Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Read Pretty Dumb Things

By Alana Noel Voth

My libido, these days, rages. It masses troops. It gathers at the border. It stands on parapets, dressed in neat military garb, shaking its small fists in telegenic emphatic gestures. It wears a distinctive hat. My libido plays marches through loudspeakers. I find myself overwhelmed with the claxon of my sexual desire. It rings in my ear, reverberating through my body, broadcasting some indecipherable and inescapable warning, making it impossible for me to concentrate on the task at hand. My despot is hungry: my very skin is ravenous for extreme sensation. For the first time in my life, I find myself enjoying pain, longing for the passionate sting of an open palm, the cruel pinch at my twiddly girlbits. To be wrapped in rope, uncomfortably. To be bitten. To be smacked, slapped, spanked and snacked upon. To have marks on this impertinent, needy flesh. To have the visual memory of having been fucked with abandon. Chelsea Girl “the despot and the bodhisattva”

When I proposed bringing Chelsea Girl, author of Pretty Dumb Things, to Lust Bites my peers rallied. Alison couldn’t wait. Tilly already had Pretty Dumb Things bookmarked. Kristina got the news then said, “Brilliant! She’s incredibly engaging and smart.” Chelsea Girl’s fandom doesn’t stop here. On June 15 2006, Susie Bright wrote this about Chelsea Girl. “I just discovered the most amazing erotic blogger. Her journal's name is Pretty Dumb Things and although she might be pretty (that part is left to your imagination) she is certainly not dumb; she is an incredible wordsmith and erotic storyteller.”


Sometimes when I’m lying under Donny, one or both thighs resting on his shoulders, or when I’m on my hands and knees in front of him, his hands spreading the halves of my cling peach ass, and his cock is drilling my pussy with pile-driver precision, sometimes at those moments, I think to myself, why am I doing this? Chelsea Girl, “a little gifting”

Chelsea Girl’s Pretty Dumb Things gets 2,000 hits per day, and to think she was once a sixteen-year-old girl like the rest of us dreaming about being a writer whose words might be read. In addition to blogging, Chelsea Girl has written for newspapers and magazines, and she also writes fiction. Currently, she contributes to Sappho’s Girls and Penthouse Magazine, and Rachel Kramer Bussel selected one of her stories for an upcoming anthology. In regards to the decision to blog, Chelsea Girl admits “total spite.” Although a close friend advised her not to blog, most writers I know are more likely to forge ahead in the face of opposition, and so on March 19 2005, Chelsea Girl birthed her Pretty Dumb Things with a post about her mother’s purse.

I think of my mother's purse from when I was a kid, its mysterious contents--Winston cigarettes, lipstick, bits of folded paper with hastily scrawled phone numbers smelling of perfume and pizza, the gritty flotsam of a single mother's edgily eked-out existence--and how it was the one object I was not, under any circumstances, ever, to the point of bodily harm, allowed to touch. The purse is, in many ways, the totem of the woman who carries it. Like the secret contents of a shaman's pouch, a purse holds a woman's self. The purse is power. Chelsea Girl, “heaven in a handbasket”

I don't know a lot about Chelsea Girl’s childhood. I often assume genius springs from a troubled past. I understand that's cliché. Having read Pretty Dumb Things for over a year, I’ve noted two things about the author. One, her life hasn't been easy, but it’s been busy and brave, and she's no stranger to humility. Chelsea Girl's father disappeared from her life. Her sister has schizophrenia. Chelsea Girl herself put a noose around her own neck and then checked herself into a hospital where she was treated for depression. She struggles with depression still and sees a shrink. She's filed bankruptcy. She suffers wicked insomnia. And when CG decided to earn a Master's Degree, her family and friends didn't believe she could do it. Chelsea Girl has confronted pessimism on all sides.

I felt like an island, or like an isthmus, more exactly, attached to one spit of land or another, but I couldn’t tell you which one it was. I was excruciatingly lonely. I have been lonely much of my life, but that period—the first year and a half of graduate school—that was the worst. And here I was 34, gorgeous, frisky and totally unfucked. The problem was that I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted someone to see me for who I was in all my flawed and confused glory and to love me . . . Moreover, I needed someone who saw the person inside the body, and no one did. Chelsea Girl, “of mariners and wedding guests”

The blogosphere assaults us daily with people who can't write, who can sort of write, and those who write well but don't have much to say. Few bloggers manage to transcend the personal for the universal. But writing is (should be) art. And art begins as a selfish act transformed through the process of expression to altruistic. Chelsea Girl is an artist’s voice for women: Ironic. Paradoxal. Introspective. Unapologetic. Sexy. Needy. Sad.

