Jerusalem Mortimer soon to be on sale!

Er, not actually a real book. But it you want it, I’ll write it. For food.

I used to place stories in magazines and anthologies. I had one in Playboy, once. I’ve never actually seen it because they forgot to send me a copy. (Also, they chopped out 1,000-odd words, and I sulked.) But the money was real, generous and much appreciated.  

Then I got involved in political activism, and it became a bad idea to keep publishing. I don’t care much about political parties. I put my energy into campaigns for political and legal changes about unemployment, homelessness and domestic violence, for example. It’s what government does that matters.

But it wasn’t a good idea to have a guy who worked with the male children of women victims of family violence write stuff about tying up and spanking girls who enjoyed being “bad” and its consequences. There’s a huge difference between a pink bottom acquired willingly and joyously, and a black eye acquired in out-of-control terror.

But anyone working for Rupert Murdoch (spit) and his media empire, for example, would pretend to be confused by that difference and use it to discredit any cause I was associated with. And when I wasn’t writing about sex I was writing about a world in which everybody broke the law – especially but not only about drugs – routinely, and the cops were experienced as violent, corrupt thugs.

So I worked on what I thought was important and I shut up. I’ve achieved some social reforms, one major one and a few minor ones, and people are better off because I did that.  But I’ve served my time now. I’m back to writing and, more importantly, publishing, for money. 

This, on the other hand, is absolutely real

My big and serious book, Between the Lines: A biography of BDSM has to come out in paper form, from a mainstream publisher. That’s important, for it to get to the audience it needs to reach.

But I have other work that can emerge in e-form. So I’ve registered on Smashword. There’ll be a story available for sale in a couple of days. Look in if you feel like it. Even buy it! 

Yeah, I know. As a salesman I absolutely suck.

My Smashwords page, for what it’s worth, is here.


Between the Lines: A Biography of bdsm – the chapter outline

Between the lines: A biography of bdsm:

Part 1: Bdsm origins

Chapter 1: Names and a parable

What is bdsm? A definition.

What sort of book is this?

  • Half of this book is a survey of what we know empirically about bdsm: its history, its “causes” and whether it’s something pathological, and the politics of living with bdsm in your life (or in your society); while
  • The other half is a story told from inside bdsm, the experience of growing up with desires that are widely despised, of hiding those desires while looking for others who are hiding, and the mistakes we make when we meet; and how bdsm can work in loving relationships.

A coda, “The parable of the broom”, illustrates how life in a bdsm relationship can be much like life in any relationship, and that little in bdsm is exactly what it appears to be.

Chapter 2: What do we know about people who take part in bdsm?

Bdsm: what we know: The 2005 and 2015 Australian National Survey on Health and Relationships together asked 40,000 people if they’d taken part in bdsm activity in the past year. I contacted the survey team and suggested further analysis.

Result: bdsm participants are the same as non-participants by all measures of psychological and social health, happiness and success. The finding made a lot of theorising about bdsm obsolete. This book will stick to what we actually know about bdsm and the people who take part in it.

Chapter 3: Like this in a shed

Bdsm life: I tell my lover the story of watching a bdsm game in a shed, at the age of four, and how that led to some revelations about myself and how my life was likely to be.

Chapter 4: Where do we come from?

Bdsm: what we know: Explores some of the theories about the “causes” of bdsm. Sets out what little we know, and attempts to provide an evidence-based theory.

Chapter 5: Angelina – texts and pretexts

Bdsm life: Learning, as a child, that bdsm interests must be hidden. An adolescent attempt with a willing partner leads to excruciating embarrassment.

PART 2: Bdsm in history Continue reading

Terracing blues

Personally, life is good. I’ve just paid off my mortgage, so I own my land and buildings. I’ve chucked in my job, and even after paying the mortgage, I’ve got enough money to keep me in champagne and travel for a couple of years. 

Which gives me time to finish a revision of the bdsm book (chapters 1 and 2 are crap and need re-writing from the ground up, though the rest is okay). I want that published by a dead-tree publisher, because it’s a Serious Work, and also for the kudos of it. After that I can maybe sell other writing as e-books. 

I have another book, a novel, that also needs revision to make it work, but that will be published under a different name for various reasons, so I won’t say anything about it here.   Except to say that if it sells well, and people start screaming out for sequels, the third book will have the Mahdi (a saintly religious figure, or a 19th-century Sudanese slave-trader and rapist, primarily of young boys, depending on your point of view) as a character. 

