Monday, August 6, 2007

Tangled Up with Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Marilyn Jaye Lewis is an erotic force to be reckoned with. She is the founder of the Erotic Author's Association, the winner of London's 2001 Erotic Writer of the Year Award, and has seen her stories published in over fifty anthologies. That's a lot of naughty words! Her novels have met with well-deserved accolades, and now she has another hot offering...

We could tell you all about it, but we figured you might like to hear it from the erotica goddess herself. Join us as we welcome Marilyn Jaye Lewis!



First off, thanks for having me here at LustBites. It’s a real pleasure to be sitting in the same blogging seat as some really terrific writers. A few of them even left the seat warm – Yay! (Or should that be “damp”? Eeew -- that would be a little icky. Let’s stick with warm.)

Anyway, I am here today plugging my latest erotic anthology, Entangled Lives: Memoirs of 7 Top Erotica Writers that has just come out from Alyson Books.

Technically, it includes memoirs from 8 writers, but one of the men is using a pseudonym -- Adam Greenway -- and is basically a contributor to the memoirs of both Ian Philips and Greg Wharton. If you don’t read a lot of GLBT porn, Ian and Greg are the married owners of the multi-award-winning Suspect Thoughts Press in San Francisco, CA. The other contributors to Entangled Lives are: Bill Brent, founder of Black Books; Rob Stephenson (aka TruDeviant); Rachel Kramer Bussel; Amie M. Evans, and myself.

This is a GLBT collection, and pretty much a BDSM collection, as well, since all of us contributors are in the BDSM lifestyle to one degree or another, although Rob Stephenson’s memoir focuses on his early days of being gay, right before he discovers his true nature as a Top.

You know, I always treat any of my books as my children; I love each and every one of them. I fret over them and lose sleep over them; I hug them and squee a bit the minute my author’s copies arrive in the mail. However, this particular book is really dear to my heart. I guess because a lot of it is so emotionally raw, and trusting, and, in parts, shocking -- and the rest of it is just plain filthy as hell.

Plus, it was really cool to have a bunch of writers that I mostly know only professionally suddenly regaling me with the most intimate, explicit details of their real sex lives -- not their fiction, for a change -- and also to have so much of what was lurking in their hearts coming out all over the page. I was honestly moved by each of these memoirs, as I hope readers will also be. After all, I think that’s what helps solidify any relationship, whether it’s between two lovers, or between the writer and reader: that exchange of trust, that vulnerability, those graphic descriptions of how a person feels while in the act of doing it... (Okay. That was a cheap shot to get those voyeurs among you to buy the book.)

As much as a collection of erotic memoirs would seem to be targeting voyeurs, there is a lot more going on in the book’s pages than just the prurient details. These are thoughtful, carefully written stories of the real lives of real people. It just so happens that they write and/or publish erotica for a living and have been doing it for a really long time. Most of it is a whole of fun, although some of it is just plain “pretty intense.”

You can check out the web site for a few brief excerpts from the book, along with the complete Introduction. You can also see photos of all of us and get our contact info.

And here is a little excerpt from Rachel Kramer Bussel’s memoir, Confessions of a Spankaholic. I hope you enjoy it!

In my early 20’s, well before I really became a spanking aficionado, I witnessed and was part of one of the hottest spankings I’ve ever seen before or since. I’d brought a beautiful, tall and thin, curly-haired girl with a mouth-watering accent -- the kind who could say any word and make it sound like a come-on -- with me to an all female play party. We’d had one date where we wound up making out on the dance floor of a local bar, and I’d hoped we’d have more dates in the future. Still I wasn’t really sure where we stood. I was willing to see where the night would take us. As we got off the elevator and entered the dungeon, with its reception desk masking the kinky accoutrements that lay within, we were greeted by women in corsets, chains, hobble skirts, leather, and uniforms.

We each saw people we wanted to talk to, so we separated to chat and explore. Another friend and I made our way into one room where there was a pulley, and she experimented with it, asking me to raise her up in the air. Then I tried it, but felt too out of control with my feet off the ground. We wound our way back to the snack room, where we proceeded to catch up, when my date came running into the room. “Tina’s going to spank me,” she said breathlessly, her face lighting up. “I wanted to let you know, in case you want to watch.”

Of course I did! Tina was a sexy butch who easily caught the attention of almost every woman she passed. I rushed back into the room I’d come from earlier to find an audience of seated kinky dykes looking on as my date clambered up onto a padded bench and spread herself out facedown. She’d pushed her jeans and panties down to her knees, her most prominent feature now bared for all to see. I approached, and was granted permission by Tina to sit and watch as my date got the spanking of a lifetime...

Damn...that makes me want to spank somebody.