I find that taking a man’s cock in my mouth gives me an enormous sense of power and pleasure. I like reducing the guy to bad grammar, if not complete pre-verbalism . . . Chelsea Girl, “what it feels like for a deep-throating girl”

I am a great big Harry Potter geek. I have read each book no fewer than four times . . . When I am depressed, which has been often, though of late, rather amazingly, less and less so, I have soothed my fractured self with the calming balm of Hogwartian fantasy. I know the characters well . . . I love the whole swarming herd . . . But I don’t want to fuck any of them but the Weasley twins. Chelsea Girl, “power to the firecrotches”

My sister has the aspect of a malevolent spirit. I have a flickering three-dimensional substanceless corporeality. I have all the outward signs of physical presence, but put your hand out toward the shining light of my shoulder, my midriff, my face and there’s no there there. And while this incorporeality is nothing new—I grew up being soundly, distractedly and affectionately ignored—its current state is suffused by these pretty dumb things . . . ("Dumb," of course, means "speechless" as much as it means "stupid." I am only as ironic as I am earnest.) Chelsea Girl, “death in vermont”




A Q&A with Chelsea Girl

Where were you born and raised? Have you ever considered an environmental correlation between the place where you grew up and being a sex writer now?

I was born in Illinois and raised primarily in Vermont. I don’t think where I grew up was as formative as how I grew up. I was raised by a single mom who pretty much hit the sexual revolution running. She didn’t raise me to see sex as something that was bad, naughty, or verboten. I wouldn’t say that her construct of sex wasn’t deeply problematic, but I would say that it made me a person who could freely talk about sex.

Do you have a preference for blogging about your actual sex life over writing "fictional sex" between characters?

I have been writing less and less about my own sex life. In part, I find writing just about sex really boring after a while, and just too risky to my own self. I still do write about my sex, but it’s less often just a sexy vignette and more often part of a larger narrative of my life. I have written erotic fiction. I like it; it’s fun.

Does your writing talent legitimize your subject matter or make sex blogging literary?

I think writing about sex is part of life, of making sex and life as messy, complicated, beautiful and problematic as it really is. Mostly, I write about stuff that I need to make sense of for myself. If other people like it too, all the better.

How often do you receive fan mail? Favorite letter or message?

Sometimes I'll write something that makes people send me a big bunch of unexpected fanmail. Other times, I'll go weeks without an email . . . The best emails are the ones whose writers tell me that I've helped them with something I've written. I like those letters a lot.

How much of your blog fame do you think is connected to word-of-mouth, and can you think of a specific mention or shout out someone gave you that was like . . . major?

My blog fame is a complete word-of-mouth phenomenon. I’ve never done much to promote my writing beyond leaving lots of comments when I was first beginning to write my pdt. Now that I’ve figured out Bloglines and Google Reader, I still read lots of blogs, but I leave fewer comments.

I’ve been very fortunate to accrue an eclectic list of supporters in my writing. Viviane of Viviane’s Sex Carnival has been a tremendous friend and given me such support—it was she who helped me get my current Fleshbot gig. Susie Bright has been kind enough to link me a few times, as well as help me out in other ways, and I’ve felt really honored to have earned her respect. Terry Teachout has been phenomenally helpful; we’re now friends, and it makes my head spin to think that this man likes my writing enough to reach out to me and befriend me.

Most of all, I feel tremendously grateful to my readers, especially the ones who email me and tell me that they like what I do. I have often felt that I was alone in this wet blue planet. Writing—and finding that people like what I write—has helped me to realize that I am not. For this, I find myself prostate in abject thankfulness.


Chelsea Girl would like to acknowledge:

Viviane's Carnival

Susie Bright

Terry Teachout

O of Eros, Logos

Karl Elvis

54 comments:

Mathilde Madden said...

Squeeeeeeeee!

Chelsea Girl

I don't know what else to say

Nikki Magennis said...

Hello Chelsea Girl, and Alana!

Beautiful, provocative writing, thank you for bringing some of it with you.