And I’ve finished the terrace I’ve been building, to flatten some of the back garden so that drunk and stoned people don’t run helplessly downhill and fall over. Unless they want to. 

Stinks like a pile of dead rats at the moment, because I put down blood and bone mix before I sowed the grass seeds. It'll be all green in a few days.

My new terraces. They stink like a pile of dead rats at the moment, because I put down blood and bone mix before I sowed the grass seeds. It’ll be all green in a few days.



That Maureen story: the WTF moment

I wrote a series of posts, “The shame of being a dom”, which included the story of Maureen. That story includes one completely WTF moment. We were discussing English literature because I was helping her with her assignment. Though it’s unwise to do this on a bed, naked, if you want to get any work done. 

I’d never made any bdsm approaches with her, not even something safe and mild like smacking her ass when she was about to come. She’d never had any bdsm experience of any kind, and, as far as she knew, any bdsm desires, dreams or fantasies. 

But still, this dialogue happened: 

Me: Well, you can say Milton’s Areopagitica is an ambivalent defence of free speech, and hey! you could link it to the Romantics’ idea that Satan was a sort of spirit of freedom. Must be at least 400 words in that. 

Maureen: Mmmm. I guess. So would you like to spank me? 

So, I thought at the time and afterwards, where the fuck did that come from? Why did she say that? I was glad she did say it, and the consequence was a relationship that turned out incredibly hot for both of us. But … why?

I asked her then and later, and she claimed she had no idea. She’d just thought it’d be something I liked. She never expected that she’d turn out to like it so much as well. 

I have one theory. I already had a library, a collection of books that followed me round from house to house, that was more than you could fit into a single car. (You’d need a couple of trucks, now. I know this, because when I left the city and moved up to the mountains, the books did take a couple of large trucks.) 

Why are these girls doing what they are doing, in this photograph? Charming, yes, but it is sexy?

Why are these girls doing what they are doing, in this photograph? Charming, yes, but it is sexy?

Anyway, one of my books was Les Jeux de Dames Cruelles, or The Games of cruel Women. This was a book of vintage erotic photographs, lithographs and postcards, which, despite the title, mainly featured cruel things being done to happy girls, not done by them. Though often it worked both ways: Fifi tied up Nanette, and took the cane to the poor girl’s helpless bottom. Maureen had really liked that book.

Vintage erotic photography has an odd effect. At one level its sexual charge is gone, because of all the differences of technology, and style – even when the models are naked, their hairstyles, the shape of their bodies, the way they pose their bodies – now seem awkward, and charming rather than sexy. “Look at her,” we might say, “quite a pretty girl, but does she really think that’s sexy?”

Anyway, Maureen noticed that the book fell open at certain places. She was right. There were some images I really liked, not because they were charming but because they were hot. She knew young men, and she knew that I’d held that book in one hand, and my cock in the other, and that explained the book’s tendency to open itself at the images that still held their sexual charge.

And so that’s how she knew that if she offered me her body, in submission, I would be most willing and overjoyed to take it. In my stylish and articulate way: 

Me: What? Uh, hrrrrrrm. Um-hrrrrrrm. Oh. Uh, yes. Yes, please. Absolutely. Yes.

Chloe’s game: the 21st and final instalment

"Women's Prison II: Night of the Warden": a searing indictment of today's prison conditions and recidivism rates.

“Women’s Prison II: Night of the Warden”: a searing indictment of today’s prison conditions and recidivism rates.

That became our new life. On some weekends we played Naughty schoolgirl and strict teacher. There were other games, of which Women’s Prison II: Night of the Warden was best. (There was no Women’s Prison I.) 

The thing with role-playing was to keep the format stupid, so there could be nothing of interest in the game itself. We didn’t want to develop a storyline or care about characters. The games freed us to explore darker bdsm territory while maintaining normal life the rest of the time.

Serious play was for the weekends. On weeknights Chloe got spanked or I’d take my belt to her as  for the sensuality of it, before and during sex.

Chloe encouraged me to experiment. I became better at keeping our sexual plays moving, and at seeming to control what happened while making sure that Chloe’s pleasures and preferences were well indulged.

