Monday, September 15, 2008

Hear M. Christian in the privacy of your home

Author M. Christian is interviewed often, but it's a rare treat to be able to listen to him instead of read an interview with him. Chip August, host of the Sex, Love and Intimacy podcast, chatted with M. Christian a few weeks ago and podcast is now live. Check it out!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Learn how to write erotica

Come one, come all* to the definitive class in erotica writing, taught by a master of the genre

Sex Sells: How to Write & Sell Erotica
With M.Christian

Sunday, October 12th, 1pm - 4pm
$40 before Sept 30
$50 after Sept 30
Downtown San Francisco (location revealed after registering)
Register Via PayPal:

The market for erotic fiction and nonfiction is booming! There actually is a secret to writing great erotica - and you'll discover just what that is in this fun, hands-on workshop with well-known erotica writer and teacher M. Christian.

For the beginning writer, erotica can be the ideal place to begin writing, getting published, and -- best of all -- earning money. And for the experienced writer, erotica can be an excellent way to beef up your resume and hone your writing skills. M. Christian will review the varieties of personal and literary expression possible in this exciting and expanding field. He'll also teach you techniques for creating love and sex scenes that sizzle.

Learn how to:

* Get started writing for and selling to this growing marketplace
* Free your creativity and get past inhibitions
* Avoid cliches, common mistakes, and pitfalls
* Write what editors and publishers will want to buy

Plus: current pay rates, how to write for a wide variety of erotic genres, from magazines to websites, where and how to submit your erotic writing, and more.

Students will also receive:

* Several informative handouts including a list of top-notch markets and venues for erotica, as well as funny and educational articles and columns
* A personal invitation to contribute to a special erotica project
* 50% off a wide selections of erotica books
* A free autographed copy of M.Christian's collection Filthy: Outrageous Gay Erotica=

The class is open to everyone (over the age of 21) interested in writing all kinds of erotica: gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, fetish ... you name it!

M.Christian is an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 300 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites. He is the editor of 20 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, and many others. He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, and Painted Doll. His site is

For more information write M.Christian at

*no guarantees

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Interview with Donna George Storey

If you haven't yet read Donna George Storey's An Amorous Woman, I fail to see why you are denying yourself the pleasure. Get the book. It's a marvelous read!

Donna George Storey's career as a writer could be officially considered "launched" when E. L. Doctorow, one of her writing teachers at Princeton, praised her work. When her wanderlust took her to Japan after college, it was only a matter of time before culture and talent collided in the delightful of ways. Donna fell in love with Japan, and went to graduate school to study Japanese. After graduation, she taught the language at Stanford as well as Berkeley.

Her experiences in Japan and with Japanese culture inspired Donna to write her first erotica novel, An Amorous Woman. The richness of detail that runs throughout the book could only have been crafted by someone with first-hand knowledge of the subject matter, so I asked Donna a few questions about her wonderful book. She was gracious enough to answer them.

The West has always viewed Japan (probably all of the East, actually) as a place of exotic mystery. Do you think Westerners do that because they simply don't understand or know about Japanese culture, or are there truly some difference in the way the Japanese view and approach the erotic?

Donna George Storey: The unknown Other always has a certain erotic appeal, be it the other sex, another sexual orientation, or a different culture. While we get all tingly at the thought of submissive geisha girls or clubs with mock-ups of train cars for would-be subway perverts, Japanese popular culture projects a similarly heightened sexual allure and perversity onto the West. (One of my older Japanese friends once told me with a straight face that Americans introduced homosexuality to Japan during the Occupation.) On the other hand, I do think expressions of eros take on a distinctive flavor in every culture, just as national cuisines develop unique ways to stimulate the palate.

My experience is by no means exhaustive, but I will hazard a few observations based on my research, some hands-on, some academic. Behind the politeness and propriety, the Japanese seem more relaxed and less guilt-ridden about sex than Americans, who know that God is always watching, even in the bedroom. In Japanese culture, sex is a natural human urge to be enjoyed in its proper setting, but context is key. That’s why love hotels -- special rent-by-the-hour places where you can get away from obligations of the home and workplace -- are a national institution. Apparently married couples use them as well, to find private space away from the kids. Of course, forbidden sex is as ripe for fantasy as it is in our culture. In porn comics I've regularly come across stories about seducing your boss' wife, sex on the dirty floor of the office restroom, and of course oversexed uniformed schoolgirls -- all busting one or more cultural taboos.

