Trauma

So… I don’t post many identifiable details here. My anonymity is something I hold close.

In December, I suffered through a traumatic event. I can’t go into specifics. But I was surrounded by the people I love, and I was cared for. I had support. I had help. They brought me through the darkness.

Coming back from that took a while. I was offered counseling; I refused it on principle. I thought it unnecessary. Better it go to someone more in need. I thought I could recover alone, and for so long I truly thought I was fine.

Someone said the wrong thing today. They knew as soon as they saw my face that they had made a mistake. The conversation fizzled out for a time. I went to be somewhere private so that I could collect myself.

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt what it’s like to be suddenly reminded of pain. It’s so visceral. My stomach clenched, and uncoiled slowly, and I couldn’t say a word. I felt that sudden wash of emotion all over again, not so much reliving the trauma, but hearing echoes of it all around.  Have you ever felt that? It’s difficult to parse into words.

I really thought I was doing okay, that I’d left it behind. Turns out it takes longer to fix a wound than you think.

But I am still loved.

I called someone who was with me, that day. We talked. I… processed. It takes time to heal, but it’s easier when you have a shoulder to cry on, and an ear in which to spill out your heart. The trauma becomes less so. Another scar to carry around.

I didn’t do any writing last night, and I think I will not be able to do anything tonight. But I’m okay. I’ll get through this.

//shay

Easy to love

She was light and hope, from a distance; all brilliance and beauty, charisma and kindness, a soul without measure and a kindred to all. She was the passion of a hundred soccer games, the home run in the final inning, the gold medal of every Olympics. She was triumph, and glory.

She was easy to love.

But her heart was empty, and her mind was bitter; ever she searched for one who would fly close enough to her flame, and risk burning to ash in her eyes. Ever she longed for one who would love her when she failed, when she could not be kind, when she hurt.

For love given to a mask, and not to the true soul within, is not love at all.

Love is not enough

“I’m thinking of leaving,” she said. I didn’t know what to say to her. I only watched, as she came close to crying, and tried to be sympathetic.

“He betrayed me. I can’t forgive, and I can’t forget. But I can’t leave yet. I don’t have any money, and I don’t even know if I want to throw away our relationship.”

My heart broke for what she had lost, and what she might still lose. “Have you talked to him?” I asked.

“We’re working on our communication. He’s trying,” she replied. “He knows what he did. I just don’t know if I’ll ever trust him again. I don’t know what will happen to us.”

She gulped, her voice suddenly lost. I knew I had to ask the question, and hope that the answer would be a good one. “Do you still love him?”

“We still love each other. We’re still committed to each other… I just don’t know how to fix this.” Her eyes wander, as if she’s fighting the words, looking for a distraction.

“Love isn’t enough,” I said. “Love is just the start. It’s the thing that’ll keep you wanting to get through the bad times together. If you can’t face that…” I shrugged. “Maybe it’s just time to let it go.”

“I still don’t have any money. I can’t leave with nothing.”

“I know.” I hugged her, awkwardly but with all the sincerity I could muster. “But you’ll get some. You’re tough. Maybe things will change between now and then.

Whatever happens, I’ll always be your friend.”

Sex tips

My torment by Amazon continues. Until then, let’s not let the lack of free porn depress us – time for some sex tips from a person who’s actually had sex, for people who’ve never had sex! (Unlike whoever writes Cosmo and whatshername from Fifty Shades!)

Don’t be afraid. No really, just don’t be afraid. You might be nervous doing it for the first time, but also horny and wanting things you can’t really name properly. This is going to scare you because you’re human. But it’s okay. Whatever you feel is normal. People have been scared of the unknown since the dawn of civilisation. Up to a point, you gotta trust your biological imperative to know what it wants.

Be sensible. Yeah, you can be horny, but come on – we’re not the sum of our animal instincts. They invented condoms and STI testing for a reason. Before you get all hot ‘n’ bothered, take a good, long, rational look at sex and make sure you’re not going into it blind. And no, I’m not talking about porn. Porn is unrealistic. Go to Planned Parenthood or something. They know their shit, they’ll make sure you know yours too.

Don’t get creative on your first try. Personal opinion time – if you’ve never done something before, you want to know the damn basics first. By this I mean your first time should probably be in a bed and naked, not up a tree dressed as a clown. You may want to fuck while dressed as a clown (and I am not judging, believe me) but one thing at a time, seriously. There’s a whole world of sexytimes out there for you to enjoy and in general there’s no rush. Best if you practice the boring kind of sex before getting kinky. If your partner wants to bring the kinky without you being ready for it, then you need to get a new partner who isn’t stupid.

Talking is okay. It is okay to talk during sex to make sure that all involved are enjoying themselves. I know people don’t talk in porn, but that’s because they have a fucking script – literally – that makes them look telepathic. Us normal people have to ask if it looks like our partner is grimacing in pain. No, it will not ‘ruin the mood’. It’s called being an adult who can articulate themselves without resorting to Jedi mind tricks.

Sexy stuff is not always sexy. And that’s okay as well. Personally, 90% of sexy talk makes me laugh instead of turning me on. I’d much rather be doing the actual fucking instead of talking about it, if you know what I mean. Everyone has their own preferences, and if something don’t get your motor running, then that doesn’t mean you’re broken or something. It just means you don’t get off on [insert sexy thing here that other people like]. (True story – I thought I was insane because I don’t enjoy French kissing all that much, but just the idea of a dick in lacy underwear makes me want to hump everything.)

