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Dick art

May. 22nd, 2017 10:45 am
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The other day, while hanging out with Kyler Fey (author the new series from M-Brane Press, he got out some markers and pens and, working on his kitchen prep table, drew these three weird drawings of my cock. He has done this before (and also wrote about drawing pictures of his own cock twice on Braden Vaieux's body during their full day of fucking recounted in One Hundred Times), and for some reason each time he renders mine, he insists on making it appear as if it is not circumcised, as if there is an intact sleeve of skin that wraps almost all the way over my shroom-head even when I am erect. He even described it as uncut in his foreword to One Hundred Times (I amended that with my own footnote). In fact, my dick is cut, but every time he draws it, he depicts it as if the glans barely emerges from under the foreskin when I have a hard-on. He explained to me that he just thinks that it "looks that way" to him. He admits that this in untrue, but he adheres to the notion that my particular circumcision was done in a "non-standard" or "incomplete" way, because I have more of my frenum skin than he does. The first and second renderings are supposed to views from the underside of my dick, and that barbell-shaped object under the shrouded head represents the frenum piercing that I do, in fact, have. The other is top view, andhe tell me that the cloud of squiggles in the upper part of the image is sperm.

I had a dream early this morning that clearly emanated from a recent rereading of the scene early in Samuel Delany's Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders in which the protagonist Eric contrives to get his dad to make a pit-stop at the Turpens gas station/convenience store so that he can investigate a lead on a strange and amazing secret fag-sex restroom venue in the back of the place. In the eighteen minutes or so he is the store, he manages to hook up sexually with a bunch of men who later become his friends and lovers later on. In my dream I found myself in a place kind of like this, a public restroom that was particularly scabrous (this actually recurs in my dream a lot for some reason) with dudes going about various business. I saw a Latino dude seated on a toilet getting head from a fat older naked white man; I saw several dudes pissing at urinals and talking to each other; I saw a boy of maybe sixteen or eighteen years old squatting over a toilet, hovering over it without letting the skin of his ass touch the seat, trying to take a dump. He wore a Turpens baseball cap like the one I had bought in order to have a reason to be in the place, blades of blond hair falling over his oily forehead. I had the thought that I just needed to take a piss and leave because I wasn't going to be interesting to any of the guys for sex. Because, I realized, as I approach my 46th birthday, I have become really unattractive and schlubby. The reality is that I am consistently about 20 to 30 pounds overweight with wild swings one way and the other. Because I am on my feet most of the day for long days and usually seven days a week during high seasons at work, I have a lot muscle stamina (and awesome calves!), but it is undermined by my abusive drinking and erratic diet. I am starting to feel older and out of shape and kind of like shit. This is how I felt in the dream in the Turpens rest/sexroom and how I really feel. This is a pic of me from today in a real restroom. I enhanced it to emphasize my flaws. That weird blackness on my chest is the scruffy result of not doing anything to remove my patchy gross chest hair for the last year. I am only talking about this to myself because I think I might be getting more okay with all this.

Kyler Fey, on his Tumblr blog yesterday, related that he had an “mpreg”-content sex dream in which he was knocked up by Justin Bieber, assisted by his own real-life spouse. He turned the theme of this dream into a short little fictional sketch in which depicts himself as an inhabitant of an alien world that has been invaded by Bieber and his “thugs.” Bieber forces himself on Kyler, undergoes a “knotting” phenomenon during this mating, and leaves Kyler pregnant. Later this child sires a whole generation of Justin-copies.

Because there appears to be a good deal of interest in mpreg among consumers of m/m erotica, I have considered that, as I release Kyler’s stories through M-Brane Press, I should perhaps tag them for that content. But I am never sure if it’s appropriate because none of his material is all about that. It shows up a lot, but it’s not necessarily the focus and therefore might not have enough of that concept to be of real appeal to fans of the sub-genre. Also, it varies considerably in how it's usually depicted in paranormal shifter stories or yaoi mpreg romance.


Kyler’s Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys stories repeatedly feature mpreg in various forms:

  1. In the very-shortly-upcoming The Twilight Boys at the Earth’s Core!, the part-plant boys have a reproductive option a lot like what Kyler describes from his dream story: a sort of vagina in their bellies, entered by the breeding male’s penis through their navels. 
  2. Elsewhere, the titular race of The Intersex Boys of Venus have a vaginal opening in between their anus and their testicles, and they require sexual intercourse with cis-males in order to get pregnant. Neither of these sex-variant groups appear to be able to achieve pregnancy through sex with each other, though they do have recreational sex with one another. 
  3. While the “knotting” phenomenon is not emphasized in Intersex Boys and does not appear to have been experienced by Braden and Patrick during their extensive mating with the Venusian maphs, it is established as a possibility in one chapter of The Strange Case of the Tattooed Twink. In what is intended in-universe to be a fictionalized flashback to the time of main character Braden Vaieux’s conception and birth, Braden’s father Radyn Vaieux experiences knotting. In the scene, Radyn is a paramilitary commander who has captured an enemy ship crewed entirely by a crew of young males who are implicated in an earlier mass-murder atrocity. He orders his men to rape all of their captives as a form of retaliation for the previous crime, and he takes for himself one named Cade Mutara who turns out to be a maph who is undergoing his “heat” and is ready to mate-bond with a fertile male. Their intense fucking, during which Radyn’s cock knots and he discharges a freakish amount of semen, results in Cade’s pregnancy with Braden, and with Radyn apparently mate-bound to Cade permanently. 
  4. In Twilight Boys, Zane experiences a phenomenon with Timothy while immersed with Tim in his bathpha tank. During anal intercourse with Tim as the insertive partner, it appears that Tim’s cock expands radically in size, and Zane imagines that he can see the head of it pressing his belly outward from inside his body, but it remains somewhat unclear as to whether this was a “real” experience or something that Zane imagined while in an altered mental state. 
  5. In Fey’s standalone novel FagJuv (possibly coming out by end of this year), the protagonist (also named Kyler Fey—he names characters after himself a lot)  fucks and impregnates a teenage maph boy, and he experiences knotting during this sex act. 
  6. The Spunk-Angels of Mars will, Kyler tells me, establish that the Unsuitable Boys core character Trace Battle once impregnated the maph jeddak of Kasei Vallis on Mars while working as a breeding slave and is the bio-father of the Martian ruler’s heir. 
  7. Core character Colin Vorta is himself a maph but is on a regimen of birth control to regulate his heats and prevent pregnancy from his constant vaginal sex with his teammates. 
  8. A short story contained within Fey’s sex-confessional One Hundred Times dramatizes an mpreg-themed sex role-play episode that Fey engaged in with the young man with whom he continually had sex during the period of the narrative. In this story, Kyler assumes the role of a Martian ruler and his lover assumes that of his son.  Since there are a fair number more episodes planned for Kyler's serial, and since mpreg is an established fact of that universe, I may revise listings to include mention of it.

From the Kyler Fey Tumbl (link below); he evidently has the books on the brain judging from his new dream journal entry. M-Brane Press is releasing his Commander Jace and the Strange Case of the Tattooed Twink possibly as soon as tomorrow. Though Intersex Boys of Venus is already out, this new one is properly the first episode of his series, so we might offer it as a free book for a little while in some venues.