But before I go, let me thank you for stopping by to chat with Marilyn. She's going to be around today to answer questions, so shoot her a comment. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Entangled Lives, and you know the drill...you can't win unless you play. Ummm...I mean, comment. You can't win unless you comment. That's what I meant to say.

31 comments:

Karl Friedrich Gauss said...

Well, any reader of Alison Tyler's blog (Trollop with a Laptop) will be well aware of the special level of heat that can be generated through the medium of erotic memoir. Somehow the reality factor of the stories being fact instead of fiction grounds the reader's mind and keeps him or her from wondering whether they're just being pandered to. Your book sounds definitely worth reading. Here's hoping I win it. Hey, I don't ususally manage to get in the first comment here on this blog. Bravo to our guest writer Marilyn. Keep up the good work.

Ally said...

Thankyou very much Marilyn for all those great excerpts. I went to the website and read them all. Very hot.

As much as a collection of erotic memoirs would seem to be targeting voyeurs, there is a lot more going on in the book’s pages than just the prurient details. These are thoughtful, carefully written stories of the real lives of real people.

Yes, I believe that the fact that these are real peoples lives on display for all to see, gives it an extra kick. It makes your mind delve deeper into their world in a very erotic way. So sexy.

Crossing fingers to win this one...

But crossing fingers, toes and eyes for Alisons collection too.

Mathilde Madden said...

I love erotica memoir, autobiography, semi-autobiography, real fantasy.

I really like it when writers get close to the truth about their sexualities - which are usually more dark than anything they would make up.

When I have experimented with this type of writing I think I have done my most interesting work.

Portia Da Costa said...

Sounds like a fascinating book, Marilyn!

Janine Ashbless said...

writers get close to the truth about their sexualities - which are usually more dark than anything they would make up

*Snigger* Not mine, sadly. An erotic memoir by me would be dull and short compared to people like MJL.

8.5 ... I just counted.
5.5 men:3 women.

All my darkness is in my stories. I'm not sure I "make them up". I think they're the real thing.

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

I think the reason the writers were so eager to contribute to this anthology was to have an opportunity to just be themselves for a change. Also, writing memoirs can really help a person touch base with themselves & examine his/her life, motivations, inspirations and, of course, missteps and/or choices that were less than good. That kind of honesty helps all of us in some way -- I really believe that. It helps us all be a little easier on ourselves and more forgiving. I think that's what I value most about the memoirs these writers gave me. I was actually quite moved by everyone's honesty & willingness to be so publicly vulnerable.

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

Hey, how come there's still that really old photo of me??? I need to change that...

Jeremy Edwards said...

Hi, Marilyn. May I go slightly off-topic for a second, just to say thanks for your frontline work with the American Civil Liberties Union in defense of freedom of expression?

Janine Ashbless said...

Kudos!

Olivia Knight said...

Like Janine, I think I'm better off making things up (though I don't think I'll divulge any figures - apart from 32:16:34, naturally) though I hope the only person I pander to in my writing is myself. But I'll happily lap up the real-life details of other people's real lives. (If writing is my real life, does that mean my memoirs can include all my fictional activities? Mmm, now that would rack the breadth of experience up a notch...) (Memo to self: not to play I have never... with any of these authors...)

Olivia Knight said...

(P.S. Does anyone feel (as I do at times (this being one of them)) that too many parentheses - whether brackets, dashes, commas (or even elipses) - might be a negative, or at least undesirable, writing trait? (No, on second thoughts, scratch that.))

Alison Tyler said...

Hi Marilyn,

Thanks so much for being on Lust Bites.

I'm very excited about your new collection! You've gathered together an awesome group of writers, and the excerpt you chose is spectacular.

I have to say that you're one of those writers whose fiction feels very real. Every story of yours that I've read has left me thinking, "Well, that must have happened to her." Of course, I know better than that. But your characters have very real-life voices, from the lesbians shopping for carrots at a Safeway to the prostitute remembering a threeway with a favorite client.

Congrats on the book!
Alison

Deanna Ashford said...

I've never read any autobiographical sexual memoirs before. The book sounds really interesting, delving into your own feelings and psyche.

Mine is boring, well I claim it is. Although like others there may well be a few skeletons in my cupboard. Mainly the more outrageous eroticsms in my books are pure fantasy on my part.However, like Janine, mine often feel real to me also.

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

Thanks, Jeremy, re: the ACLU and COPA nod. I'd have to say, in all honesty, that my day in federal court was the highlight of my career. I wouldn't wish the experience on anybody -- it was a little scary for me. Felt a bit like having a weasel running around in my bowels! But it meant a lot to me to stand up for the rights & expressions of writers whose talents I really believe in and care deeply about.

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

Thank you, Alison! I'm ashamed to say that a couple of those stories you mention *were* heavily based on fact...What can I say? I'm older & wiser now! (And single again, if there are any takers...)

