Month: May 2018

Size is Everything

Written February 11, 2015

Something that I see in both erotica and in other genres of fiction–from sci fi to horror to literary–is authors who have a tendency to use specific measurements in descriptions.

I tend to think that straight measurements in description are usually a bad idea.

When audience members aren’t familiar with the measurements being used, details like “5 feet” or “8 inches” or whatever are useless, because the readers cannot visualize what is being described, and the entire point of description is specifically to get readers TO be able to visualize things.

On the other hand, when readers ARE familiar with the measurements and the kind of thing being described, then you risk them second-guessing your measurements if you’re too specific.

In erotica, for example, I never describe a man’s penis as being a specific number of inches long. Some readers won’t be able to accurately visualize the size. Other readers won’t be impressed by whatever number is used. Still other readers will find whatever the number is to be too high.

Same with a woman’s breasts- I never refer to her bra/cup size, because it ends up either being meaningless, or implausible, or unimpressive.

Instead, general and relative descriptions work best.

A penis can be “thick,” “long,” or “massive” without any specific measurement, and the description is vague enough to be meaningful to everybody. One reader might picture an “enormous” erection being 7″ long, and another reader might picture it being 13″ long, but they’ll probably each picture something pleasing to them specifically, without getting caught up in numbers.

Same with breasts.

Same with almost anything else.

One good (and obvious) alternative to specific numbers is to have loose numbers. Instead of “three and a half feet,” try “several feet.”

Instead of “twenty minutes,” go with “Many minutes .”

Most of the time, whichever character we’re viewing the story through isn’t going to know the specific measurements anyway.

An often better alternative to loose numbers is to use relative measurements. If a woman is reaching out to grab a man’s erection, telling the readers his exact length and circumference in inches isn’t nearly as useful to the readers as comparing the man’s erection to the woman’s own body. It’s an easy visual, and it’s right in the mind of either the man or the woman, assuming that they’re watching the action.

It also means that you’re being vague twice, which gives the readers more opportunity to insert their own experiences and tastes into the equation.

For example:
“As I hesitantly wrapped my fingers around him, I realized that his erection was as thick as my wrist.”

How thick is his penis in inches?

There’s no way to know, but there’s no reason to really care either.

All we need to know is that it’s impressive on the scale of this particular woman’s body, and that’s really the only scale that matters. Maybe she has really tiny, dainty wrists.

Maybe she’s got thick, meaty wrists.

It doesn’t matter either way, because every reader is going to visualize the scene in proportion to itself.

Same with breasts.

“Her breasts were so large that I could barely fit them in my hands” is far, far more interesting and useful than “Her breasts were 38DDs.”

It puts an image into our heads, an image of action. We can visualize his hands on her breasts, and that’s one hell of a lot better than trying to visualize a bra’s dimensions.

Same with almost anything else.
“His fist was the size of a grapefruit”
“My gun lay a coffin-length away.”
“It was only minutes until dawn.”

Where Do I Get My Wonderful Ideas?

Like most authors, I’m frequently asked where I get the ideas for my stories. Often the person asking has a sense of curiosity or awe, and other times–like after stumbling onto one of my odder stories–it’s more like an accusation.

There’s no one easy answer to the question, so I’ll give several.

First and foremost, as well as recurring, I have a very busy mind. I become bored easily, and I don’t like it. Since I was a child, I’ve filled countless periods of boredom by either reading (or watching) some kind of story created by another person, or by making up my own stories. If, for example, I’m sitting in the waiting room to see the dentist, and I don’t have a book with me, and I either don’t have my phone or the internet is simply boring, I’ll let my mind wander about freely to see where it takes me.

Another factor to keep in mind at this point is that I’m kind of a pervert.  So my mind very often wanders toward sexy places.

Now, it helps that I mostly write short stories, and that I tend to be quite descriptive. This means that a very simple idea can end up becoming a good story. I can (and have) literally walked through a grocery store and come up with dozens of ideas:

Ooh! There’s a choke chain and leash for sale in Aisle 3. That could make for some kinky fun. Who wears it? Probably a naked girl. Why? Has she done it before? Let’s say she’s never done it before, because novelty makes for better erotica, and let us therefore say that she’s doing it… for a bet. But what kind of bet? And with whom?

