Take a good look at that sun-in-the-sun cover for Tenille Brown's new erotic anthology "Can't Get Enough," published by Cleis Press: it's playful, it's colourful, it's sunny and bright... it's everything my contribution to the book is NOT.
My story, "The Girl on Your Skin," is dark (both thematically and... well, it takes place at night, in bed, alone, with no lights on) and it's angsty. Because that's the way I like my erotic fiction: dark and angsty. I wrote it while reading Tristan Taormino's "Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships." At the time, I was thinking about the messiness of negotiating the boundaries of an open relationship. You can put rules in place that seem totally reasonable and rational, but then find that, when you put them into practice, they totally don't work.
In "The Girl on Your Skin," my lesbian couple learns that they need to fuck their own rules.
An excerpt from my dark and angsty tale:
Nesta and I made lots of rules when we opened up. She wrote them down in the back of her daybook, and we kept those pages pinned to the corkboard by her computer:
-Don’t bring dates home
-Don’t fall in love
-Don’t rave about how great the sex was
-Don’t come to bed smelling like another girl
The list went on, but I was hung up on that last point in particular. All night, I’d been tossing and turning in my sweat-soaked sheets. TV was boring. I went to bed with a book, but the book was boring too. Brought out my vibe. Didn’t do a damn thing. The room felt different when I was alone in it, when I knew Nesta was fucking someone else.
Waiting was killer. Lying alone in our bed, I waited to hear her key in the door, waited for the hinges to creak, for her to unzip those big boots and kick them off in the hallway. Even the sound of her breath, the shallow guilt as she tiptoed to the bathroom, flicked on the light, closed the door—it was all there, right in my ear. The squeal of the shower. I heard every step in the process like an echo as I waited for her Nesta to come home.
Hmm... I'd forgotten how much I love this story until I pulled that excerpt just now. It may not be sunny, but if you appreciate the emotional messiness of relationships when sex wins out over rules, you just might like it too.
Can't Get Enough hit the ground running. I'm just looking at the Amazon sales ranks and it's doing phenomenally well. If you want to contribute to its success by purchasing a copy, here's the link: