produced the films has carried through into the books. When I began making films, I wanted to offer something that was a cut above the average porn emporium. I think the lack of sensuality and connection in the world of porn serves to highlight how many pornographers are completely disconnected from erotica. I was firmly convinced that porn not only could be erotic, it MUST be erotic. Even then, the moving picture started with the written word. Sweetmeats Press has simply allowed me to re-indulge in the written word. And, with a nod to the films, the Sweetmeats books are, as you know, beautifully illustrated.
Frankly, I think I’ve always been somewhat sex-obsessed. And some of my earliest and most delightful sexual memories involve the spoken or written word. As a youngster, I remember being forbidden from watching cable access television in my family home. Of course, I would always try to access the restricted channels in the hope of capitalising on a lapse in regulation, and catching just the curve of a buttock, or the pucker of a nipple. One evening, the picture was completely scrambled, but the sound was crystal clear. The film featured a woman re-enacting lascivious acts during a phone call to her lover. I couldn’t see a thing. But the female voice, heavily baited with lust, along with my total inability to see what was happening, created a voyeuristic effect that was more exciting and erotic than the actual film.
At around the same time, erotic literature provided some of my earliest sexual arousal. I remember, as a schoolboy, scuttling home with a contraband Penthouse magazine in my book bag, and letting the stories in the Forum give me hours of pleasure. Then, slightly older, I remember being amazed and enthralled at the raw, sensual power of Anaïs Nin’s The Delta Of Venus, Henry Miller’s Sexus or The Story Of O. Not only did I find the stories themselves extremely sexual and erotic, but I also reveled in the naughtiness of reading something so brazenly explicit — especially something written at a time when so much was forbidden and restricted. So perhaps it was a childhood ambition to follow in the perverted footsteps of my heroes!
KD: Immoral Views is a collection of stories written around the theme of voyeurism. Do you consider yourself a voyeur? If so, do I dare ask for one of your ‘eye-sex’ encounters???
KoJo: I am a complete voyeur! I’ve said in the intro to ‘Immoral Views’: “I like to watch people doing sexy things – sometimes to themselves, sometimes to each other. And I know I’m not alone….” I wasn’t just making that up. It’s entirely true. And it’s also true that I know I’m not the only one who likes to watch. One struggles so hard to maintain an air of appropriate decorum throughout the day. It is wonderful to slip into the pages of a book (either as a reader or a writer) and proudly raise one’s pennant of perversion!
In answer to your ‘eye-sex’ question, one incident does indeed stand out. A few years ago, I was relaxing in a cliff-top bar on a small island in Thailand. On the beach below, a beautiful woman was bathing in the sea. And she was completely naked, save for the flimsiest little scrap of fabric on her bottom half. When it comes to the human body, Thailand is a rather conservative place. Thais aren’t even big on public displays of affection, so public near-nudity is a definite no-no. But this woman was western, so perhaps she was unaware of the protocol.
In any event, the woman emerged from the sea like a siren, water cascading from her lithe, soft body as the sunlight glittered on her skin. Her hair clung sleek and heavy even as she smoothed it back into place, and her bare breasts, round and proud in the warm saline air, moved gently as she walked.
For me, there was so much more to this moment than simply seeing a beautiful naked woman. The fact that I could see her, but she could not see me. I felt rude and intrusive, but I did not want to stop looking. She was such a natural being, at one with her element. And yet her quite innocent actions had the effect of filling me with the (equally natural) feelings of euphoria, longing and desire. And then there was the unexpected, illicit thrill of seeing someone so naked and free in a place where nudity was generally considered to be unseemly.
Of course, shortly thereafter, I was joined by an obstinacy of my compatriots who immediately began jostling and competing for a better view. Even at a distance, there is only so long a woman can ignore a veranda groaning under the weight of half a dozen geezers all trying to look inconspicuous. She became self-conscious, covered her breasts, and withdrew to the shelter of the rocks.
But the moment in which it was just the two of us has stayed with me for a long time. And the feeling of that moment ultimately inspired the story “Buoyancy,” published in the book “Sun Strokes”.
KD: Of the five senses, do you think the eyes really have it, as far as sex goes, or do you think one of the other five senses is the dark horse of sensual pleasure?
KoJo: The eyes, most often, are where the attraction begins. They are where another person enters you for the first time. But sex is so much more. And all our glorious, firing, pulsing senses of touch, hearing, smell and taste all serve to turn that visual desire into unrepentant lust!
KD: KoJo will be back Sunday with Part 2 of this interview. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait!
Feast for the Eyes and Ears:
If you’d like to hear some of the hot erotica from the Immoral Views anthology read by the authors themselves, including yours truly here’s your chance! Authors Kay Jaybee, Rebecca Bond, Lexie Bay, and K D Grace will be reading hot, voyeuristic smut from this fabulous anthology, their own, and that of Lucy Felthouse as well. Not to be missed!
When: Saturday 21 January 6:30 for 7:00 pm start.
For more information: Sh! Portobello
Space is limited, RSVP soon!