I can just go on from there, filling in the questions as they come into my brain, until I have a fleshed-out plot. Then I write it. Just from walking through a store. Or, in this case, from thinking about walking through a store.

At the other end of the store is the veggie aisle. Cucumbers… well, that’s obvious, isn’t it? A girl masturbates with cucumber. But that’s been done, probably a LOT. So let’s make it different somehow. The cucumber isn’t for her. Who’s it for? A girl friend? Still cliche. How about her boyfriend? There we go. Because he’s got a massive penis, and before she’ll let him have anal sex with her, she wants to show him what it’s like to be on the receiving end. So the story opens with her in the grocery store, looking at cucumbers to judge if they’re the same size as her boyfriend’s penis. Maybe she fondles a few of them, gets some odd looks from other customers. Not the clerks; they’ve seen it all. They’re jaded…

And so forth.

The seed for an erotica story (so to speak) can be very simple, very small. It can be anything.

I listened to some TED Talks on technology the other day, and I came up with the idea for a phone app that matches people for sexual hookups not only based on their sexual compatibility, but also based on how much money they could make by filming themselves hooking up, and uploading the product to the internet.

That’s not just a story idea–it’s a story generating idea. I’ve written one story about this app so far (“That Syncing Feeling”), putting it in a cyberpunk setting, and I’m already mentally working on a second story. I can–and most likely will–be able to fill my own anthology with stories based all around that app.

I do like to have more than just sex go on in my stories, so once I have a seed, a basic idea, and a plot, I try to come up with additional ideas to make it stand out. With the cucumber example above, you can see that I often come up with things based simply on a desire to avoid the completely cliche.

My story “Corn Hold” (Just “Cornholed” on Literotica) for example, was written for a Halloween story contest. I wanted to avoid vampires and werewolves, because I figured that most stories would be covering those Halloween tropes. Same with ghosts, and to a lesser extent Frankenstein-type monsters. I tried to think of a Halloween creature that wasn’t done-to-death, and I came up with scarecrows. They show up in the occasional horror movie, but I’d never seen one in erotica before. Which made sense, because they were just rags stuffed with hay. What kind of penis would one even have…?

When I answered that question, I not only had the physics of the sex, but also the twist ending. The fact that the story turned out to be a decent exploration into the main character’s personality as well as the spirit of Halloween was all bonus.

Ideas are easy.

They’re in things you see, places you go.

They’re in the people that you meet, when you’re walking down the street.

Ideas are everywhere.

Shaping those ideas, cutting and polishing them so that they’re unique and memorable?

That’s a bit trickier. Maybe I’ll talk about that later down the road.

 

See you next time!

“Amazon.Com Has Rejected Your Product Review”

“Merry Christmas, Richard.” The woman handed me a $100 bill. “But you have to promise to have fun with it. Don’t just spend it on bills like you always do.”

I need the money just to survive in this economy–the IRS has me bent over a table, and the local water company is psychotic about late payments–but okay, I guess she’s right. I need something to boost my morale. I need some fun. Everybody needs some fun now and then, just to keep from sitting too long in the dark with the bottle or the barrel of a gun in their mouth.

Less than a week later, I’m with this other girl, and she wants to get out of the apartment. She wants to do something fun. This triggers my memory, and I remember that I’ve still got that $100 bill in the pocket of my pajamas (yeah, sometimes I still wear them).

“Want to go to the sex store?” I ask.

She squeals, and we head out.

We take a tour of the place, and she picks out a nice trio of anal plugs. We look at the riding crops and such, but they’re all just toys. For a cheaper, better product, you can buy the real thing from a farming goods store. I end up looking at the sleeves & stroker section because I’ve never found one that’s just right. Most of the things are only four to six inches long, and that’s just not deep enough. When I use one, I’m either poking out the far end, or I’ve got inches still sticking out at the base. I don’t like that. I like going all the way in, feeling that cushy pseudoflesh push right back against my balls and my pubic bone, especially when I come.

This place has some strokers that look less than four inches, and I have no idea what they’re supposed to do other than just be a cruel tease. I guess they’d be good to use as a kind of bump-stop around your base when you’re fucking a girl, and you don’t want to go too deep. Might be good for anal. The Fleshlights look plenty deep enough to fit all of me, but I can’t say for certain, because I’ve never bought one. They’re too damned expensive.