That post has a couple examples of cool cover art from that ancient
genre. Here's a couple more that I just happen to have sitting around for some reason.


Mar. 5th, 2017 07:13 am
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Last week when I was putting up Kyler Fey's new novellas in the ebook stores, I was a little bit baffled as to why every venue has a different hierarchy of categories. The print versions were easy enough to categorize the way I wanted them to be when I assigned the ISBN and arranged for print distribution, but the three ebook stores (Kindle, iBooks and Kobo) into which I placed them all varied. The most cumbersome was Kobo because for some reason I was not able to include "erotica" as a category without assigning  "romance" as its primary category. This is because in their categories system, pretty much all fictional genres except romance fall under "fiction," but "erotica" is not a sub-category of "fiction." It only shows up under romance, and when one tries to select that in combination with "science fiction," one is blocked by the rule of not being able to use catgeories from both fiction and "non-fiction." Which I would not consider romance to be, but anyway there  it was. I did end up sticking them both in romance because I felt it was fairly important to get them tagged as erotica (since they are both filled about eighty percent by volume with explicit depictions and discussions of m/m sex). But we actually consider them to be part of a serial of gay erotic "science fantasy" (some later installments of the series which I have gotten to examine also tread into supernatural horror).

Since I don't read a lot of genre literature crafted as "romance," I figured that I was probably not fully informed as to what makes it that. I know that its a multi-genre mode in that there can be contemporary settings, historical settings, science fictional settings, etc. But I wasn't entirely clear on what unifies all of this under the romance umbrella, and if erotica in general is under that umbrella or not (it's not necessarily). So I checked out submission guidelines for a few publishers who release a lot of Kindle books to see what they are shopping for when they say "romance." Here's what I did not know in my ignorance of the form, and which surprised me: it is evidently very deliberately formulaic in its construction in that whatever happens in the story, it is the expectation that every story conclude with a "happily ever after" (HEA) or at least a  "happily for now" (HFN) ending. I think every guidelines page that I read mandated this formula.This made me sit back and think for few moments. In most other genres--especially ones where the authors have some ambition of crafting "Real Literature" out of their SF or F or H concept--writers are constantly trying to subvert or evade the formulas. They'll get lauded when they succeed and their books are considered to be "better" than formulaic genre fiction. In fact it's a fairly common knock on a book that the reviewer didn't much like was that it was "formulaic." TV shows and movies are routinely panned over hewing too closely to an obvious formula (even though they all pretty much do so on purpose). So the story, in this mode, is really about learning how the characters reach their HEA state, because you know already that's where it's headed. The ending is not in doubt. There will be happiness. In this sense, the form reminds me of another very formulaic one that I got a lot of pleasure from when I was a kid and a teenager and even once in while still as an adult: Star Trek tie-in fiction.  I read tons of it in my youth, have a couple boxes of it still in a closet (only reason it's not out and shelved is because I dont have enough shelves), and once in a while will go back to one of those novels when I want something easy to digest. Like these romance novels, those Star Trek novels (many of which include romantic subplots) all ended HFN. You knew there was going to be another crisis, another adventure later on, but at the end of each story, things were pretty much reset to normal, the characters were all alive and well, and the mood was good.

So, are Kyler's books "romance" by formula? Intersex Boys of Venus ends with portents of an ominous threat that is not resolved and has yet to be fully uncovered (it's chapter 5 of a serial). But it does focus on two boys who plainly love each other a lot, but their relationship is not depicted as all that "romantic" in that they didn't just meet and fall in love etc. There's a little taste of HFN between them in their final scene of the novel, but then that's immediately followed by a creepy foreshadowing of future problems for them. One Hundred Times (the b-side of the print double with Intersex Boys) ends sort of HFN between the main characters, but it's also implied that they'll probably never see each other again, and it is explict throughout the book that the entire purpose of their relationship was fucking. They were never in love, and the narrator at one point grapples with feelings of "crushing" on his short-term sex partner and tries to bat those feelings away with rationality. So that's not a romance either, at least by formula. It's also true that the storyline is actually a thinly-veiled account of something that Kyler did in real life, so one probably wouldn't expect a memoir to hew to a genre formula in the way one would expect a romance novel to do so.

I'll be spending some time today on final formatting of the next episode of the serial, titled The Strange Case of the Tattoed Twink. The accompanying picture is the illustration for its cover. [updated to note that while this illustration was used for the final book, we changed the color of it].
After a few years of not releasing anything new, my little M-Brane Press is starting to be back in business a little bit. This year's first project is a gay erotica science fantasy serial by Kyler Fey. The "official" announcmentof it with links to the ebook sites is on the M-Brane Press site. Its first installment is a 35000-word novella titled The Intersex Boys of Venus. It's available in print, back to back in "double" format with One Hundred Times, Kyler's memoir about an intense hook-up with a young man who inspired a lot of the details about a main character in his serial. Both books are out separately in electronic form on Amazon, iBooksand Kobo.

The author, who likes to write a lot more than he likes to self-promote, has been encouraged (rather forcefully) to use more social media, and has chosen Tumblr as a venue. He has managed a couple/few posts about the book, including a little excerpt from the next installment. I am not immediately starting a lot of aggressive promo of the thing in the guise of M-Brane Press quite yet because I would like there to be at least one more installment of the serial published so that we can act more like it's a real series than a one-off. The total project has twenty-one installments. About half of them appear to have the major work of their writig complete, but they are all still missing some content. A few more of them exist only as a titles and synopses, but I am assured that they will manifest as complete works soon enough. I have been promised that I might have a new complete installment in hand as soon as tomorrow.

Originally, I was looking for a project whereby M-Brane Press could get in on the erotic ebook thing with a long series of little "quickies"--a lot of those Kindle books are really just short stories. The plan was to roll out a lot of them, or maybe even all of them, all at once and then put together one of those ebook "box sets" of them and also a print omnibus edition. But if they are all going to end up being novella-length like Intersex Boys, then the single giant print book
might be impractical. But I am still planning some sort of print format for the series--because I like making print books--but I haven't decided if they are all going to be doubles like this first book. It will probably depend on final page-count of some of these episodes. 