I have a question - is Chelsea Girl after

a) the clothes shop
b) skinheads
c) Nico's album

...or something else entirely?

Alessia Brio said...

Been a reader of pdt for a long time. I imagine I annoy the shit out of my friends by sending them those "You HAVE to read this!" links all the time.

Olivia Knight said...

I think writing about sex is part of life

Hooray! I agree entirely! Being corralled into the erotica pen can be frustrating at times - first people define your writing as "erotica" then they try to limit you with their own sense of "erotica" - a bit like being told "You're a penguin" and then chastised for being insufficiently penguin-like - penguinesque? penquine? penguinish?

Janine Ashbless said...

Wow. Speechless with envy.

Can't see much point writing today. Will go buy a lawnmower.

Alison Tyler said...

Cheers, Chelsea Girl!

Thank you so much for visiting Lust Bites! And Alana, toasting you with a glass of red wine (well, I will be later on, now it's a big cup of coffee) for the insightful interview and lovely post.

XXX,
Alison

Madeline Moore said...

I don't know which one I appreciate more, today - Chelsea Girl for her terrific blog, which is one of my favourite things, now, and her skill with words, which is evident even in this small interview, or Alana, for asking such intelligent, inciteful questions, and bringing Chelsea Girl to my attention, and to lustbites. Hey, my appreciation has no bounds, I can, and do, appreciate both enormously.
And I appreciate Lust Bites, too, because this is where I'm constantly introduced to new people, new perspectives, new places to link to. This is where I get my news!

chelsea girl said...

Thank you so much. I am utterly gobsmacked.

Nikki, the name "chelsea girl" was actually given to me by the dude who motivated me to write by spite in his blog. I just took it when I started my own. I do, however, like the association with Nico.

Seriously, now I think I need some coffee in order to process all of this pyrotechnic goodness.

kissykiss,
chelsea girl

Alison Tyler said...

pyrotechnic goodness

First tee-shirt slogan of the day.

XXX,
Alison

Viviane said...

Wow, this was great to read *about* the brilliant Chelsea Girl. Thanks for posting this.

She was one of the first bloggers I read and admired. It's great she is getting the recognition for her talent.

And thank you dear CG for the props.

kristina lloyd said...

Thanks Chelsea Girl, thanks Alana. Wow, what a fab write up.

PDT is a brilliant mix of personal, theoretical and political. It's tender, it's witty, it's brainy, it's dirty. I'm so glad it exists, not least because it gives privacy-obsessed nosy buggers like me the chance to peer into another life - while taking no personal risks whatsoever. Thank you! Much appreciated.

Ally said...

Thankyou Chelea Girl for coming and sharing some of your wonderful writing.

The first article made me wonder if I had talked to you in my sleep. Good God you described my libido to a tee. LOL I'm sure many others aswell.

I tried to get to your blogspot but was unable to see any postings, is there a trick or do I need an invite?

Was great to have you here and I hope to read more.

Now I'm off the the dentists chair to writhe in pain as he probes my mouth with his...

chelsea said...

Ally,

I'm not on blogspot; I'm on typepad. I regret being unable to do HTML, but the address is prettydumbthings.typepad.com. There are also lots of hyperlinks in this post, should you want to follow them.

Thanks you all, and Viv, it's you who is the wind beneath my wings.

cheers,
cg

chelsea girl said...

Crap!

Are! You who are the wind. Dang.

I hate it when I make bad syntax.

kissykiss,
chelsea g

Alana said...

Tilly, that was deliciously eloquent coming from you. :-)

Alana said...

Nx,

Who's Nico?

Holy shit! I should know, shouldn't I?

Alana said...

Alison, I love you. Dearly. Red wine later, yes? Coffee now!

Alana said...

Madeline, you're welcome. And yes, Lust Bites is in good company, or we have good company at Lust Bites, or there's some good company around here. We're in good company! :-)

Nikki Magennis said...

Motivated to write by spite? Sounds like an intriguing story! Whoever he was, I'm glad he goaded you into it.

I was just kind of thinking that blogging (like the kind what you're doing) must be the ultimate in literary freedom.

Given the restrictions and expectations and exhortations of writing for profit & publishers, it's quite tempting to think one could write whatever one damn well pleased and broadcast it directly to the world.

But conversely it takes bravery, to work without a filter/shield/prop of a publisher and send words out into the ether. I know blogging scares the shit out of me.