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

I want to address this idea that in order for a memoir, even an erotic memoir, to hit its mark it needs to be salacious, scandalous, or wild in some way. What makes it work is honesty and the conveying of real emotions. Sex itself, even the most vanilla kind, is already pretty darn awesome and frequently confusing and/or challenging. Sex is probably the most common area in the living of our lives that makes us feel somehow inadequate or freakish, whatever, at times. Rob Stephenson's memoir was so straight forward, heartfelt, searching, vulnerable -- we've all been there; trying to figure out who the heck we are and what we want from people, from ourselves. If we're on this blog right now, then those are the basic things we share. That searching quality, wanting to feel okay about ourselves. It's *all* worthy of being written about. IMHO...

Alison Tyler said...

a couple of those stories you mention *were* heavily based on fact...

Oh, wow... now I want to go back and re-read them slowly. You know that Safeway is one of my all-time favorite stories. I've never been able to look at carrots the same way again. But it's the scene in the hotel... that impromptu bondage scene that feels so real.

:) AT

Madeline Moore said...

Welcome to Lust Bites, Marilyn Jaye Lewis. Please come back soon. This is a terrific post, full of information and really interesting reading, too. Thanks.

Kate Pearce said...

Wow Marilyn-I'm totally in awe of anyone who is willing to bare their soul in an autobiography, especially writers who usually choose to invest and enrich their fiction with that hidden part of themselves, rather than let it all out.

I'm another writer who has nothing to bare, in any sense of the word. My life is not exciting at all, although my fiction can be. I just make it all up :)

tetewa said...

Thanks for the excerpt now I want more!

Eile said...

Its really great when one person's fantasy turns into reality, that reality is fictionalized, the fiction then turns into my fantasy, and that fantasy turns into reality.

I love the idea that I could see where all this great sex originated. Maybe if all the great writers of smut just keep going the whole would become one great orgasmic place.

Eile

Alison Tyler said...

An alternate theory to The Big Bang?

Smut Girl said...

What a great post! :)

I always wonder what is real and what is not (or based on reality vs. created) when I read other writers' work. I try not to make snap judgments as I've had people swear the only way I could have written such and such was if it actually happened...and it didn't. And then the stuff that did...they think is fiction. :) So, I tend to stay on the fence and take everything with a grain of salt. This looks like a fascinting book to add to the smut shelf. Something very unique.

xoxo
Sommer

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

I usually don't tell people which of my stories are based on fact and which on fiction. In the long run, it isn't the real point. What the reader gains from it, what he/she feels, is the real point -- in my opinion, anyway. When you get into the realm of writing memoirs, though, the issues become incredibly different. Obviously, it has to have happened, but it also has to have some sort of value for total strangers.

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

Also, Alison, thank you re: "Safeway"! In fact, to be brutally honest, my contribution to Entangled Lives (titled "A Picture in a Frame") is actually written about the woman I wrote about in "Safeway". Pretty much the only thing that *didn't* happen in "Safeway" is that it didn't take place in Nevada....oy, I'm gettin' old. ;0

Sue A. said...

Marilyn, your comments about searching and wanting to feel okay about ourselves are spot on. As a reader I'm looking to connect emotionally with an author to really experience their work so I applaud any author willing to be honest and leave themselves vulnerable inorder to achieve that.

kristina lloyd said...

This is such a great post. Thanks, Marilyn. The book sounds fascinating and I think you've said some really important and wise things today.

I especially love - If we're on this blog right now, then those are the basic things we share. That searching quality, wanting to feel okay about ourselves. It's *all* worthy of being written about.

Because as you imply, sexual truth isn't necessarily about swinging from the chandeliers. It's about being true to yourself and your own individual sexuality. And in a world which is so quick to marginalize and categorize, it's not always easy for people to find their own comfortable space.

I think the searching and honesty you highlight is crucial, and whether people do it via memoir, fiction, hardcore kinkery or quiet conversations with themselves, it doesn't really matter. It's just important we do it - regardless of what we're told we *ought* to be doing - because a life lived in denial would be pretty bloody miserable.

Thank you for bringing us writers brave enough to share, and for being a voice that matters.

Jeremy Edwards said...

sexual truth isn't necessarily about swinging from the chandeliers

You see, Sommer? I told you.

Now come down from there at once, before someone drinks up your wine.

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

Thanks, Kristina. I really appreciate your feedback.

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

I've had a really good time here today. i really appreciate everyone's comments and, Ally, for checking out the web site for the book so thoroughly! I know it means a lot to all the writers, not just me. Thanks.

danetteb said...

Hi Marilyn,
Real life experiences ,this book sounds exciting. The excerpt was a perfect hook *g* I love a little spank.
Hugs, Danette