Annoying Dream:
For some reason, I've lately been having dreams in which I somehow end up in a wooded park and find myself getting lost and running into dead ends as I try to navigate its trails and roads. This park is a real place from my boyhood, a fairly large and heavily wooded park in the town in which I was born and lived until I was thirteen. It had (and I presume still has) hidden trails, a couple of weird bodies of water, an old stadium, a police shooting range, some assorted attractions like a public swimming pool and a dirt-and-gravel road that cuts through its back regions, but which doesn't really go anywhere--it just loops back around to where you started. But in some iterations of this dream, I am either walking or driving that road and somehow just can't quite find my way back out of the park. The road forks in strange ways, generates long sidepaths that dead-end in the woods or run into a large lake (there was in real life swampy flooded lake-like algae-choked area of water there that one could get to by following a dead-end path from the main road--and where it was believed that teenagers would go to fuck in their cars--but nothing nearly so large as the dream lake). In last night's version of the dream, instead of following the endless ever-changing road, I got similarly disoriented on a trail that cut through the woods and followed a narrow shallow stream. This trail and that stream were real things back in those days, too. During the summer when I was twelve, I frequently ventured down this trail by myself and masturbated. I enjoyed doing this outside so much that it became a nearly daily habit that summer even on rainy days, always standing in the same hidden spot and squirting on a clump of milkweed. It's amazing that I was never caught doing this because, while the path itself and my favorite spot on it were quite hidden from view, it was still traveled pretty frequently by other kids who liked to use it to cut aross the deep foresty middle of the park and feel some kind of sense of adventure from doing so. But I always got away with it. In fact, the only thing I was ever seen doing with my fly open was pissing in the stream that ran next to the trail, but that was totally non-controversial as it was absolutely standard for every boy who ever went to that part of the park to piss in that stream as if it were a long public trough-style urinal. In this dream from last night, I was on that same path, and I remember so many vivid details of it that makes me feel like my old impressions of it had risen whole and unchanged from some deep geological layer of memory. In the dream, I didnt jerk off and wasn't in the least bit horny enough to want to do so anyway, because I was intensely frustrated at how long circuitous the trail had become, and how it seemed that no matter which direction I went, I was just getting farther and farther away from the park's exit. At one point, I decided it would somehow be faster to simply go back the way I came and quit trying to find the end of the trail, but then the way back had changed, as if the path had been reworking itself behind me as I trod the woods' depths. Eventually, I made myself wake up. I can't always do this, but occasionally I have the ability to realize while in dream-space that I am probably dreaming and can just put an end to whatever dumb situation is going on by waking myself up.

New book project:
I am well into the editing and revision phase of a long project that I will probably release through (the long dormant) M-Brane Press hopefully later this year as both a series of ebooks and a single big print volume. It's a gay pornographic science fiction thing with elements of planetary romance and cosmic horror, set in a fantasy version of the Solar System several centuries from now, centered around a cast of specially-endowed characters that work almost like a Doc Savage-type secret organization to save the world again and again from various insidious threats (while continually getting their rocks off). I started it last summer, and added over fifty thousand words to it as my NaNoWriMo project last November, and it's been kind of growing gradually since then. I may release it pseudonymously, not because of its content but more because its built on the conceit that it's an assembly of several dudes' diary entries put together by an editor many years after the events described. So I think I will credit the book to its imaginary editor. It's become a lot more complicated, elaborate, nuanced, weird and just plain longer than what I had intended at the outset (which was just to knock out some quickie Kindle porn really fast and see if anyone would actually buy it), so I am months behind my own deadlines on it. The original idea was to release it as a bunch of ebooks, each "book" really just being a chapter in a serial. Typically these erotic Kindle books on Amazon tend to really just be four or five thousand-word short stories, and sometimes even shorter than that. My project is currently mapped out to have twenty-seven of these "books", each with a number and a lurid subtitle (I was kind of inspired to that number by Mark Danielwski's The Familiar, which he intends to tell in twenty-seven massive volumes). These individual book segments tend to be clocking in at around ten to twelve thousand words (and they get longer as I lard them up with "scholarly" footnotes) so a bit longer than is typical for the Kinde erotica format, but that's for the best, I think. I find a lot of that stuff to be too brief and not sufficiently fleshed out (and just plain awful) anyway. The final number of chapters may change by the time I am done, because a few of the unfinished ones seem to not need to exist anymore, while a couple of new ones that weren't even in the original outline have grown up and become important to the story arc. Also, I a few months ago, I had more or less decided to kill off one of the characters and excise him from the whole storyline because he didn't seem to be doing much of anything important, and I thought I maybe had too many major characters anyway (nine of them). But more recently, I kind of fell in love with the lad when he suddenly needed to be at the center of a couple new plot threads due to his special ability (he paints and draws stuff derived from prophetic visions). So he stays.
Feeling need to talk to my journal about random topics, no particular logic to it:

Jeffy and I are going to Curacao next Thursday. This is the first actual vacation we have taken since 2002 when we went to Mexico. Curacao was a somewhat last-minute choice. We'd been planning a trip to France, but it got all off the rails for reasons too tedious to recount. Basically, we procrastinated our planning too long, weren't going to meet J's requirements for that particular trip, decided not to spend the money if it wasn't going to be right. But I was still determined to go somewhere completely away from home. We'd heard of this former Dutch colony just a few miles off the shore of Venezuela but we knew nothing about it. Now we are very excited about it. We have a suite in the capital Willemstad, which town evidently looks like this:


I certainly didn't need a new one of these to start up just now, but that's the way it goes. This is the opening segment of what turns into a haunted house tale of sorts later on:

Mud, made of red clay and the inches of rain that had deluged the land for the previous two days, finally stopped the driver of the old truck that was to have conveyed me the last few klicks to the Sanitorium Melancthon. It was not that his tires were yet mired, but rather that he wished to avoid that hassle, which he saw coming too soon down a road the pavement of which was probably two centuries decayed and which had been getting gradually more so as we drove. You’ll need to finish on foot, sir, he said. I’m sorry, but I’ll go no further in this mess. I paid him the full fare, pulled on my rucksack and trudged forward between ruts full of black water. The rain didn’t fall hard, but it was insistent and a bit too cold for that hot season.Read more... )

The water dreams are back. In these dreams, I am usually driving somewhere that I don't want to go and I find that as I proceed the road that I am on is too close to edges of bodies of water or that there are vast expanses of water to either side, and eventually the road starts to get washed out and I am trapped in some hopelessly cut-off swampy or oceanic area with no possibility of going forward nor any chance of retreating the way I came. I have been bothered by these dreams for most of my adult life. I went for a while without remembering one, but they recur a lot lately. I don't like it at all. I hope that when I am in Curacao by the ocean and on the floating bridge and in the floating market and driving a rental car within view of the ocean that some switch will flip back off and get rid of these dreams for a while.

Another ongoing work-in-progress caused me to do some quick Googling to determine if I could easily get an answer as  to whether, in the real world, something could somehow change with the genetic information transmitted in a human male's sperm as to make it somehow not really his genetic info anymore but rather that of an exomorphic entity.Read more only for TMI... )
So, in last night's post of random thoughts about Delany's Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, (the heartrending conclusion of which I'd just reached), I stopped while still wanting to consider to what extent the novel is science fiction and to what extent it is pornography, the genre labels which its author affixes to it (and we already stipulated that it is Real Literature based on the fineness of its writing and the lovely architecture of its narrative).

