PFFG: Jean, thank you so much for showcasing your work in The Gazette. Tell us a little about yourself.
Jean: Hmmm. Well, I am a woman of a certain age who has been writing for a very long time. I have lived everywhere from the midwest to Alaska. I have lived in big cities and small towns in the middle of nowhere. I have all sorts of friends and I enjoy people. I like my alone time, as well. Currently I live in the Pacific Northwest after a drought of experience in Southern Indiana.
PFFG: What made you want to write erotica?
Jean: I have always written with a sensual sensibility. I started by writing stories for a friend. Not a boyfriend, just a male friend. I enjoy sex, and most sexual writing is tacky. I tried to not be tacky. I like a well-written scene that titillates, pun intended. And it is just plan fun.
Sex reminds us we are alive. Touch, sensation, the dance between two equals. When the two are consenting adults, with agreement on what they allow, and what they want –well, that makes the boundaries fluid. And I like to write about the edges of the boundaries.
PFFG: Do you remember how you became aware of The Gazette?
Jean: I believe I became aware of The Gazette thru a blog I liked on WordPress, The Moon and Sixpence, who led me to you somehow. Or you liked one of my posts, and that led me to you. And now here we are!
PFFG: Name a few writers who have influenced your own writing.
Jean: Influences. Well, DH Lawrence was/is a big influence on the sensuality of my writing. Passion and danger, the depth of feeling in his writing. As to storytelling in general, mystery and magic, well, Ray Bradbury is a master. His stories of what might be and small town nostalgia mixed with space and the universal angst of longing is just magnificent. Kurt Vonnegut is a big influence, too. His wit and sarcasm has informed the sense of humor in my writing. As for brevity and cutting to the point, Raymond Carver. He wrote silence. There are multitudes of meaning in the spaces between his words.
PFFG: I’ve seen your photos. I’ve commented on your photos. How do you take them and what subjects or themes are you drawn to?
Jean: Haha. My narcissistic photos. I take them with my phone. It is amazing what a modern phone can do. Of course there are limitations. I love landscapes. I love the feeling of another world. I take a lot of photographs of trees and paths through the woods. I like to use sepia tones. And of course, I take selfies. Sometimes dressed, sometimes half-dressed.
PFFG: Some of your sex scenes are very explicit. Do you have any tips you can share with other writers who want to break into erotica about how to write a good, explicit sex scene?
Jean: Know your subject, haha. I don’t use euphemisms. It is not “his rod”, it’s a cock. It doesn’t throb. It’s not a “Venus mons”, it’s a pussy or a cunt. And one should write with emotion and honesty.
That doesn’t mean there is no room for nuance in erotica. on the contrary, sometimes it is all nuance. But don’t be tacky.
PFFG: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Jean: I love writing. All kinds. I have always had to write. It is like breathing. And thank you for this opportunity to share some of my racier writing with a wider audience. I hope to have a book of poetry out next year, and maybe one of my erotic writing.
PFFG: Excellent. Excellent indeed. Jean, thank you so much and I look forward to publishing your erotic flash fiction in July. Now all you rock ‘n’ rollers, Jean has given me permission to print three of her erotic poems. And here they are.
I smell like you, an afterburn of musk and sweat.
I smell like all those women conquered by sex, all those women
who surrendered, who opened up their legs
I Shall Be Mistress
Shall we play that game that is all the rage
because of that book.
You know the book I mean?
I shall be Mistress,
and you shall be my willing
I have this collar of velvet,
and a leash of silk.
Over there, that divan is covered in fur
as soft as down–I will
lay your naked body face down,
and make you do
I must warn you, though–
I am descended from Machiavelli and DeSade,
and my interpretation of those shades will be a harder kind of
way beyond the sparkle of twilight.
I kneel and I reach for you.
I take you into my hand, softly and smoothly.
My mouth follows, my eyes meet yours;
No words needed between us.
Just sighs from you as I play the
Music of your body
(Editor’s Note: Jean Michelle also blogs on tumblr at The Labyrinth Calls under the name Bunny Liebowitz.)
This is Guy Hogan reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette, the home of Naked News videos and erotic flash fiction.