I’m about to give up, when I spot the Doc Johnson “Balls Deep” stroker. Unlike most of the strokers, it says the overall size on the box: nine inches.

“That should do it!” I think.

I read the box, and I find out more.

The thing is translucent, which is cool if you want to see your cock sliding back and forth inside the thing. That’s sometimes nice. I like watching the physics of sex, even when there’s only one participant and a toy. It’s important to know how things work, how they move. It’s not a big bonus, but it’s a minor plus.

It’s ribbed on the inside, which is also nice. Some strokers have weird little nubs and tendrils in them, then have the gall to proclaim “Feels Like The Real Thing” on the packaging. Sometimes I wonder if these toys are built by people who have never actually felt a real pussy in their life. Tendrils? Who comes up with that shit?

This thing, though… it’s just ribbed inside. If that’s the right term. The tunnel has a nice, tight entrance, of course. The entrance has the normal faux-labia exterior, and a hole that looks to be about the diameter of a pencil, but it’s silicone–it stretches. Maybe a quarter or a half of an inch inside, the tunnel opens into a marble-sized cavity, then it starts to close up again, but there’s another of those cavities. It repeats this pattern the rest of the way. It’s like looking at the mold for a set of anal beads.

I picture it in my head, my cock slipping into the fake lips, feeling that nice tightness around my girth, then feeling my head slipping into the first chamber, expanding a bit to fill the void, then hitting the next micro-tunnel. It’d be like slipping into a pussy within a pussy, within a pussy, like fucking a full set of Russian Dolls all at once. At least, that’s the theory behind the design, I can tell. Maybe it’ll work at least a little like they intend.

Unlike most sleeves, this thing has a dead end. The tunnel just comes to a stop, and there’s no way to slip out the other end of the thing. That’s appealing, because a lubed up stroker that’s too short (and virtually all of them are too short, really) just leaves the head of your cock sticking out into cold air. That’s good if you like aiming your comeshot someplace specific, but I’d rather get the sensation of coming INTO something, of feeling the head of my cock as tightly gripped as the rest of the shaft.

Also, the closed end means that if you do it right, there’ll be suction. I like to lube a stroker up, push all of the air out, then slide my cock into the entrance while holding it closed tight enough that no air gets into the works. That creates a bit of a vacuum, adding to the sensations and helping you stay hard. That’s particularly enticing right now, because the other thing I’m looking at in the store is a vacuum pump.

See, I’m not just shopping for solo play. The girl I’m with at the store, she likes to take turns holding the crop from time to time. I’m not into pain, but I’m into sex, and I’m into her, so I’m looking for a way to make it work.

Part of the trick to BDSM for people who don’t truly get off on pain (and even for some who do) is that the endorphins released by sex help relieve and mask pain. When you’re turned on, minor impacts, shocks, and so forth that would normally register as pain, instead just register as extra sensation. Like if you eat a raw jalapeno, that’s mostly just going to hurt, but if you mix it with the right amount of chili and/or cheese, the burn just highlights the flavors that you’re already enjoying, and vice-versa.

The problem is, she’s impatient, and not fully trained in the art of the tease. Also, I’m getting older. So when we’re together, I can’t just lay there rock-hard excited just because she’s naked and going to have sex with me, and she stroked me to fullness a minute or two earlier. I kind of need something to keep me stimulated sexually while she’s got me cuffed, gagged, and blindfolded, and she’s whacking my ass with that crop.The burn alone just doesn’t do it for me without the metaphorical beans and queso.

It’s easier for her. I can slip a vibe into her, or a plug, or both, and that keeps her special places entertained enough that the pain blurs with the sex. I’m looking for something that works for me like that. A vibe won’t work well with a cock, and a plug just doesn’t work the same for me as it does for her.

So I’ve been thinking that if my cock was inside a stroker or a pump while I’m lying there, that might keep me turned on enough that the crop would stay on the good side of interesting. A pump specifically would have the suction to keep me at least hard, even if it lacked the stimulation to feel good. I figured it was a long shot, but maybe this dead-end stroker would work even better. The suction might help me stay aroused, and it might feel real nice when I’m getting cropped on the ass. I mean, when your ass is smacked, you jolt forward. I figure that if my cock’s in a nice, slick stroker, then every time I’m whacked with that crop, my ass is going to flinch, my hips will buck forward, and I’ll be sliding into that nice pseudopussy.