If SF is still supposed to be that genre where differences between the current real world and the world of the fiction are expressed in terms of scientific and technological changes that may happen in the future (or in an alternate history), then Through the Valley... fits genre-well in that its timeframe reaches into the eighth decade of this century (the Future), and indeed there are a number of science/tech advancements that affect the lives of future people, even if Eric and Shit remain rather isolated from them, quite on the sidelines of it all. But SF has also been far too rigidly, even ideologically, defined as a literature where the entire story and everything about it hinges totally on a principle of science or future tech without the presence of which the entire enterprise collapses and it is no longer, by definition, science fiction. Or: if the same, exact story could be told without the science/tech element, then it's not SF. I have to say that this narrow conception of the genre hamstrung for many years my own attempts to write in it, made me feel I couldn't even try to tell such a story if I didn't have some kind of plausible, ironclad scientific linchpin holding the whole thing together--as if a cadre of real scientists were going to review my work and denounce it as impossible. If SF were to be defined so dogmatically, then maybe Delany's book doesn't make the cut. Because the same story could certainly be told without the futuristic details that abound as the narrative moves later into the century. He could have had the 2030s and 2070s look exactly like our own present year and completely ignored the likelihood that tech and the way people behave around each other may evolve, that cultural norms may shift, that things--as much as they stay the same--will still look different. But that would have been weird, and maybe ridiculous, and certainly detrimental to a story that really must start when it does in real-world years and end when it does in future years. No, what Delany wrote here is SF whether or not it fits a strict Golden Age/Old Men of Science Fiction definition of the genre. And, besides, he's bent the hell out of that old mold for fifty years and is one of the best practitioners of the genre ever. Doubt it? Then read Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, one of the greatest achievements of space opera ever and packed with more "science" stuff than most writers and readers can easily apprehend in a single book. So, science fiction: check.

But is it also pornography just because it has a lot of graphic sex in it? And it really does have a lot of graphic sex in it, almost, maybe more than is really reasonable even for a novel such as this, so much that the individual scenes occasionally seem far too long and too back-to-back and too repetitive of stuff that happened earlier (but this may be on purpose, pushing the reader to slog through it, because within all this surfeit of bodies and fluid are constantly-discovered little gems about the characters as real people--but you have to work for them, all the while reading about a lot of cocks and cum and snot). It's also a range of sexuality that seems designed to push pretty much every single reader outside his/her comfort zone--even a nearly-no-limits fag like me. The Venn diagram with the deeply purple-shaded area that represents the overlap of every single kink and predilection depicted in this novel's sex-content probably, in real life, contains no one at all (maybe the author himself? But I wonder). So is it porn if its intent/result is not just to titillate, arouse, induce masturbation? As sexy as some of it was to me as I read it, I never responded to it as I might to something tailored as porn for my particular biases and kinks. But if porn is a form or sub-genre within the fantasy genre, then maybe this is a giant accomplishment in that genre.

[Wait, what's fantasy? The intrusion of un-reality? magic? suspension of consensus-reality rules?]

Because in this world that Delany describes, the sex ain't ever bad. It is always consensual and pleasurable--even when among immediate family--and it is always available in the most unlikely locations and at the weirdest times. If you are horny in this world, you will get promptly laid. If you like it with multiple partners at once, they are at your disposal. Any kink you can imagine getting off upon will be available. A truck stop and a giant movie theater are well known as places for public sex among men and they exist openly, totally un-harassed by the law and society (save for some occasional interference from the ineffectual background villain Johnston). Likewise a "Gay Friendly Rest Room" at the market (which scene, by the way, involves some seriously funny comic writing). The protag Eric has a fetish for piss, and so there exists for a while a bar that is designed to make his  fantasies real, almost as if it were put into business years before specifically anticipating his arrival in town. This is why the porn of Through the Valley... is a whole different thing than the porn of Delany's earlier novel Hogg (written way, way back even before Dhalgren but not published until many years later). There's no horror, coercion or brutality in this newer book. Instead, it's a sex utopia. Fantasy, even if it's not your particular personal fantasy. So, if porn is fantasy-about-sex, then this novel works easily, almost silkily and insidiously, within that definition. 

But is a utopia (science-based or sex-based) of any kind, where everything's easy, inherently boring? I think I just read about one that's not. 

Finished this evening reading Samuel Delany's Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. I did this while baking chicken that was later to join avocados and tomatoes and radishes and cucumbers and scallions in a salad for our dinner. I'm glad I didn't finish it earlier this afternoon, when I had the book in my hands while doing laundry. Because then I probably would have been weeping in public at the laundromat instead of alone in my kitchen (Jeffy was away in the front room). 

And I look again at its last page--its very last paragraph, which is this:

--and woke, thinking, in the dark. No. I have a bit more time. He relaxed before the rumoring sea.

And that's not sad at all. It's a relief. But the pages that preceded it, that last awful movement of the shared life story of the two protagonists, those moments before the two together became one alone, were extremely hard to take. I knew what was coming hundreds of pages away and didn't want to experience it, but I needed to know the details anyway because I adored those characters. It's not the common novel that follows two people in life and love from their teens years all the way until their late eighties and end of life in the late 21st century. 

I worked for a couple of years as the cook for a residential (and end-of-life) facility for people with dementia. I thought of them a lot as I read about Eric Jeffers' and Shit Haskell's final days together. I have a grandmother who, at 96 years of age, still lives in reasonable health but has less and less memory as time passes, particularly of anything that happened more recently than three decades ago. And less still of anything that happened today. 

The last couple hundred pages of the book, read over the last few days, which dwell more and more upon aging (and which are almost interrupted from time to time by funerals for and mentions of the deaths of characters from earlier in the book), have made me feel older. No, that's not true. It's made me think about being old more than I normally do. Age--my own aging, if I actually live to be truly old--has always been a dismaying abstraction that I'd rather set aside. But what will it really be like, and what will it really be like for me and my partner should we grow that old together (as I increasingly suspect we will)? The characters in this story, Eric and Shit (I won't sanitize it here by using his "proper" name Morgan--he didn't like it and, at his own insistence, nobody hardly ever called him that) live, in their youths and well into their middle-age and later years, a fantastical (possibly preposterously so), sex life with each other and with others, much of it rendered for the reader in detail that Delany himself always calls not "erotica" but rather "pornography." It's a distinction that I am not sure matters, but this book makes me wonder about it. I think about how my partner and I, together for almost thirteen years now, did not ever have anything approaching that crazy a sex life even in the early days (and know we never will in the future) and I wonder if we missed something. Would we have even wanted, in the most excessive fantasy mode of mind, to have had anything like the carnal world that Eric and Shit had? I don't think so. It's over the top. Theirs is a fantasy--it's speculative fiction. The novel becomes science fiction to some extent later in its course, but it's out-and-out fantasy early on. I think so anyway. But not sure if I have reasoned that out completely. 

There's an obnoxious 1-star review of Through the Valley... on Amazon (note to self: keep up with the policy of avoiding user comments on stuff) in which the poster complains generally about the porn element of the book  (I think because he doesn't think it's "hot"), and expresses incredulity that Delany is a published author of a number of books (revealing that he hasn't heard of Delany's long and broad career) and generally bagging on the quality of the writing. He then goes on to suggest that if one wants to read some REALLY interesting and transgressive shit, then one should read some other authors including Dennis Cooper. Years ago, I happened to select for back-to-back reading Dennis Cooper's Frisk and Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse, two fairly contemporaneous examples of creepy and squicky horror/murder-porn involving gay characters. Brite's book--regardless whatever any of its detractors may have said about it--didn't blink. It was a fucking horrifying story with a godawful climax and a horrendous denouement, a total success in its mode. Cooper's, on the other hand, did blink. It ended with a sort of "just kidding" or it "it was all a dream" wrap-up. When I read that one, I wondered if the author had planned something else but then fell too much in love with his protag to let it happen. I guess I don't have anything else to say about that other than anyone who thinks that Cooper is a better novelist than Delany needs to read a lot more books. I respect Cooper's work...but damn, he's no Delany.

