Friday, June 26, 2009

The Other Side of the Window

Let’s face it: I simply do not get it. I never have gotten it, and chances are I never will. I have spent my entire life on the other side of the window, watching life without really comprehending it.

There are so very many things I have never understood. The entire list is far, far, too long to lay out here, but here are just a few.

I’ve never understood organized religion. From everything I’ve seen, heard, read, or experienced, it has caused more human suffering than all the plagues and wars--many of which have been fought over religion--in the history of mankind. Despite the occasional notable exception, organized religion has consistently fostered hatred and intolerance and all the things it claims to be trying to counter. I have never been able to comprehend how simply and sincerely following the Golden Rule would not all but eliminate the need for organized religion. I find it infinitely sad that "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" has been corrupted into "Do unto others as you would have done unto them."

I’ve never understood organized sports. Enjoying the physical activity in the form of sports makes sense, and provides great exercise. Sitting on an overstuffed sofa or a barstool guzzling beer and scarfing down bowls of popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels while watching people you have never met and never will meet do what you’re too damned lazy to do totally escapes me. This week’s BIG GAME!!!! over which people seem to drive themselves into an incomprehensible frenzy, was preceded by last week’s Big Game and an endless string of long forgotten Big Games before that. It will be followed by an infinite string of others. And their point is…?

I’ve never understood computer spam. Do these cretins who so blatantly invade my privacy actually, seriously think for one second that anyone who has had a computer for more than two days is going to open a message whose subject line is: "Hi. Bedroom faucet rises the early..." or "We cure all disease" or, worst of all, those little strings of small squares with no text at all? And how could anyone with the intelligence of a hamster actually respond to a letter from a "Barrister" in Nigeria informing you that a billionaire relative you have never heard of has died tragically in a car accident and named you sole beneficiary to his (interestingly, it’s always a "his") estate. But they do, and I truly despair for humanity.

And I’ve never understood heterosexuals. Never. I’ve lived among them all my life ("Why, some of my best friends are heterosexual"), but have always felt totally apart from them, as though I were a different species. I love my family—heterosexuals all—, am deeply fond of my straight friends, and I like and appreciate many others, but I have never really understood them, and never fail to be mildly infuriated by the automatic assumption of heterosexuals that everyone is heterosexual…or should be.

But the primary thing I do not understand, and which has caused me more anxiety, frustration, and grief than all my incomprehensions listed above, is why I am not—and no matter how hard I try, can never seem to be—the person I so desperately want to be. But I take some small consolation in the thought that maybe I’m not the only one standing on this side of the window.

[Please come visit my website at www.doriengreyandme, and my regular, three-times-a-week blog at]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The BT bit.

GLBT gets banded about a lot, but in practice when people use it, they tend to mean the gay and lesbian bit of the first two letters. Gay and lesbian literature is doing really well at the moment, such erotica is hot and flies off the shelves. That's excellent, and as it should be. But what about the BT bit? Bi and transgender material is not so visible, or so successful.

Part of the problem with bisexual and transgender is there are a lot of people who have trouble getting their heads round it. The view that if you aren't committed to being either straight or gay, its a lack of something on your part and not really a proper way of being. People who see transgender as meaning you can't cope with your gender perferences. There's all kinds of issues.

Oscar Wilde was married and children. There's a longstanding tradition of lavender marriages, to protect gay and lesbian people whose cultures will not tolerate them being out. Some people take a while figuring out their preferences as well, just to further complicate things. I like complicated stories, so more simplistic boy meets boy naratives don't always do it for me.

How important is it in an m/m story for both of the guys involved to be entirely gay? I've recently edited Dalia Craig's 'Hold me Tight' which is a threesome story with some hot gay sex in it. But it's not m/m, is it? In my own writing, I faced this dilema with 'Teacher's Pet' where one of the characters is a married polyamorous bisexual. But, to try and keep things straightforward, the only sexual content in the story is man on man. I've also explored the edges of transgender with 'Sweet Illusions', although again the sex there is very clearly m/m.