Worth a shot anyway.

But I saw the price tag, and I thought that maybe I could get the same thing cheaper at Amazon. We bought the plugs, and I waited on the stroker until I could check online prices.

Anyway, I get the thing at some point, but it’s on a day where she isn’t in the mood to play with toys. She’s had a long day, and after we watch a movie together, she just heads off to my bed to sleep.

“Mind if I play with the toy without you?” I ask.

“Go for it!” she says.

I do.

A score of minutes later, I’ve got some porn pulled up on my computer, and I’ve got the stroker near me. I pick something that should work for me, some of that quasi-forced, “I’m embarrassed and vulnerable, and I’m oh-so-pure, but what you’re doing feels so damned good that I can’t stop you from having your way with me” Asian stuff. Live-action, not anime, and I manage to find something that doesn’t pixel out the best parts.

Asian girls are one of my go-to fantasies, ever since that girl lived down the hall from me in college. Of course, Hispanic girls are a thing for me since grade school, and black girls have been a hot-button since Junior High, and redheads have done it for me since… fuck it. I like women. Pretty much all of them–a thousand flavors, and they’re all my favorite. Tonight’s flavor is Asian.

I use my hand to start. No lube, just bare skin on skin, holding the loose flesh of my shaft and moving it gently back and forth. Sometimes I grip tight, sometimes I grip gently. Sometimes I let go, and just glide my hand over the outside of the skin, but I have to be careful because my hands have callouses, and that can turn rough and scrapey.

There’s an art to all of it. I’m in the teasing stage, where I’m getting myself hard, turning myself on, and priming the pump so to speak.

After I’m good and ready, I reach for the toy. I lubed it up first, before I started. No point in slowing things down during the session. I used generic water-based lube, the kind where you sometimes have to spit to add moisture when it starts to dry out and get tacky.

The stroker is bulky, and floppy. That’s a negative, because it means that I have to use both hands just to maneuver the thing. It’s not an uncommon issue with the larger strokers–the ones that are deep enough to take all of me inside of them–but it’s still annoying. I like to keep one arm free so that I can use the other to play with the nips, or slap my face, or tell myself in sign language (or with a sock puppet) that I’m a dirty whore, or whatever else suits my particular mood. Point is, it’s important to have a hand free for other stuff, okay?

So I have to use both hands with this thing, but it feels pretty nice. The suction definitely works. The chambers? They’re a mixed bag. The idea is nice, but it’s kind of intense to the point of being distracting. I mean, it’s interesting, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like pussy.

The Asian chick on the screen is sucking a guy’s cock, and I pull back a bit with the stroker, trying to wade back to shallower depths to replicate the blowjob, but it’s more unwieldy at that level. If I go in too deep, then it messes with the fantasy a bit because most good head only works the first few inches, and while this thing sure doesn’t feel like pussy, it sure as hell doesn’t feel like a throat. If I go too shallow, then it’s physically awkward to handle the thing, and that messes with the fantasy as well.

After a while, I’m not getting much out of it. This thing was interesting at first, but now it’s just too much: too much pressure, too much weight in my hands, too much flopping around if I don’t use both hands to line it up right. I try laying the stroker on the desk, and just fucking it while standing up, watching the screen. The Asian girl is in doggy-style now, so that works out alright, but the motion isn’t as natural as just moving my hands as well as my hips. This kind of work is only worth it for real pussy, and this stroker isn’t real pussy. No stroker is.

I get kind of tired, and think about just quitting and going to sleep, but at this point I’m too horny to hit the hay, and I’m too bored with the toy to get an orgasm. That’s kind of disappointing.

So I check my email for a bit, and I play around on Twitter.

After a while, my cock starts telling me that it’s bored, and that I’d better do something to tire it out, so we can both go to sleep for the night. I click back to the tab where the porn is still pulled up. The Asian girl is frozen mid-fuck where I left her, the guy’s hands on her hips and his stomach against her ass. Her mouth is frozen open in the start of a moan, and her eyes are lightly closed. It’s a good moment, the kind of moment that I often wish I could freeze-frame my own life at. All good things come to an end, though. I click the mouse. The screen unfreezes, and her moaning body instantly thaws back into sound and motion.