Another historical difference that shapes erotic expression in Japan is the government's longstanding support of a licensed pleasure quarters as a way for males to release their energy sexually rather than, say, through political rebellion. This is a bit different from our government's approach, which seems to consist chiefly of discouraging anything other than missionary position between married heterosexual partners for the purpose of procreation. In Japan, entertainment districts still flourish as an outlet for stress today, in spite of new restrictive laws chiefly intended to convince the West of a more "civilized" (read: underground) approach to sex-for-sale. Again the Japanese seem more accepting of the importance of fantasy and variety. We've all heard about the bars with mirrors on the floors and bottomless waitresses, soaplands where customers received a very special kind of washing, or brothels that where the prostitutes pose as schoolgirls, nurses or office lady commuters who actually welcome a quick grope on the subway during rush hour. The hottest fad comes and goes, but there’s always a playful variation to take its place. Against a backdrop of rock-solid tradition, the Japanese consumer economy thrives on the appeal of novelty, in sex as anything else. By the way, I'm not advocating prostitution, I'm just observing some cultural differences.

You'd think I could write a book about this and, in fact, I have. Amorous Woman explores love hotels, fantasy play, extramarital sex and the various offerings of the entertainment district, both high and low, among other things.

I know you have a strong background in Japanese culture and language, but for the sake of letting readers know, please sum that experience up for them here. What drew you to Japan and what keeps you fascinated by it?

DGS: I've always been interested in traveling to foreign countries, but the Japan focus started when a boy I had a crush on in high school was reading James Clavell's Shogun. I didn't have the nerve to speak to him, but I thought reading the same book would be a secret way to get closer to him. The crush faded, but my fascination with Japan lingered. After college, I decided to go to Japan to teach, which seemed one of the more interesting ways to use a degree in English.

In a way, it was just "something to do," but once I actually settled in Kyoto and got to know the city and made friends, the attraction turned to red-hot burning love! I found my thoughtful, observant personality was more valued there than in the U.S. where outgoing types rule. I felt an immediate connection to the culture: the attention to the seasons, the fabulous food, which miraculously doesn't seem to make you fat, the preference for suggestion over the obvious. And yes, the mutual appeal of sexual Otherness, which made for many memorable adventures.

After about two years in Kyoto, I decided I wanted to teach less English and focus more on mastering written Japanese, so I applied to graduate school in the United States. This gave me the chance to get warm and cozy with Japanese literature -- I even read a few pages of The Tale of Genji in the original, the ultimate in scholarly dedication. After my first son was born, I left academia and started writing fiction -- and having a lot more fun in my work -- but Japan still captures my imagination. It's the setting for countless literary and erotic stories as well as my first novel. I was just back for another visit to Tokyo and Kyoto this past April, twenty-four years after my first trip. I still love the place.

What inspired your book? Real events? A fantasy?

DGS: Both! I also have to confess an important literary antecedent for Amorous Woman. The truth is I 'borrowed ' -- not to say stole -- my plot from a 17th-century Japanese erotic classic by Ihara Saikaku called The Life of an Amorous Woman. In that famous novel, a lusty, wise-cracking woman travels around Japan taking on almost every role available to a female of her time: dancing girl, concubine, "wife" of a priest, calligraphy teacher, prostitute. I thought it would be interesting to translate this picaresque adventure into a modern form by writing about an American woman with an equally irrepressible sexual curiosity.

There is no question that a significant portion of the book is autobiographical. All of the settings are places I know firsthand, the delicious meals are all lifted from my journal entries. I actually had a "marriage meeting" -- really a blind date -- with a cute salaryman who had one sensitive nipple. I dined with sexy dentists in a fiendishly expensive, three-hundred-year-old restaurant overlooking the Kamo River and sneaked into the men's bath at a hot spring with my lover after midnight.

But much of the book involves a very conscious use of fantasy as well. I explore Westerners' fantasies about Japan, Japan's fantasies about the West, fantasies borrowed from Japanese manga porn and books on shibari, or artistic rope bondage. I learned a lot about my own fantasies in writing the novel. Writing erotica is an excellent way to explore the shadowy corners of your psyche -- and cheaper than therapy, too!

What are the primary misconceptions that Americans have about Japanese culture?

DGS: Again I could go on and on, but I'll stick to some basic ones. The biggest one in my opinion is that Japanese women are all submissive and down-trodden. Let's start with the geisha, the national symbol of service to male fantasies. In fact, geisha have always been artists first, more like career women than sexual slaves. They offer their clients sophisticated conversation and a private performance of music or dance. No sex is involved, although thoughtful and sometimes flirtatious attention is expected.

