I have been lax. I’ve been remiss. I’ve been a bad blogger, and I should be spanked, except that I often enjoy spanking, so therefore I should suffer some other kind of corporal punishment for my egregious behavior.
To all outward appearances, I haven’t been writing, but the truth is that I have been writing, just not very much or very often. (Perhaps I also haven’t been writing very well; you can tell me that, and perhaps you shall in the comments below.) In the past two months, I’ve had three pieces published by Filthy Gorgeous Things, two free, one not, and none of them have I linked, until now.
One reader wrote to tell me that he was tired of seeing the guy with the cockles on his shoulders every time he checked to see if I’d posted something new. Well, dear Guy-Who-Hates-Mollusk-Inspired-Menswear, this is for you.
First, way back in April, the month of taxes, I had two pieces published in FGT’s Commerce issue. The free one, ironically, is on writing erotica for cash; the other is an interview with New York School of Burlesque Headmistress and all-around Queen of Cool, Jo Weldon.
I begin “What I Write for Money, Honey” thusly:
Anaïs Nin makes it look easy. (Or maybe she doesn’t because to be honest I haven’t read much of her beyond the sexytime stories, and they kind of make me want to cock-punch her. I’d like to see Anaïs Nin in a cage-fight with Dr. Maya Angelou.) I’m sure there are parts in Nin’s voluminous diaries wherein she describes in satin prose how difficult it is to write erotica. I just haven’t read them, nor will I.
After this, I go on to talk about the pangs of pay. I guess some people could consider it heavyweight whinging, like, oh, god, I get fucking paid to write about fucking and my wallet’s too small for my fifties. I maintain that writing about sex has a cost not attached to writing about less sweaty, less somatic, less emotional acts. It’s a crossing of consciousnesses that feels to me a lot like stripping, but then perhaps that is due to my work history. I write what I know, and perhaps too close to the bone.
My piece on Jo, which again will cost you a small fee to read, begins like this:
Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, is gorgeous; she also has all the poise and all the fearsomeness you’d expect from a woman who commands a school. There’s a heady mix of control and perversion contained in the tiny package that is Jo Weldon, but then Jo has worn many hats in her lifetime: stripper, pro-Domme, feature dancer, burlesque performer, adult video producer, teacher and writer. The doyenne of duende, Jo has had a hand in shaping the burlesque scene of today—and with the June release of her book, The New York School of Burlesque Handbook, Jo will continue to influence the burlesque stars of tomorrow. I sat Jo down to talk about the collision of money and sex, the evils of white slavery, eating cat food, and when she might consider exploiting a developing nation for commercial purposes.
Jo dishes the dirt on community and cash and why burlesque audiences enjoy watching the fur hit the floor. She is one smart, funny woman. I’m delighted I got to spend time on her couch drinking her tea.
Most recently, I wrote "You Say Taboo, I Say I Do," a piece for FGT’s Taboo issue on my experiences of SlutFest 2004. I’ve gotten a lot of narrative mileage from those three months, three women, and 18 men. This might be my last telling of that particular tale. It starts here with a lavish photograph:
As it turns out, being raised by wolves in the wilds of Vermont doesn’t work to create taboos. Nor does it help that I was raised by a woman who hit the sexual revolution running or that she had a fast and loose relationship with her childhood faith, which was Unitarianism and therefore more a list of manners than an actual faith. Given that the role models who around me were hippies, freaks, geeks, junkies and jazz musicians, I wasn’t surrounded by models of the moral majority. Sex was something one did, apparently, and did early and often. My mom’s first major piece of advice to me was this: “It’s ok to touch yourself as long as your hands are clean.” I’ve lived by that motto; it has served me well, childhood into adulthood.
It ends with stripping.
Really, I should get out more. At least my 27-year-old lover is coming to visit me in a few weeks, for I've been living the kind of life that makes me pallid with boredom.
I’d also like to mention that one of my friends, the incomparable Bubbles, aka StripperTweets, also had two pieces published in the Commerce issue. I love Bubbles more than sliced ham: she’s twice as sweet and just as salty. Really, she’s someone to watch, a woman of great wit and immeasurable charm. You want to check out her pieces because she’s swell in all the right places.
Finally, I’m working on something for The Rumpus, about which I’m wicked excited—no details now, but they are forthcoming and they include shooting stars. I’m also recommitting myself to writing early and often. If the muse wants to find me, she’ll have an easier time if I’m sitting at my desk. I’m going to try this whole writing on a regular basis thing again. You never know what will happen.
If nothing else, maybe I’ll have an idea more sustained than a 140-character Tweet.