She’s not fully shaved down there, just around her entrance. The rest of her pussy is neatly groomed. The couple changes position. Now the guy she’s with is going down on her while she protests, her face red with shame, but her legs are open wide, and he’s not holding them there. Her hips are bucking, pushing her pussy against his face. His hands reach up under her buttocks, grabbing her ass and pulling her body closer to him, getting his face right in there so close that I can’t see the immediate action any more. That’s okay, because sometimes I don’t need to–my imagination is enough, along with the look on her face and the jiggle of her body.

Yeah, okay. I’m getting hard again.

This time, I start off with a different stroker, a translucent sleeve that’s not long enough to fit all of me–and that’s too well-worn to be all that tight–but that’s familiar, and it works well to get me started. This one is ribbed too, but the ribs are gentler, less distracting. I watch the Asian girl’s breasts shake as the man starts fucking her again, her perfectly round nipples sticking out like candy, her supple flesh so smooth and sexy.

There’s a close-up of the guy fucking her, of his large cock slipping into those tight nether-lips of hers, pulling back slick, then sliding forward into her again. I try to time the movements of my hand to each thrust that he makes, but that’s a tricky game to get right to begin with, and pretty soon my body craves a faster tempo.

I’m pretty turned on now, so I grab my Doc Johnson “Balls Deep” stroker. I squeeze the air out, and I spit on the entrance. I relax my hand a bit, watching the saliva get sucked into the entrance, mixing with the lube that’s already in there. I place the head of my cock right against the entrance, and I relax my grip on the stroker as I slip my cock into it.

There’s that suction again. It’s pleasant.

I slide in deeper, and there are those ridges that demark each chamber. It’s a bit like entering all of those Russian dolls after all. It’s pleasant too.

The thing is still cumbersome. It’s too soft to be so long, and I still have to keep both hands on the thing, one at the base and one at the end. Sometimes it’s one at the middle and one at the end. Once I’m worked up enough, I can switch to a hand on the base, and one in the middle. The dead-end to the tunnel keeps me from slipping out, and it prevents those irritating squelching noises that sometimes happen with an open-ended stroker.

This time it’s better. This time it’s good. There’s a close-up of the Asian girl’s face as she reaches orgasm (or fakes one), and I’m right there myself, so I let loose, and I come. It’s not a fantastic orgasm, but it’s not bad either. It’s about average. My legs try to shake a bit, and my head leans back, and I think I let loose a brief grunting noise as my semen shoots out of me into the stroker. I’m glad it’s got a closed end–cleanup will be easier that way.

The girl at the store told me that I should really buy their $15 cleaning product that’s specifically for toys, but I didn’t bother doing it then, and I didn’t even think about it when shopping online. That stuff might extend the life of a toy, but for the price of two or three bottles of the cleaning product, you could probably just buy a brand new toy. When I declined, she told me that soap and alcohol both degrade the material (which I knew), and that I should just use hot water (which I do anyway, but it’s good to have professional confirmation). So after I pull the stroker off of me, I keep it tilted upright, with the labia toward the ceiling, and I go take a shower. I dump the contents down the drain as I stand in the hot water, mildly surprised at the quantity. I fill the stroker up with hot water, empty it, and repeat a few times. I hang it up to dry in the shower caddy, lips-down so it can drain, then I clean the other one.

When I’m satisfied with the toys’ sanitation, I clean myself.

Next, I mix some Everclear and orange juice, and I write this review.

I look at the stars for a while, the review stars on the screen in front of me.

One star is “I hate it,“ and I don’t hate this product. I’m used to some disappointment with sex toys, especially with sleeves and strokers. I also don’t “don’t like it,” which is the two-star option. It got the job done, even if it needed a bit of help. Hell, maybe it was me. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood, or I haven’t practiced enough with this particular toy.

I start to click on three stars, for “It’s okay,” but heck… I’ve only given it one test run. I remember that well-worn sleeve I have, and that it was a little awkward starting out as well: a little too tight, and a little too intense. But I adjusted to it, and it adjusted to me, and now we’ve got a good thing going. I’m going to give this thing four stars. I can’t give it five, just because it’s too bulky. Maybe that’s why Fleshlights and other toys come in those hard plastic outer layers. That probably makes them easier to handle.