I'd like to see more bisexual and transgender writing. I think that would be fun. But then, I'm into people rather than any specific gender combination. I like all the possibilities!

You can pick up my stories from and Dalia Craig's will be there soon too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


By A.J. Llewellyn

  1. Inordinately interested in matters of sex; lascivious.
    1. Characterized by an inordinate, unwholesome interest in sex: prurient thoughts.
    2. Arousing or appealing to an inordinate interest in sex: prurient literature.

I am guest blogging here for Jerry today so let me briefly introduce myself. My name is A.J. Llewellyn and I write gay erotic romance fiction for eXtasy Books. I have 30 books published with eX - three of these are anthologies, the rest are my own books and also I have two series with D.J. Manly and two series with Stephani Hecht.
It's hard yakka (that's Australian for work) promoting your books and I think I do a pretty good job with blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and author chats, excerpt posting and ads on erotic romance sites.
However...with so many books under my belt and with a bit of a "brand name" to go with it in my flagship M/M series "Phantom Lover" and with sales down everywhere, I've been trying to be proactive in the promo department.
"Phantom Lover" and 99% of my books are set in the Hawaiian Islands and when my new sub of a certain magazine associated with the islands arrived at my door yesterday, I thumbed through it and noticed their 'Marketplace' had a rectangular ad that reads: YOUR AD HERE.
The colors on the page, by the way are lush and gorgeous and I thought my hero, Kimo Wilder, the kumu hula and Keeper of Secrets would look awfully hot on it.
With a readership of quarter of a million people, I went for it.
I called the number listed, but that particular ad exec no longer works for the mag. That surprised me since the issue in my hands is the current one.
That probably should have told me something there.
She forwarded my call to a very nice woman who told me the ad space was $730 for a one time run but said if I advertised in every issue for a single year - that's six issues - she could charge me $620 an ad.
Let me just say, I don't even earn this kind of money in royalties, but I figured I am trying to get my work out there to a wider audience and I asked her point blank if she would run an ad for erotic romance fiction.
She said she wasn't sure. I told her I would email her with my website info since she was having trouble spelling my name over the phone.
I then received, several hours later, a very nasty email from her boss - who also CCd her - saying, "While we respect your right to publish such things we do not allow ads for work of such a prurient nature."
What an unpleasant, antiquated little word. What homophobia!
For a magazine that is supposed to promote ALOHA!
I was not surprised they wouldn't take my ad, frankly, but I WAS surprised by the meanness of the response.
I wrote back and told this ad executive exactly that. I also told him it was nice to know that in this tough economy it's easy for him to sneer at almost $4,000 in revenue from a potential client.
Must be nice, eh?
All the freelance and staff advertising people I know are desperate for clients...but not Mr. Clean. He is squeaky pure and probably never, ever, but never has a single solitary prurient thought.
I might send him a couple of my paper backs you know...just to be polite.
And prurient.

Aloha oe,


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ryan Field

This week's enthuse for me is about Ryan Field, an author I've only recently encountered. He's very direct, writing with skill and style on a subject he's passionate about - men bedding other men.

'Capping The Season' should be out soon from It's a short story, perfect for reading in a coffee break, or a more intimate moment.... and it will cost you a mere $2 for the pleasure! It's a hot tale. Hunter, the main character, is so self posessed, so aware of what he wants, and how to get it.

As I've observed before, there's often a world of difference between guys (like Ryan) who write from experience and girls (like me) who are just doing it for kicks! There are details, terms, experiences that I'd never have imagined, because I can never be part of that scene. I do so like getting to learn! I know that reading this kind of story will enable me to be a better m/m writer myself.

The best writers make their scenarios seem so real that we, as readers believe we do know what its like to be part of the action. Ryan Fields most certainly has that skill.
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