Brave New Blogosphere, indeed. Bravo, CG. Bon courage.


(Alana, keep up love: Nico as in 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' or 'Andy Warhol and Nico'. You do know that really. I know you do.)

Alana said...

Viviane,

Thank you for stopping by Lust Bites today. We're honored. And you probaly know this already, but CG speaks highly of you.

Speaking with Chelsea Girl, researching her archives, and writing this profile was a labor of love.

My whole life writers have either offered me the nudge I need to forge ahead and speak when I was ashamed or afraid or initimdated; or writers have spoke for me when I simply could not. For me, Chelsea Girl does both, in fact more completely than any writer before her.

Peace.

Alana said...

Kx is a "nosey bugger?" No way!

Thanks for your kind words. And guess what I got the other day?!!??

Alana said...

And no, it wasn't a Supernatural Sandwich.

Damn.

Alana said...

Ally, thank you for seconding my opinion, the whole CG speaking for you idea. It's very cool, isn't it, when a writer seems to get you even though you've never met? Drives the personal to universal thing about art way home.

By the way, careful in that dentist's chair!

Alana said...

"Given the restrictions and expectations and exhortations of writing for profit & publishers, it's quite tempting to think one could write whatever one damn well pleased and broadcast it directly to the world. But conversely it takes bravery, to work without a filter/shield/prop of a publisher and send words out into the ether. I know blogging scares the shit out of me."

Nx,

Damn. Thank you. Excellent obvservations. And yes, blogging scares the Holy Effing Shit out of me too; that whole trust what you just said mentality without a censor or publisher or editor. It's seriously, writing nakes, isn't it?

And hmmm, The Velvet Underground? Never heard of them. Kidding!

Alana said...

Nakes = Naked

:-)

Smut Girl said...

What a great post. I'm scrambling to get ready for a birthday party but popped in to read. Sadly, nothing witty to say as am brain dead but I enjoyed it. Hope that counts :)
xoxo
Sommer
p.s. someone email me when it is officially red wine time. I am *ready*

kristina lloyd said...

Alana, what *did* you get?

Was it a certain dirty book, the reading of which will allow you to add a lovely T-shirt like the one I am modelling to your tee collection? Heck, I hope so!

Top tees available at all your local Lust Bites stores! Buy now while sluts last! If you're lucky, Alison Randy-Little-Bitch Tyler will order you to wear one in public and you'll feel a bit weird about it.

Karl Elvis said...

I love seeing Chelsea Girl get the recognition she deserves.

And not, you know, just because she gave me a shout-out. B^)

Alison Tyler said...

Oh, don't feel weird, KL. Wear your shirt proudly, and know that another one will be on the way to you soon, you champagne slattern, you...

XXX,
Alison

Alana said...

Karl Elvis,

Thank you for dropping by Lust Bites today. Our girl, Chelsea, does derserve the recognition, doesn't she? :-)

BTW, your corpse ought to be worth more than that, serious.

Alana said...

Kx, I got the raunchiest book imaginable. :-)And the author, woot! Rock on, my Art House Slut.

Alana said...

Alison, any chance there may exist a tee shirt that says, "All I Want For My Midlife Crisis Is A Supernatural Sandwich."

???

:-)

Woot!

Alana said...

P.S. It's all Shanna Germain's fault I say "Woot!" a lot now.

And Nx's fault I say "Spot on."

I'm sure something is Tilly's fault too. I blame Kx entirely for the nude pics of David Beckham.

badinfluencegirl said...

thank you for doing this because now i can see chelsea girl from the other side of the pen as it were AND i found you from the link on her blog.

lovely interview by the way.

it may take courage to post out there on the internet all naked like but it takes an entirely different kind of courage to put yourself out there in a book and wait to see if anyone takes it off the shelf.

at least with my blog if no one reads it it isn't a flop.

:)

kristina lloyd said...

Oooo, Karl Elvis. I've gone all weak at the knees. Alana, you throw a damn good party.

And Alison, I *enjoy* feeling weird. Thanks for helping me out on it. You're very kind. One day I'll have a t-shirt saying 'Dressed by Alison Tyler'. Or possibly 'Messed by Alison Tyler' if it gets really weird.

Madeline Moore said...

Here is a little sample from Pretty Dumb Things, from the link re: sucking cock Chelsea provides in the LB post...as beautiful a line as I have ever read in any printed/published/paid for erotica...