Four stars is “I like it,” and that seems fair. How could I not like something that helped me reach orgasm?

As far as strokers go, it’s pretty decent. It’s got very nice depth. It’s got a bit of natural suction. It’s got easy clean-up. The heft of it feels nice when I really do go “balls deep” inside of it. Those are all quite important. I think I just need to learn the best ways to use this. Maybe if I hump it while lying down. Maybe if I use it while that girl crops or flogs me. Maybe I can figure out some one-handed technique that works with it.

It’s not perfect, but neither am I.

It’s a four-star product, but it’s a three-star world.

It’ll do.

May Challenges, Past And Present

In 2015, I issued myself a personal challenge: write one brand new erotic short story every day in the month of May. I set myself a 700 word minimum per story, and told myself that the stories didn’t have to even be GOOD, just not horrible.

It was a struggle, but I succeeded, and I turned those stories into my “Short Strokes” series, which is available on Amazon (I suggest “Short Strokes: The Complete Collection,” simply because it’s the best value for money by far).

I did this challenge for a number of reasons. For one thing, I wanted to have more titles for sale under my name. The more titles I have, the bigger chance somebody stumbles onto one, and the bigger the chance that they fall in love with me as an author. Or, at least, that they enjoy what they read enough to pick up a second title.

Also, I did it to improve my writing.

One of the problems that I had as a writer early on was my own perfectionism. I could–and did–sit and tinker with a single short story for years. I had trouble knowing when a story was finished, because I could always revise it to be just a bit better than before. As an author hoping to make a living with my work, I needed to be able to actually finish my work, and to do it in a timely manner.

That’s the other issue–time. I wanted to practice meeting deadlines. I wanted to be get better at not only finishing a story, but finishing it within a specific timeline.

My first May challenge was a good growth experience, one that sharpened my skills as a writer in both of those areas, and more.

In 2016, I issued myself another May challenge. This time, I’d again try to write a short story for every day in May, but I’d up the minimum word count to 2,500!!

Again, I succeeded.

It was rough, but I hammered out 31 new short stories in one month, and most of those are up for sale on Amazon.

On the final day, late at night, I still had one story left to write, and only a couple of hours left before midnight. I was completely out of ideas. I was fried. I was damn-near brain dead. I’d learned that the only way to do this kind of challenge was to force myself to get out of my own way, and to

Just
Fucking
Write!

Desperate for an idea, ANY good idea, I went to twitter and started reading through the tweets by @MagicRealismBot, a plot-generating bot that I follow. Almost immediately, I found an idea that I knew I could work with.

From memory, it was “A game-show host is climbing an octopus. She will never make it.”

About an hour and a half later, I’d finished writing “The Octopunishment,” my first tentacle-erotica story, a pornographic Greek myth about an afterlife of sexual torment for a woman who dared insult a god.

I’m particularly proud of that story, especially considering the pressure that I was under. It turned out damned good, and I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on it.

In 2017, I again issued myself a May challenge. Same as before, but this time I swore to have a minimum word count of 5,000 words!!!

And I utterly failed to accomplish my goal.

Like, it was pathetic.

I wrote two stories that month, and only because anthology submission deadlines were due. My life upheaved, and I found myself in the midst of several crapstorms that I won’t even get into.

The point is, WOW, did I fail!

So here we are. It’s May again, and I’m going to try another challenge. I’m low-balling it a bit, because my defeat last year stung, and because my life is pretty busy due to my current Fucking Day Job.

This year, I’m going to focus on my much-neglected Blog that I started in 2015. Currently, I have something like five posts. If I meet my challenge, I should have 31 more blog posts to add to that by the end of the month.

Starting today.

Starting with this post right here.

I’m thinking that I’ll aim for 800 words minimum per post. Word-count usually comes pretty easily to me, so I should probably have a ceiling as well.

What’s a good limit? 1,200 words? 1,600 words?

I guess I’ll figure that out.

Got any other advice for me?

If you’d like more information on my previous challenges, I did a couple of interviews about the subject with my friend and fellow erotica author Angora Shade for her blog back in 2016. I encourage you to check both interviews out, along with the rest of Angora’s blog!
http://angorashade.blogspot.com/2016/04/story-day-may-challenge.html

 

http://angorashade.blogspot.com/2016/06/story-day-in-may-ends.html