The female form is the most beautiful thing that has ever been created or ever will be created.
‘Hello.’ I said.
‘Hey.’ David said.
I smiled as I held the phone to my ear as I swiped my pass card then opened the door.
‘How was it?’ he said.
‘Honestly?’ I said.
‘Yes.’ he said.
He almost sounded amused.
I took a long walk today with my dog out in the countryside, just thinking and tapping into the energy of nature, simply by being in the moment
The energy is both masculine and feminine, fullness and life. I feel inspired and vital after that time outside. My skin tingling and I am full of a primal energy that makes me tactile and determined.
Sunshine, fresh air are arousing for me, there’s a part of my psychology that responds to that wildness, finds comfort in it.
I enjoy being a man, not as an insecure performance but as a journey and a struggle. A quiet certainty and a recognition of the drives within me.
Sharing power and agency with women does not take any power away from me. Inequality and disenfranchisement does.
Let me take off my glasses,
Untie my shoes,
Unbuckle my belt,
Slough off this gentlemanly skin,
Because I know you see the beast
Beneath and you want to whisk,
Your fingers across the soft fur of my chest,
Look into my eyes and know that I wander into the architecture
Of your face and pray tribute,
To the goddess that I made of you,
As well as help you find the comfort,
In moving on four limbs rather than two.
It is never the make up,
Or the hair that you’ve spent hours on,
In the service of spontaneity,
It’s not the strength in your arms,
As I imagine, in hungry moments,
Wrapped around me,
It’s the intelligent light in your eyes,
A hunger that knows when to curtsey but wants to be let out,
Shivering at how the air would feel,
If it touched hungry skin,
That’s what I look for in you,
The promise that, if I touch you, taste you in the right way,
I could hear you speak in tongues,
Make fists with the sheets,
See the Kali come to play,
Make her wear your face,
As you would wear mine
I have lots of ideas and concepts pop into my head but I am generally rigorous in whether they become projects or not. My interests prompt a lot of ‘what if’ scenarios, I think of archetypes and technological and moral questions, the representation of women is something I care about. And not just idealism in that respect. Women on the page and screen should be allowed to be wild. They should be allowed to smash barriers and break taboos. They should be beasts and monsters, take up space and throw punches. I find that a powerful question and I am drawn to the answers of that before concepts and it informs my work.
I was at the doctors yesterday and I made the mistake of not taking a book with me so was forced to look at a magazine. I know there are good solid pieces in magazines but there’s also some utter drivel in there. The women’s magazines especially, and I’m not thinking of Vogue et al because there is an art and aesthetic involved, nor am I referring to the low end true story magazines which are brilliantly insane. No, I’m referring to the likes of Grazia and OK, Cosmopolitan and their ilk that seem designed to patronize and make women feel insecure about themselves in equal measure. Men’s magazines are as dumb too, just they seldom prey on insecurity the way women’s periodicals do. There are great pieces in great magazines and I’m moaning for comedic effect but then I note how the internet is decimating sales and I’m concluding that it probably isn’t solely the fault of technology.
Finished it today as the pacing is so intense and I do read very quickly, also after Umberto Eco, it seemed to move faster than its predecessor. Two long bus journeys and a late night last night meant I finished the book this afternoon.
It is brilliant, a high concept but one grounded in character, reaction and tragedy. Lauren Beukes is a great writer, her exposition is smooth and seamless, her antagonist Harper is a more honest reflection of how serial killers actually are rather than they are portrayed in fiction and she brings out the palpable tragedy of women’s lives cut short rather than the sexualized corpse/punchline that seems to sum up so much of that style of book.
The Shining Girls deserves the praise it received and Lauren writes with a jagged, compassionate energy that made me cheer on Kirby and Dan until the clever, careful ending and epilogue.
Next up is The Right Hand of The Sun by Anita Mason which looks interesting.
I write about sex and sexuality, from a woman’s point of view. That’s what the first book The Love We Make is about, a married woman having an affair with a single man who allows her to express herself sexually and I am exploring a similar theme in the new work, but part of that is also using concepts and ideas that I think are important in sexual relationships, and more importantly, making them invisible and also enticing.
Enthusiastic consent, for me, is equal parts negotiation and foreplay. It shows respect for everyone concerned, it creates trust and allows people to relax. Technically, I like using it because it creates the pacing that mimics the cycle of female arousal, a slow build, a long peak and a slow decline. Conversation, words are palpably sexy in the right mouth and as a writer, words are all I have to play with. The best seductions are ones where both parties are aware enough to know when they can let go without loss of reputation or integrity, which is something that gets forgotten or ignored for any number of reasons.
Boundaries are important to establish too. Although there can be a fantastical element to sex writing, part of the appeal is the gratification, I still like to work with boundaries, again it’s negotiation and what you say no to is as powerful as what you say yes to. You can be swept away so long as you know where you are going and where it’s safe to land afterwards. Emotional components, fear of loss, societal and cultural expectations, self image all make sex and sexuality a powerful, taboo set of emotions which is why I find it so interesting to write about.