I gather that part of the aesthetic intent of Through the Valley... is to fuse the contemporary "literary" novel with science fiction and pornography. That the book is Big L literature is plainly apparent, but whether it is also really science fiction or really pornography might be open to discussion. I might take that up in a later post, but not now (cuz not quite done wiping away tears and snot from how sad those last few pages were!)
I am past the half-way point of Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders (Samuel Delany) and still liking it a lot. It's actually become easier to enjoy as it's gone on, but one side-effect is that its characters and locations are seeping into my dreamscape. But what's really weird is that it somehow seems to have somehow seeped into my boyfriend's dreamscape as well, and he has never read a word of the book! And I hadn't told him anything about it either (he finds it intensely tedious if I try to explain to him what I am reading). We were in the living room a few nights ago and I dozed on the couch. During this short nap, I had experienced a fleeting snippet of a dream set in what my mind has constructed to be the house that the main characters live in, a small, shabby thing in a small coastal Georgia town. When I awoke, I told him that I was heading to bed and that I'd just had a dream about this shack in Georgia, a setting of that novel. Then J said, "I had a dream last night that was in some kind of shack like that." Then he described how, in the dream, he became involved with people who were having all kinds of incestuous and kinky sex. I asked him if there as an older white guy there. He said there was and added that there was also a younger mixed-race dude and a young blond guy. In other words, he saw the book's lead characters in their home. Not sure how or why he managed to have this dream, but it's super-weird. I am not aware of any past situation where have shared dream-content like this but now I want to encourage him to talk about his dreams more often. He doesn't like to do that, always says he can't remember much, but I am going to ask a lot more now. 
I have been so busy with my work and with M-Brane projects that I keep putting off--and then never doing--a lot of entries that I've meant to make in the journal, (especially dream posts since remembering dreams and recording what I recall tends to fertilize my writer mind. Hence, no posts over the last four weeks). I've been trying to sleep a bit more. I have no trouble sleeping, but I get into phases, especially when work is demanding, of staying up too late trying to work on side projects, read, listen to podcasts or just jack around on the web. So I have been making myself most nights get at least seven hours in bed. When I get enough sleep, and get closer to well-rested, I tend to have clearer recall of dream situations and imagery. Unfortunately a lot of what I have been remembering lately is drearily realistic, literal rehashes of events from work or dream extrapolations of what might happen tomorrow at work. But there have been a few oddities worth remembering centered on three very common themes in my dream state.

Food dreams: Most of these lately have been literal and work-related, but a couple notable exceptions: 1) I dreamt that I visited a new restaurant located in a small corner of an ancient colluseum-style building which specialized entirely in egg salad. They had dozens of formulations of egg salad and many different styles of bread. There was an egg salad with copious smoked trout and capers and dill in it, served on a toasted rye bagel. There was another one mixed with pulled pork and chili pepper mayonnaise, wrapped in a thick fresh flour tortilla with avocados. Another one was a mixture containing yogurt, cucumber, mint and "gyro meat" served with wedges of grilled pita. I could go on and on, but you get the point. A total egg salad concept restaurant. I wonder if such a thing exists. As one who loves egg salad, I think it's a brilliant idea; 2) I prepared a cookbook for publication, compiling its text and images on a large device like an iPad, but huge. It was embedded in the steel surface of a work table and was probably at least a meter wide. In a larger version of my home kitchen, Jeff assembled show plates of our new dishes and photographed them. As he took pictures they instantly appeared on my table-sized screen and I slid them into place on pages with my fingers.

Sex dreams: These happen constantly, but are usually unremarkable unless there is an odd juxtaposition of sex and location, or an unexpected partner. 1) One recent dream involved a sex act with a non-human phenomenon which is difficult to describe. In the dream, it was called a "variable state wave," and it took the form of a hazy reddish-orange, luminous field in which I was partially enveloped. It responded to my actions, and me to its, but it was not an item of technology, not some kind of strange sex toy. I understood it to have a sentience though I could not communicate verbally with it. But it was totally interactive: I wanted something from it, but it also wanted something from me, and I intuitively understood its desires. It made sense in the dream context, and even though it seemed like nonsense after I awoke, I kept remembering it with some enthusiasm later in the day. 2) I found on a website a series of black-and-white videos of myself engaged in various auto-erotic activities. It developed that various people that I know in real life were aware of the site containing these videos and had seen them. I felt some anxiety that I did not know how these videos were made nor how they got posted online. But a conversation with a friend allayed any fears I had about it when he assured me that the videos had been up for years and that they were well regarded as examples of my "creativity" by everyone who knew me. 

Water dreams: While I generally like the food dreams and the sex dreams, I do not like the water dreams and I do not like that I seem to be in a new phase of them. "Water dreams" is my name for a broad category of dreams in which almost anything can be happening, but they always involve traveling somewhere, usually by car, and finding myself in some kind of swamped terrain where the road gradually becomes covered by water and where bodies of water appear and widen around me and make it constantly more difficult to get anywhere. The mood of these dreams ranges from merely frustrating to truly terrifying. I don't know why these happen, but they have recurred my entire life. I wonder if the water is some kind of archetype that my subconscious employs to illustrate stress or feelings of not being in control of things. Whatever it is, I don't like it. When one of these occurs during early morning sleep, when I am getting closer to wakefulness, I can sometimes wake myself out of it. Yesterday morning, I was stuck in one of these situations, and within the dream itself, I looked at myself as if in a mirror and said, "You're not having this dream anymore. It's not happening. You don't need to find a way around the water. Just wake up." And I woke up.

I'm not sure that I've mined much inspiration out of any recent dream activity, but I may add the egg salad restaurant into my current work-in-progress. And I if I ever had a bunch of extra money and wanted to open a restaurant again, I just might make it real!
My current work-in-progress—that novella that I have posting section of on Facebook and on my LJ—involves a Lovecraftian cult in the background of the story, and I decided to talk about the sexual practices and mores of this cult. I thought some kind of “magic” involving sex would be fun to add into the mix. So yesterday, I was looking into the matter of “sex magic” and “auto-erotic” spiritual practices, including those promulgated by the occult groups with which Aleister Crowley was involved in the early years of the 20th century. Somehow my research got a bit sidetracked, and I stumbled upon a gay porn site, one of the really funny ones that evidently originate in a non-English-speaking country, but where all the text on the site has been translated—very poorly—into English. The site contained several rather wordy paragraphs of text, supposedly describing various videos that one could see a preview of or download. Oddly, all of the pics accompanying the text blocks were on a single theme: medical examinations, randy doctors and their lovely patients. But the accompanying text described a much wider range of activities, or at least seemed to from what I could glean.

As I read through these bizarre paragraphs of near-nonsense, weirdly computer-translated, I found them strangely interesting in their syntax and word choice. There were broken sentences of 12 or 15 words of sheer gibberish, but then this might be followed by a phrase or clause that seemed almost lovely. I started to imagine that this text could work for live performance if one wanted to present a ridiculous parody of a pretentious Beat poetry or slam poetry reading. I imagined William S. Burroughs sitting in a smoke-hazed café somewhere in 1960, stoned on heroin, listening to a young poet reciting this text, someone in the background tapping on a bongo drum.

So I copy/pasted several paragraphs of text from the porn site, and spent about ten minutes editing them into the following gay erotic “poem,” overbearingly titled “Learning My Opener-Word: Nut-Fogged Impressions of the Orgy Years in the Twink Gay Fora…A Found Poem.” I did not add any language to what I snagged from the porn site. All I did was delete words and add punctuation, emphasis and capitalization occasionally. I didn’t even rearrange the order in which I found it, or mix sentences from different paragraphs. What follows is exactly as I found it, in the order I found it, just with my minor edits. Now, I would like for someone to perform a live café reading of it and capture it on video and post that video online. Then it will be Art, man!

The piece itself contains some sexually explicit language, so reader discretion is advised. Oddly, however, considering its source, it ended up not being as crazily pornographic as it might have been.

And now, without further delay, my newest work, “Learning My Opener-Word: Nut-Fogged Impressions of the Orgy Years in the Twink Gay Fora…A Found Poem.” 
Read more [adult content]... )
I had a remarkable dream early yesterday morning, a vivid and bizarre farrago of images and events, connected by a very strong and coherent narrative thread. I am away from home this weekend, visiting family in Wisconsin, and I wasn't able to pull away to write this post right away like I normally like to do with a dream post. But it was so vivid that most of the important elements are still strong in memory. 

I was at work, in a place that was a complex mixture of some of my current work locations with my current job and some past ones, including the little restaurant that J and I used to own. Co-workers present and past were there, and we were engaged in a number of busy activities such as preparing a restaurant to open, prepping food for an off-premise catered event, and prepping food to supply another restaurant. I was in the role of executive chef, directing all this food activity, while one of my co-workers was in the role of a dining room manager, supervising front-of-the-house operations. I cannot name this person, but we'll call him "Seth," just to have something to call him.

A situation arose where we needed to supply a bunch of quiche to one of our other locations, and I was trying to organize the prep on it and make sure we had the ingredients we needed (and that a gigantic steampunkish kitchen contraption called a "quiche engine" was ready for use) but Seth approached me and placed an arm around my shoulders, leaned in and kissed me on my cheeks and then lightly on my lips. I wasn't sure if this was some kind of mistake and was afraid to respond. As far as I knew, the guy was straight, and even if he weren't, I doubted that he would want to display such attention toward me in front of our co-workers. I considered that his judgment might be impaired or that he had intended to kiss someone else. But then he kissed me full-on (tongue) and I was pretty sure that he intended to do this, but I was still nervous about all this going in front of everyone in the middle of my kitchen. I was worried that he was creating an embarrassment more for himself than for me, and I didn't want to see him put himself in such a situation. But no one seemed to notice. Another co-worker (let's call her Elspeth) told me that we didn't need to make the crusts for the quiche because she had brought in a bunch "Libyan quiche crusts." With Seth still semi-hanging on me, biting at my neck and ears, I followed her to a loading dock where sat a huge heap of clear plastic take-out boxes each containing a pre-made quiche crust. These were a "Product of Libya." As Seth continued to try to make out with me, I told Elspeth that we probably couldn't use those crusts because of economic and political reasons.

Elspeth assured me that Libyan crusts were perfectly legal nowadays "after normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People's Jamahiriya." Seth kissed me more, getting me intensely, crazily aroused despite my determination to conduct professional business. I wanted to just take him away somewhere private and have at it, but the quiche crust situation could not be left alone. I told Elspeth that I didn't think that Libyan quiche crusts were legal even after normalization of relations. "Also," I said, "we absolutely cannot use a pre-fabricated crust for our quiche. If we are going to send quiches over there, then it needs to be the exact same quiche we serve here." Elspeth seemed to not get this very important point. Seth didn't care either. I told Elspeth that if she used the Libyan crusts and our boss found out about it, "he would freak right the fuck out."  This threat got her attention and she said, "OK, OK, I hear you," and she scurried away to make our normal quiches. "Now," Seth said, mouth more or less against mine, "can you forget about the fucking quiche for a minute and pay attention to me?"

From that point on, the dream became more or less pornographic, so I won't recount its details here except to say that we did some of our getting-it-on in a space underneath the massive "quiche engine," which was kind of like a combination of a steam locomotive and ferris wheel.

Sometimes I wonder what, if anything, a dream might "mean." Sometimes, as weird as they are, they make a kind of sense as a sort of subconscious organizational scheme. Sometimes they seem to "file" stuff into their proper folders and tidy up some kind of clutter that's been lying loose in the back of the mind. Aside from the weird elements--the jumbled physical space of the dream, Seth wanting to make out with me, the quiche engine, Libya--much of it was a fairly mundane and realistic work dream. The issue of the quiche crust being right is an expression of a real issue at real work--not quiche in particular, but food quality and consistency in general. How I interact with these coworkers is a real-world consideration, too. The wildly implausible dream rendition of Seth asking me to forget about the quiche for a minute rings true even though it would never play out like that in reality. The total message of the dream, if there was one, was that I needed to relax a bit about some work-related concerns and see a clearer picture of some small things that had been nagging at me. It worked pretty well, and the fact that my subconscious sorted through these things in the mode of an erotic dream rather than a nightmare seems like a bonus. If I rated my dreams with a star scale, I'd give this one four out of five stars.
I have spent some of this New Year Day bragging anywhere I can find to brag about the very nice review at the cool new Rise Reviews site of M-Brane Press's queer spec fic anthology Things We Are Not. I am way pumped up that someone has taken a look at this book again and posted about it now, because for the most of the past year, it has not done well as far as selling copies, and I hope at least a couple more people will consider buying it now. It started out strong with a lot of pre-order sales ahead of its release in October of 2009, and it did earn just barely enough money to where it is now technically profitable, but I have yet to disburse any royalties to the authors because it seems really dumb to Pay Pal everyone barely four dollars (my usual practice with royalties is to pay them when we're at least at $10, which is a good way away from happening with Things We Are Not.) 

The book has not been reviewed very often, and not usually in a very comprehensive way like this new review of it by novelist Kelly Jennings who really seemed to "get" me in what I was trying to accomplish with it. Is the book the greatest thing ever? No, certainly not. Would I change some things about it if I could go back and do it over? Yeah, probably. But with a bit more than a year of hindsight on it, I still think it's pretty damned great and I am very proud of the range of writers and visions in it. 

I must admit that my stomach nearly dropped out as I was reading the review and I realized that she was going to comment directly on my own story, "The Robbie." 

Then I heaved a great sigh of relief when the reviewer seemed to understand and like the story I was telling or at least trying to tell. My nightmare, ever since I made the decision to include my own story in that book, is that a review would appear saying something like,

"While Things We Are Not is overall a very solid collection of daring short fiction, it is tragically marred by its editor's own entry, the abysmal  'The Robbie.' He should have kept this one to himself. Leave the writing to the writers, Mr. Editor."  