Don’t sleep with someone who doesn’t respect your preferences. Don’t want to go down on a lady? Don’t want to take your socks off? Then don’t. Explain why by using your oh-so-clever ‘talking’ tactic mentioned above, preferably before sexytimes happen so everyone knows what the dealbreakers are. Again, it’s totally normal to have preferences and being forced to do something you really don’t want to do is a shitty move. (Addendum: you will sometimes do something you’re not into because you know your partner likes it. This is also normal and happens all the time outside of sexytimes. No, sexytimes are no different in that respect. Just don’t let yourself be pressured into it.)

IF IT IS NOT FUN, STOP DOING IT. Sex is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to have lots of sexy happenings, usually along the lines of everyone getting naked, rubbing body parts together in interesting ways, and ending in orgasms a-plenty. It does not have a script or a finishing line. It does not come with a magical set of instructions for producing said orgasms because PEOPLE don’t come with a magical set of instructions either. Basically, we’re all kinda making it up as we go along, but the one common factor to everyone is this: it is a thing you do, either alone or in company, and it’s supposed to be FUN.

And now I’m going back to crying at Amazon.

//shay

Yet another erotica trend

Billionaires.

Like cowboys, this is something I just don’t get. What in hell is the attraction of a guy (it’s ALWAYS a guy) who has more money than the Federal Reserve? Does anyone else spot the obvious problem – that 90% of problems can be solved by throwing unlimited money at them, thus effectively removing 90% of the possible avenues for dramatic tension?

And the other 10% inevitably occur as a result of the innocent/kind-hearted/peasant class woman suddenly being thrown into the billionaire’s world and having to teach him how to loooove. I want to shake erotica authors and scream IT WASN’T ORIGINAL WHEN PRETTY WOMAN DID IT, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK IT’S ORIGINAL NOW?!

I can’t help thinking this is a by-product of the whole ‘sweep you off your feet’ trope that never fails to make me roll my eyes. It’s boring, is what I’m saying. It’s the same story that’s been told for centuries and the big ideas of those stories are played out.

Yes, even erotica has big ideas, and no, it’s not always YAY SEX!

So I’m going to take my two stories and tell you the big ideas. Sort of. I don’t know, I’m mostly making this up as I go along.

Kathy’s World is all about betrayal and how someone deals with the aftermath. Kathy finds out that Mark’s been cheating, and the story follows how she copes with the loss – not just of him, but of the life she thought she had. That’s where the name comes from – the betrayal shakes up her world, and when the dust settles, she finds that where she ended up isn’t so bad if it means she gets to have someone (Eddie) who’s honest with her about what he wants.

Devil Masque is about identities, because I love to talk about that kind of thing. Angela meets the proverbial tall dark stranger at the Masquerade ball, and neither of them know each other’s real name, but they find that being someone else, even for a short time, frees them to do things they would never consider otherwise. Then they have to figure out if it’s better to never know the person behind the mask, or if they should find out each other’s identity and take a chance on them being compatible in real life as well.

The point is that it’s not all about sex, and I’m at least trying to be more imaginative than the whole ‘fish out of water’ trope that is pretty much the entirety of the billionaire books.

If I ever write a book that follows this trend, then you have permission to slap me.

(Also I’ll have something special for you all on Friday, because I love you so much.)

//shay

When I’m procrastinating

This blog is it. My procrastination. I should be working on the next story now, and I’m not. Sometimes I really wonder why it is that I can only really write well when it’s past midnight and I’m almost falling asleep on the keyboard.

But even when I should be writing, I’m still writing. Or thinking about writing. Or reading about writing. It’s like having the world’s strangest OCD. I think about sex and romance and the writing thereof, and I make up a story out of nothing overnight if I push my brain that way. The next story took shape over the course of a few hours, then I suddenly had the ending ready to go just as I was about to go to bed.

That’s probably how a writer feels all the time – or at least I hope so, if they don’t get writer’s block. Always writing the scenes inside their heads, looking for the one that’ll knock everyone on their ass…

He took the wrap off her shoulders gently, and hung it up in the hall. Her dark skin had an inner glow in the soft light. He couldn’t help reaching out to touch her neck, and let his hand trail down her back to her waist.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered in her ear, just behind the curls of hair that framed her face.

She moved away, and looked over her shoulder seductively. “Of course I am, Mr. Clark,” she said, in a voice both rich and earthy, with the precisely controlled tone of an opera singer. “But I wonder, will you still love me tomorrow?”

Or maybe not. Hell, I don’t know. I have no idea what I’m doing, most days. I just get my butt in the chair and bang away on the keyboard until something comes out.

Whee!

//shay

Disliking Twilight

So, I think I know why I don’t like Twilight.

No, it’s not because Bella is a pessimistic non-character, or because Edward displays all the traits of a sociopathic stalker. It’s not even because the prose makes my head hurt.

At some level, a love story must have an element of truth. Yes, even in porn, although that element is usually something like ‘sex feels awesome, yay!’ It needs some part of it to feel real, or it rings hollow in the mind of the reader.

Twilight, ultimately, doesn’t have that. The relationship between Bella and Edward doesn’t feel like love. As Forrest Gump said, I know what love is, and this looks like love as imagined by a teenager who has never once known it.

It’s a shadow of it, a facsimile. Two people acting out the parts without ever feeling the emotion, and I can’t be sold a love story made of plastic.

That so many people do kinda suggests to me that they have never felt true love, and I can’t decide whether that’s more or less depressing than all of them having shitty taste in books.

//shay