How about the meek housewife? That was the biggest surprise for me -- how much pride my Japanese friends took in their work as mothers and home managers. They didn't feel oppressed at all. Then I got to thinking that maybe it was the American view that devalued everything female—homemaking, nursing, teaching, even a job like therapist that was once dominated by men lost status as more women entered the profession. Not that Japan isn't a male-dominated society, but especially today, "down-trodden" women seem to have more choices and more fun than men.

Maybe the biggest misconception -- and the Japanese are equally prone to this one -- is that the culture is inscrutable and ultimately unknowable to Westerners. One of the themes of Amorous Woman is my heroine, Lydia's, hunger to find a sexual and spiritual connection with the people and the culture. Although her journey does not proceed exactly according to plan, she ultimately does become more intimate with Japan's desires and demons than she ever dreamed. And, surprise, surprise, much of it is very familiar territory after all.

Thank you so much, Donna! Discover more about Donna and her prolific writing career at her Web site.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Attention erotica writers!

My partner in all things, M. Christian, has an opportunity for those of you who write. This is his announcement:

Here's a special invitation to unpublished – or just beginning – erotica writers looking for a bit of free exposure.

Frequently Felt is my playful little blog -- "A lobcock of erotic trivialities, oddities, and miscellanea transcribed with jaundiced talent for naught but a boxing Jesuit indulgence by a disreputable posse mobilitatis" – where I've been posting this, that, and everything betwixt and between having to do with sex and erotica. What I'd like to do is open Frequently Felt to very short stories, on a first-come-first-posted basis. Here are the specifics:

* Stories or literary pieces no longer than 500 words.
* No underage characters, excessive violence, incest, homophobia, or bestiality
* Please include some form of contact information at the end (email, Web site,
etc.) to be published with your piece
* I reserve the right to refuse to publish anything – it's my blog, after all

Submit your work to mchristianzobop at I do my best to post things every other day or so but things sometimes happen to disrupt that schedule...

I'm also interested in interviews, reviews, editorial pieces, artwork, blog posts and other fun things. If you want to help out with that, just write me and we'll chat about it.

(The illustration is by Daryl Walker.)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A cold weather joke

An Amish woman and her daughter were riding in an old buggy one cold blustery day. The daughter said to her mother, "My hands are freezing cold." The mother replied, "Put them between your legs. Your body heat will warm them up." The daughter did, and her hands warmed up.

The next day, the daughter was riding with her boyfriend who said, "My hands are freezing cold." The girl replied, "Put them between my legs. The warmth of my body will warm them up."

He did and warmed his hands.

The following day, the boyfriend was again in the buggy with the daughter. He said, "My nose is cold." The girl replied, "Put it between my legs. The warmth of my body will warm it up".

He did and warmed his nose.

The next day the boyfriend was again driving with the daughter, and he said, "My penis is frozen solid..."

The following day the daughter was driving in the buggy with her mother again, and she says to her mother, "Have you ever heard of a penis?" Slightly concerned the mother said, " Yes...?! Why do you ask?"

The daughter replied "They make one hell of a mess when they defrost, don't they!"

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Guys -- do you have a fuck buddy?

Writer Jennifer Matlack is working on a new article for Penthouse and needs to hear from men who have or (have had) a sex buddy, not a traditional girlfriend or a lover in the true sense of the word, but a female friend you who have no-strings-attached sex with. This is a casual sexual relationship that you both consent to. You know and like each other but you don't love each other and you're not exclusive.

If you have or have had a relationship like this in the past, know of someone who has one now, or if you're a woman who has had experience with this type of arrangement, shoot her an email at jmatlack121 at

She will use pseudonyms for the piece.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

How to smite your enemies

It's rather simple, really -- just give them the flu.

On January 14, I got slammed with this heinous, unforgiving virus. It's only really today that I finally feel pretty normal and able to dip my toe back into this whirlpool called life. I just wanted to tell you in case you were wondering what the heck had happened to me.

My voice is still not normal, however, and that's why I haven't done any podcasts. I sound like a cross between Brenda Vaccaro, Lauren Bacall, and Minnie Mouse. Not exactly the kind of voice you want to hear talking about sex, you know?

So, with any luck, I'll be getting back into the swing of things next week.

For now, all I can say is: get a flu shot. Unless you don't mind giving up three weeks of your life, looking and feeling like crap, and snarling at your significant other.