Afterwards, if he’ll let me, sometimes I lay there next to him, his cock held gently as an unspoken word in my mouth as it returns to its fragile birdling state.

Girl, you oughta be PAID for stuff like that...but it's magnificent that you give it to us for free.

Alison Tyler said...

I think "Undressed by Alison Tyler" might work even better. But that's just me...

XXX,
Alison

P.S. Agreed, MM, that is a divine quote!

chelsea girl said...

Wow, I'd forgotten I wrote that. It is rather a good sentence.

Thanks you all. Dang.

kissykiss,
chelsea g

Alana said...

Chelsea Girl is nothing if not modest. Damn, woman. That's a brilliant sentence!!!!! Makes me all gaa-gaa inside, which is why I've done a bit of PDT blog tipping in the past. You know, so in reality you do get paid for your literary brilliancy. :-)

Peace.

Alana said...

So Alison, I suppuse the "Undressed by Alison Tyler" tee shirt is reserved for Kx, right?

Alana said...

Bad Influence Girl,

Thanks much for dropping by and reading our CG feature. So glad to know you're PDT fan too.

Also, you make an excellent point regarding the courage it takes to publish a book. Yikes, yes! Balls of Steel.

WickedBlog said...

Fantastic interview and beautiful prose from Chelsea Girl... you've inspired me to go check out her blog.

badinfluencegirl said...

alana the thing i like about pdt is that chelsea's writing inspires mine to be better. she reminds me that i love language and vocabulary and somehow my own writing is raised by reading hers. i can't think of a higher compliment to pay someone than that you know?

and frankly anyone that reads chelsea girl once becomes a fan (assuming they can understand actual english ;>)

also? you're welcome

also also? balls of steel indeed!

Nikki Magennis said...

Balls of steel? I'd better borrow some. I suspect Alison can direct me to the appropriate website...

Alison Tyler said...

You say that like it's a dare, Magennis.

Okay, are you looking for balls? Or steel? Or (I'm really so sorry!) balls in steel?

(This last one is really for Tilly, only.)

God, I'm getting no work done today at all.

XXX,
Alison

kiki said...

oh my goodness! and now i'm blushing! ME!! BLUSHING!?! it's true. but i don't know if it was the links you sent that made it happen, or if it was some of the things underneath the links - like The Spex and the Cobra Penis Cap! *giggle*

seriously! no judgment!! i'm just giggling and trying to imagine my dearest using some of these. oh my!! *blush blush beam blush*

Mathilde Madden said...

You know, Alison Tyler, sometimes I do wonder what I ever did to deserve you.

Smut Girl said...

OH, MY EYES! MY EYES!

Wait. Cobra penis cap? Damn. Be right back...

Ally said...

ROFLMAO

What did you do Tilly to deserve Alison is the question?

Hmm... One must wonder at her wonderous wanderings on the web, and why?

;o)

Alison, you blow me away! I pee'd my pants yet again at your hilarity. Thank you for this evenings grin.

Man. Those ben wa balls made me wish I had a credit card.

Alison Tyler said...

You know, Alison Tyler, sometimes I do wonder what I ever did to deserve you.

Hmmm... While I think about that, you can take a look at this. It's not so much the picture that I am into, it's this little note at the bottom:

Note: We do not endorse actual sex with animals, however if you're into huge cocks then you can't go wrong with a product such as this one.

(And really, Ms. Mathilde Madden, I'm just sitting here twiddling my, um, thumbs while waiting for the Stephen Fucking Elliott post to go up. For god's sake, woman, it must be daylight where you are!)

Nikki Magennis said...

See? Anytime I need some twisted inspiration, I just call Alison Tyler and she sends me ... um ... latex horse cocks.

Alison Tyler said...

Oh, Nikki, now I feel bad.

I send you horse cocks after you sent me these...

I promise to clean up my act now.
I promise to be a good girl. I promise to...

Hold on, I'm going to go read the Stephen Elliott interview. I'm sure there's no way I'll get into trouble after that. No way that I'd want to go buy something like this...

Right?

Nikki Magennis said...

Stop linking! I wish I so wish I hadn't looked at the medical toys. Ow ow ow ow OW Jesus Christ!

Nikki Magennis said...

Having said that, I'm up for a game of Anal Ring Toss, if anyone's playing.