So I gotta tell ya, it was a big damned relief to see a nice review of "The Robbie" (and especially so from someone who does not know me and has no vested interest in flattering me). But all this made me reflect upon my decision to publish the story in the first place. I do not ever run my own fiction in my magazine, M-Brane SF. It's a rule that I imposed on myself at the beginning of it because being the one controlling the content could make it too easy for me to turn the zine into a platform for promoting myself (or make it look that way, at least), which I definitely did not want to do (though I would like to follow Oprah's example and start putting pics of myself on every cover ;) ). So my little handful of published fiction credits have all been attained fair-and-square by submitting for approval from another editor and publisher (even my Aether Age entry needed to pass muster with my co-editor, and he would have told me if it was crap). Except for "The Robbie" which I accepted for my own antho and never showed a single other set of eyes before it was published. And that's what's a little weird about my thought process on it: why did I not at least pass it by a single "beta" reader or even just ask my friend Brandon (H. Bell, of Aether Age and Fantastique Unfettered) to look at it and warn me if I was about to print some real garbage before I did it? I did, in fact, show him my foreword to the book (which is admittedly a somewhat haranguing piece) and he wisely got me to turn down the volume on it a little bit. But I didn't show him or anyone else "The Robbie" even though I knew they'd see it eventually.

Why? Oddly, I think it is because I was somewhat embarrassed by the way I probably reveal a personal sex fantasy with it. It is very graphic in several places with its depiction of sex acts, and somehow to just hand a single copy of it to someone seems like more of an exposure than publishing it far and wide. I'm kind of an exhibitionist anyway (I think a lot of writers are, and probably certainly ones who write erotica) and am happy to share what turns me on...but it somehow seems more comfortable to do that in front of a distant audience than directly with one person.

"The Robbie" is one of two sex-oriented stories that I wrote in 2009, inspired by dreams and written rather frantically first thing in the morning. The other was an untitled werewolf story, that I gave the working title "Wolven" (yeah I know that's been used elsewhere). After some additions and revisions to both of them, I really felt that "The Robbie" was printable if only there were a market for it. ("Wolven," on the other hand, is so transgressive and sick-ass that it may never see the light of day even though I do like it; it's become the troll under the bridge of my unpublished fiction). Things We Are Not became the market for it, and now I think it was maybe not such a bad choice.

Things We Are Not is available at Amazon in paperback and for the Kindle. 
On those rare occasions when I just say "fuck it, I'm sleeping for a long time tonight," and I end up getting about eight or nine more or less uninterrupted hours (usually a couple on the couch until Maus, the cat, ushers me to bed), I tend to have very weird and very long and drawn-out dreams of great detail and complexity (and usually with frustrating story-lines) during the last hour or two in bed. I haven't kept up on these dream journal entries lately (though old ones can be found by the tag below) but this morning's sleep-borne vision was so crazy and so genre-related that I must report it. Readers of more sensitive tastes should leave the room now, for this dream was imbued with the essence of Picard/Riker slash.

I'd imagine that anyone geeky enough to read my LiveJournal knows about slash fiction. But if not, a working definition: a fan-written fiction based on characters from TV, movies, and books centered around a couple of those characters having a (usually homo)sexual relationship with one another. Star Trek slash, centered on Kirk and Spock (K/S was the fanzine genre abbreviation in the old Universal Translator and Datazine guides, and that's where the "slash" came from), dates back almost to the beginning of Trek. 

So, back to my dream...I don't remember everything that happened during the several subjective days that this dream transpired over, but I vividly recall a sequence where I was in bed and naked with another dude. In the dream context, I understood without any difficulty that I was Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise NCC-1701-D. And I knew that my bed partner--while he did not look anything at all like actor Jonathan Frakes--was, in fact, Commander Riker, my "Number One." So while I looked basically like I do in real life, and while my bed partner looked basically like he does in real life (will not be saying who that real life person is publicly), we were, in fact, Picard and Riker. Except we also had a LOT of tattoos, way more than in real life. But here's where it gets weird and frustrating and starts to bear all the hallmarks of an early-morning dream: I am trying to, ya know, get it on with my Number One but the fact that our bedroom opens into the bridge of the Enterprise proves a constant distraction. People are continually trying to report stuff about the Romulans and some kind of nonsense from the Judge Advocate General's office and facts about the Medusans and shit about the DS9 wormhole, and my "Riker" is very, very interested in all of this minutiae, and I am continually cock-blocked. Until I finally woke up from this crazed Trek-sexual fantasia.

I hope someone reads this and then writes the slash-fic based on it.
Content advisory: this post contains mild references to pornographic media...

I was perusing a few homoerotic websites this morning--purely for purposes of research into a new fiction item that I am contemplating, you know--and I noticed some hilarious oddities in the descriptors posted along with a number of video clips. I wonder if these sites are compiled somewhere abroad and then translated not by actual people with really shaky English, but by computer. A few of the weirdest:

Read more... )

Because the mass-intellect of America as a whole is kind of on the dim side, with only occasional flashes of insight, it really shouldn't be a surprise that there has emerged a fairly large political movement none of the members of which have ever seen Pecker and who are completely humorless about being called "teabaggers" (even though they started it by sending tea bags to the White House; um, yeah, maybe run a quick Google-check before naming your movement next time; I would have seen that coming a mile away). I had been thinking lately that if this were not going on in real life, then it would be really funny...but it wasn't. Until now! 

LOL! That's Christine O'Donnell, the Republican Par-tay's fave for VP Biden's former Senate seat in Delaware. Well, that's not quite true. Actually Republicans who once considered Delaware a realistic pick-up in November are pissed as hell (at their own dumb-ass primary voters) that this crazy creep is now their candidate. Karl Rove fell all over himself the other night blasting her, basically doing the Democrats' work for them. I can't really stomach pulling up any real quotations from Rove, but he basically said that she is a really sketchy character who will certainly move DE from the easy GOP-pick-up column into the easy Dem-hold column this year, basically finishing off even the slim chance of a Repub takeover of the Senate. 

I have looked into her history a bit and it seems to me that she is sort of a dumb person's Sarah Palin. A Palin for people who like to gorge themselves at the Palin trough of right-wing fanaticism but can't quite grasp the delicate nuances of Palin herself. A Palin for people who need their rhetoric more fully pre-digested for easy comprehension. A less "elitist" version of Sarah Palin. A Sarah that talks to them at their own level. Since she has little chance of being elected, and would be a totally inconsequential Senator even if she were elected, I don't worry too much about her teabagger policies. Instead, I like making fun of her dumb-ass attitudes on sex (masturbation is not the answer, boys).