I learned to give commands with apparent conviction, and – within these games – without embarrassment or political guilt. I learned to pause impressively, rather than dithering, when I couldn’t think of what to say or do next. It was acting from the William Shatner school but – like Shatner’s acting – it worked well enough.

Libertines at the altar. (Illustration from "Therese Philosophe", 1748.)

Libertines at the altar. (Illustration from “Therese Philosophe”, 1748.)

I sometimes tried earnest conversation with Chloe about how our play could be defended politically, but she thought that my worries about it were my problem. She was merciless when she encountered sexist men, but she had no interest in ideology or activism. Chloe loathed authoritarianism, irrationalism, hypocrisy, stupidity and wilful ignorance, which meant she was not ideally placed to take much interest in political campaigns, except where they touched on science and got in its way.

I suspect that she mildly enjoyed the idea that her choice of pleasure might annoy the more puritanical kind of feminist, in something of the spirit in which eighteenth century libertines might sneak into a local church and have sex on the altar. In any case she played and helped plan our games with the kind of glee that suggested she was subverting something.

It’s not a game I’ve played for years. I don’t do any role playing any more. But it was worth doing at the time. There’s a hell of lot to be learned from it. 

Chloe’s game 20

“You never really wore your skirt like that, did you? 

“God no. We were so respectable. I wouldn’t have got past the gates like that.”

“So when did you … ?”

Voguequeen sewing pattern.

Voguequeen sewing pattern.

“Take up the hem? I had my old sewing gear in my bedroom. Since they weren’t letting me do anything else with my evenings.”

“Oh.” So she had been defying her parents while we’d stayed with them. In two widely separated bedrooms and near-constant supervision. So there had been a kind of solidarity. I wished she’d told me.

“And then there was the Dubbin. I felt very filthy using that.”

“Dubbin?” I remembered the tin of lubricant.

I’d been looking forward to buggering her with that. “I, uh, suppose you would feel filthy.”

“Rubbing it into that belt. It’s stuff for leather care. You rub it into the leather to make it flexible. For when you use it on me. You do know what Dubbin is, don’t you?”

“Course I do,” I said, irritated.

We took the wine back to bed. Another thing I decided was that this sort of game, which was at once more playful and more serious than any of my previous experiences, was exhausting. I had a half-hard penis, and I had an idea that I should rub cold cream into Chloe’s skin, but I fell asleep without doing anything about either.

The next morning Chloe woke up softly affectionate, though not in a sexual mood. I was relieved to be cuddled, since I was always aware that regardless of what consents had been given and what the events had meant at the time, I’d set out to hurt her. I’d certainly succeeded. So it was a relief still to be loved.

Chloe’s game 19

The word for serving sushi on the body of a naked woman is called "nyotaimori". Oddly enough, it's a Japanese word...

The word for serving sushi on the body of a naked woman is “nyotaimori”. Oddly enough, it’s a Japanese word…

I fell asleep too, waking when Chloe rose at midnight to have a shower. She was a pale girl, who glowed in moonlight like a ghost. But her arse and upper thighs were dark and almost invisible.

I put together sushi and cucumber from her fridge, and poured wine, demonstrating my committed opposition to patriarchal oppression, et cetera, which I tended to do after delivering any sort of thrashing.

(That was then. My level of service to submissives has deteriorated, I’m afraid.) 

Chloe’s buttocks and thighs, when she returned from the shower, were much cooler and, disappointingly, already much paler. But she still chose to lie facedown on her couch while I hand fed her sushi and held her glass to her lips.

I told her how much I’d loved her game, saying to her some of the things I’ve written above. In return Chloe told me that the strap had hurt, certainly, but except for a couple of the lashes – like so many people with our desires, she liked the feel of words – where I’d misjudged my aim or the force of the swing, it had been a satisfying hurt.

She liked its leathery weight, the way it impacted and kept a warm buzzing in her skin until the next lash. Somewhere around the twentieth stroke she’d stopped caring about individual impacts. Her whipping became a continuous experience that included but did not focus on the strap landing across her bottom; it flowed, building up heat, intensity and the deep, sexual sort of pain.

And she’d liked being commanded. She’d determined in advance that she would do whatever I said, so that in the moment she could feel, helplessly, that she had to obey. She wanted us to do more of that. Just in play, of course, she said: try it outside this room, and I’ll kick your balls in …  

I let that pass.

