I was going to continue my story about the French fireman on Friday, but some things came up, and then today I suddenly got the chance to "fly" when my son's friend got sick and slot opened up for his I-Fly birthday party (Youtube video to come--it was fun!). So I'm a bit behind in my emails and blogging, but it will happen, I promise! Thanks so much to everyone for your thought-provoking comments on "Men and Breasts." I was reminded very quickly that every woman has some vulnerability about her body, whether it's being ignored or getting too much of the wrong kind of attention. Men are not immune from humiliations either. You know, we are all in this together!
Anyway, since today marks the beginning of August, I wanted to mention that I published two new columns over at the Erotic Readers and Writers Association. My Shameless Self-Promotion series continues with "Adventures in Cyberspace: Finding Balance, Branching Out" which explores more ways to use the Internet to promote your work, such as email discussion lists, author chats, writing columns or working as an Examiner journalist for a beat related to your book. Also check out the very valuable interviews with Brenna Lyons on author chats and many other topics and Sue Thurman on her experiences as an Arizona Examiner.
Cooking Up a Storey is especially sweet this month with a look at Erotic Alchemy: Fantasy Plus Reality Equals Pecan Bars. There's a great recipe for pecan bars (I'll be bringing a batch of these to Gettysburg) and a peek between the covers of Jack Morin’s The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Sexual Passion and Fulfillment. Morin is a sex therapist, but he departs from the usual "enlightened" approach in his field that claims the key to a better sex life is merely to reduce inhibition and shame. Instead he acknowledges that guilt and shame and other "dark" emotions can enhance the erotic experience, although he also hopes we can overcome sex-negativity in our culture and embrace the joy of eroticism as well.
This observation really struck me when I first read it and now: “Many find it discomforting to tolerate the ambiguity of the erotic experience, to accept its mixed motivations, or to observe how the erotic mind has a habit of transforming one idea or emotion into another.” I would argue (and I do) that the mysterious change that takes place when real life material is reshaped in fantasy--for example, converting sexual shame to exhibitionism, humiliation to empowerment-- lies at the heart of what we do as writers, although perhaps more consciously than a "layman" indulging in sexual fantasy. I find it all so fascinating, but enough synopsis--go read the column!