Or it would be fun to make fun of them, but then I always remember that there are lots and lots of people out there laboring under O'Donnell-style freakiness, and a lot of those people are probably experiencing real pain as a result. Teabaggers and "social conservatives," those people who think government has no business offering Social Security or Medicare but who do think that it is the government's business what you do in your bedroom or inside of your uterus, have a deep psychotic dysfunction when it comes to sex. They and their ancestors over the ages have been so successful at promulgating sexual paranoia and psychosis as normal that everyone else on Earth is in the weird position of having to stay quiet about it or sounding all "kinky" and "explicit" and "offensive."  Christine O'Donnell, like her kith and kin, profess to reject any role at all for non-procreative sexuality (despite the fact that nearly all sexuality ends up being non-procreative), and she is on record some time ago as opposing (male) masturbation:

"You're going to be pleasing each other. And if he already knows what pleases him, and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?"  --Christine O'Donnell

This is, of course, one of the oldest and rustiest saws in the insecure-hetero-chick toolbox, and it's completely laughable...or would be if some people didn't sincerely suspect it's true. Here's the deal, Christine (and all your friends): ejaculation is a physical imperative for human males and it will happen on a routine (if not daily) basis one way or another no matter what you think about it. So get over it. This has been the case since the dawn of humanity, hundreds of millennia before the emergence of your prudish religions and their conception of how everyone ought to live. Looking at just one age cohort, my own (dudes in their late thirties), I don't see a single one of them who has literally tens of thousands of children, so I know for a fact that every single one of them has probably expressed lots and lots of non-procreative male sexuality, sometimes with partners but probably the vast, vast majority of times all by themselves. This is, in fact, the norm. Not O'Donnell's silly view on it, (which happens to match the Catholic Church's official position on it). 

Here's another fact which may astonish social conservatives: even gay males, who supposedly live 24/7 the "Homosexual Lifestyle" in "the Gay Community" (which presumably includes lots and lots of daily anal sex with multiple partners--ask Rick Santorum about that) do not achieve the majority of their ejaculations with their partners any more than straight dudes in general or straight-partnered dudes do. I am sure that there does exist some number of guys, straight and gay, who still sincerely want to bone their partners of ten or twenty or thirty years every day and somehow manage to be granted consent for that, but for the other 99.9999999999999993 percent of us, there is the right hand (or the left if you are a weirdo...--kidding!!)

I recommend to Palin...err, I mean O'Donnell, the following websites. While they are full of cliches--debunking the idea that jacking off makes you go blind is almost as hoary as saying it does--and not necessarily brilliant, they might provide some basic insight into how these things work. This site purports to be a "Male Masturbation Handbook" aimed at young men (even though it seems to be single fairly short item...I'll show you a handbook!), while Jackinworld covers some of the same ground but with a lot more content, some of it interesting and some not. When "Beast" Obama finally sets up the concentration camps that some of the more extreme righties have been warning us of, people like O'Donnell will probably be made to look at websites like those with their eyes forced open Clockwork Orange-style. Just saying.

Last night's strangest dream was compiled out of science fictional geekiness, but with a strong overtone of secret, forbidden lust. I found myself traveling aboard (or was possibly an officer aboard) a space ship much like the Klingon ship from Star Trek pictured below. The interior of the vessel contained a bridge much like what one would see in movie/TNG-era Trek, but it also had portions of my home in it. For example, there was a library much like the room in which I am writing this post, but it was cast in a dim, reddish glow (I suppose an effect of it being a room on a Klingon spacecraft). I remember having an understanding that the library space was a primary purpose of this ship and that the books would be of major importance when we reached our destination. The captain of this vessel was actor Nick Stahl, looking much as he did in the 2001 film Bully

and he and I were evidently having an illicit sexual relationship, which required a lot of sneaking around to avoid the appearance of impropriety in the eyes of other members of the crew. The scene that I remember most clearly where this problem arose was one where we were on the bridge of the ship, and he told me that we needed to go to the library to discuss the planet Kaitain, and consider changing course for it. Evidently some elements of the Dune universe were working themselves into this dream milieu, since Kaitain is the homeworld of the Padishah Emperor. I had a strong feeling of anxiety that he was being too obvious. I thought that if any of the rest of bridge crew were paying attention, then they would see right through his scheme to get me alone in the library. But then we did manage to sneak away to the library, and once there started indulging our passion. He said, his mouth against mine, "Don't even talk about Kaitain. I don't want to hear about it." And that's about all I remember (without getting into a "too much information" situation), except that I noticed that the reddish glow in the library was actually caused by a hanging lamp that I built in wood shop class in eight grade. This lamp still exists at my father's house. It's basically a wooden box with a bunch of holes in it that I cut with drill press. Some translucent red plastic covers the holes from the inside, and it does indeed cast a reddish glow. 

When I decided to start noting some of my dreams in this Live Journal, my motivation was to record things that could one day inspire fiction, since I do indeed get such inspiration from dreams fairly frequently. This dream, however, does not seem to have a lot to offer in that regard, but it was such a weird amalgam of random stuff in my head from so many different sources that I decided to make note of it anyway. 
I think I might spend too many of my posts here complaining about ugliness, douchebaggery and decrosion. Be assured that I'm still going to do plenty of that in the future, but I am also going to make a more frequent point of highlighting beauty, anti-douchebaggery and awesome-sauce. So today I am directing everyone's attention to this fascinating blog by Mikey, the gay Minnesota hockey kid.

Yeah, I know, I am not a big sports dude. In fact, I'm probably about the furthest thing from it in all the intertubes, so it's a bit unusual that I am pointing people to what is in large part a sports-oriented blog. But I can't get enough of this one for some reason. Mikey's site is a remarkably honest, raw and often touching window into the life and thoughts of a kind of boy that it's gotta be really, really hard to be some days: a gay teenage athlete who is into playing hockey. Gay kids get a really shitty deal anyway: most of them have to grow through youth and adolescence denying who they really are, hiding their real nature, being afraid of being found out, pretending to be str8, and generally being made to feel like hell because of a characteristic that is as natural and normal as left-handedness or blue-eyedness..except left-handed blue-eyed people don't generally get verbally abused or physically assaulted for those things, nor do they often get suicidal about it. For a gay kid who loves sports and wants to play on a team, that probably adds another dimension of potential pain.

I never played any sports myself, so I don't have the experience of it, but I have always assumed (just based on the way that dudes treat each other in group situations) that hockey teams or any kind of team like that must be hot little pits of homophobia.  I am hoping that this is less true now than it probably was when I was a kid (If you read this, Mikey, I am older than hell, I was in college when you were born). But I don't know, since I wasn't part of it then and am obviously not now. Indeed, I think the only times the concepts of "gay" and "hockey" have linked up in my brain is when I would use that 1986 hockey movie Youngblood and its images of a young Rob Lowe's hot bare ass as porn back when I was Mikey's age...ok, well maybe that was just a few days ago, but still...

There wasn't even a web and websites and blogs back when I was that age (fuck, I feel sooo frakkin old already!), but if there had been such things back in the mid-80s, then it would have been the bravest boy ever who would have risked putting himself out there as a gay hockey kid with a blog like this. And it's still  true even now in our slightly more tolerant era. Mikey's site is thrilling in its courage, deeply charming in its honesty and, once in a while, pretty heartbreaking, too, such as the way that he reveals that the younger of his two brothers and one of his friends are the only two people in "real" life who know about his gayness. And, of course, the rest of us who know him about him in webspace. I know, know, and know what that must feel like. A lot of people in meatspace don't know about me either despite how out there I am in my online life.

Seventeen is a really weird age for any dude to be anyway: already totally a man and yet still totally a boy at the same time, and very, very, very much needing respect, love, a hug and a fucking break. So being all of that AND gay AND a hockey player has got to be all kinds of challenging. This kid is doing an awesome job of it.

[By the way, thanks to my Twitter friend, the writer Kelly Barnhill, who tweeted the link to Mikey's page yesterday--that's how I found out about him.]