Chloe’s game 18

Naughty schoolgirl and strict teacher is one of the tackiest scenarios in all pornography. It’s silly, clichéd, and politically suspect. But it had just introduced me to pleasures that I intended to explore and repeat.

I’d liked Chloe’s obedience, playful though it had been. I’d liked giving orders. Chloe’s show of respectful surrender, sir, and the way I’d asserted myself in response: that was exciting.

danaeI hadn’t used a real instrument before. I hadn’t made a woman raise her voice in pain before. Both had overjoyed me. I wasn’t quite comfortable with the fact that Chloe’s cries of pain had turned me on, but I couldn’t deny it.

There was a hairbrush and a ruler in that drawer, and I knew that I’d use both on Chloe, hard, before this weekend was over. I wanted to hear her song of pain again and again, and to hurt and fuck and comfort the girl who sang it.

The game might be silly, but it took me to darker and more truthful places than I’d ever been before.

Till then I’d always tried to maintain and emphasise equality between my partners and me, even during bdsm sex. I’d get permission before I hurt her or tied her, not only before any session, but before proceeding with any action during a session. Consent had to be continuously asserted.

But Chloe had simply given me her submission and put me in control. Submission turned out to be more exciting than permission.

I wanted more of it. Within that game I could have it, and Chloe could have her pleasures, while – outside the game – we maintained the equality that we both believed in.

Chloe’s game 17

At a signal from Chloe – she said, “Are you going to fuck me”, with slight impatience, rather than, “Please fuck me, sir”, which told me that the game was over and we were back in propriae personae – I helped her up, embraced and praised her, and helped get that uniform off, undoing buttons and tugging with clumsy impatience, then shed my own clothes and pulled her to bed.

ridinChloe wouldn’t let her strapped skin touch the sheet, let alone lie on her back. I wanted to fuck her from behind, sinking my cock between her glowing buttocks, but she ruled that out too. She wanted nothing harder than air to touch her bottom. So I lay on my back and let her straddle me.

She leaned down to kiss me and didn’t break the kiss while she lowered herself onto my cock, filling herself.

Then she sat up to ride, her nipples drawing pink spirals in the air as she bounced above me.

One last surge of cruelty took me as she was close to coming, and I reached back and smacked her burning skin while she grunted and galloped; and for the first time in months she made her crying and hiccoughing noise, as she came and fell forward onto me.

But this time there was laughter in the mix.

Chloe rested on me and I held her until she snored gently, her nose healthily cold against my neck. I lay awake and considered my new experiences. 

Chloe’s game 16

We developed a rhythm, Chloe and I, the swing and thwap of the strap, her cry and the new stripe, or, once the strap had already reached most of her skin, the deepening of an existing pink-red area, her frantic dance, and, when she raised her hips again, the swing of the strap. I think the strokes were about twenty to thirty seconds apart.But we were dancing, not thinking, or counting time.

strapyThis was very different from the spankings I’d given her. I missed the tactile pleasure of my hand on her heated skin, but there were compensations. Her posture was so blatantly submissive, and because the strap required me to stand a little further back, I had distance and time to study her.

I stopped the strapping twice, at intervals of about ten minutes, to stroke her cunt. The first time I was still reassuring myself that she loved this. That first time I used my fingers, because it was important to know she was wet.

The second time, I pleasured her cunt with the strap itself. I didn’t need to know she was happy; of course she was. And I thought she’d like the symbolism of being pleasured with the leather that I was using to hurting her. We breathed together while she devoted herself, all of her awareness, to the slow rubbing of girlskin against that old belt. 

When she was nearly ready to come, I stepped back and resumed the strapping.

Neither of us knew how many strokes I gave her. By the latter stages Chloe’s skin glowed dark pink from the upper slopes of her buttocks to about two inches down her thighs, with strips of brighter red where the leather had landed on earlier stripes, and only isolated glimpses of white skin.

Chloe danced and bucked without pausing, and I’d stopped waiting for her to keep still and present herself. I just waited till her hips were at the lowest point in her dance and swung the leather to impact on her bottom as it rose.

I couldn’t aim with any great accuracy, but at least I could judge the timing. The strapping lasted about half an hour. Chloe glowed, not only with sweat.