September 26th, 2018

Patriarchy, Unconsciousness, and the United States Government

Like many people, I have recently felt somewhere along the spectrum of affected to triggered by both the accusations of sexual misconduct directed at Brett Kavanaugh and the response to them from politicians and the culture at large. Interestingly, I have perhaps felt most triggered so far by the insights in Lili Loofbourow’s article entitled “Brett Kavanaugh and the Cruelty of Male Bonding,” which resonates strongly with me.

Why? Because this is the kind of man that has, for as long as I can remember, been the one that has seethed me to my core. The kind I have historically most dreaded, most despised; by whom I have felt most enraged and toward whom I have felt violent urges that surprised me. I have yet to come close to carrying any such violent impulses out, and at this point carrying them out no longer feels forthcoming or like the point. The point is that this is the kind of man I was always considering, always including, when I felt compelled to discount men as a whole, when I thought men and women were at intrinsic odds with each other. It was because I knew this kind of man existed.

The first error in that perspective was that I was identifying the men in question rather than the behavior. I am relieved to say it is now obvious to me that the behavior (more precisely, the manifestation of unconsciousness) is what I despise rather than the human beings themselves. Continue reading

August 11th, 2018

Pernicious Perspectives and the Abomination of #FOSTA / #SESTA

I’ve written about sex work numerous times on this blog (click on the category “Sex+ Work” to the left to see how many). I advocate decriminalization of all forms of consensual sex work and dream of the day the social stigma around it has dissolved.

And I feel a bit like I perceive a new conundrum around it. I used to think that the majority of people just didn’t understand. That there was so much ignorance around sex work because the perspective that sex workers are sub-human and undeserving of basic rights and respect and autonomy was questioned so infrequently, assumed to be acceptable so automatically, perceived so often without even conscious choice or recognition, that people failed to realize how arbitrary, unfounded, and inhumane that perspective is. I truly thought that if people stopped to consider the existence of consensual sex work as an industry like most others, they would quickly recognize how nonsensical and tragically misguided the mainstream perspective around it was.

Now, I find myself wondering if that was naïve of me. It has seemed more and more evident of late that some people simply don’t like sex work or that it exists. Yes, I have understood this to some degree, but as I mentioned, I truly trusted that in large part, it was ignorance rather than malevolence that drove the perpetration of dismissiveness, degradation, and dehumanization of sex workers. Continue reading

June 25th, 2018

The Literal Power of Love

 width=When I was five years old, I got lost at Walt Disney World. I remember the moment I looked around and realized I was in a sea of people, none of whom I recognized, and that I didn’t know where my family was. I immediately started crying, and within seconds, a gentleman approached and picked me up. He asked if I was lost. I said yes just as another gentleman approached and asked the first if I was lost. The first gentleman answered in the affirmative as my increasingly anguished wails grew louder.

The next thing I remember, I was in what seemed like a lounge of sorts. There was a couch, and I sat on it sobbing while a few grownups spoke kindly to me about how I was liking Walt Disney World and what kinds of things I liked to do back home. I had no concentration for any such conversation, however, because I didn’t know where family was or what was going to happen to me. The prospect of never seeing them again and not having any idea how they might find me brought forth an emotional overwhelm I couldn’t begin to describe then and am still at a loss to articulate now, 36 years later. Continue reading

May 24th, 2018

Sweet as Candy Lovers!

I am thrilled to announce the release of Candy Lovers: Sugar Erotica, the latest anthology to be published with a story of mine in it! I am especially excited that this happened right in the heart of baseball season, which has nothing to do with the anthology itself but has a definite relation to my story in it, “Out of the Park.”

This anthology, which is not only edited but also self-published by Rachel Kramer Bussel, is all about sweet—candy, sugar, syrup, soda…and, of course, sex. It’s thrilling to share pages again with some of my favorite colleagues like Donna George Storey, Kristina Wright, Sacchi Green, Sommer Marsden, Shanna Germain, and Rachel herself. I’ve been on a bit of an unintentional hiatus from writing for a couple years, so it is really lovely to have something published again!

The requisite treat featured in my story is arguably the most well-known of baseball sweet treats, as well as mentioned in perhaps the best-known song about baseball. (Hint: It’s also pictured right there to the right.) Longtime readers will be familiar with my love of baseball, and I am delighted to have this story be my third baseball-themed one published in an anthology (click for details on the first and second). While I wrote “Out of the Park” years ago, I gave it a heavy edit to incorporate and emphasize the sweet theme of this latest anthology of Rachel’s.

Candy Lovers is, incidentally, Rachel’s first foray into self-publishing, so a desire to support that is an additional reason to check this book out! It is free for Kindle Unlimited readers and is available at the following links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon elsewhere

Love,
Emerald

My breath caught as I followed his gaze. My favorite player was standing several feet from the dugout, talking to his teammates while they did a few last-minute warm-up stretches. He was our team’s catcher, the player whose name and number were on the back of the jersey I wore, and unquestionably my number one crush in baseball. I stared unabashedly for several seconds, adrenaline coupled with immediate sexual attraction swishing through me like a searchlight.
-from “Out of the Park”

February 8th, 2018

The Closest I Get to Football

I will be the first to acknowledge that I don’t follow football. I know very little about it, I feel even less interest in it, and I experience no desire for that to shift. However! I have, for some mysterious reason, been known to attend a Super Bowl party here and there over the years. Doing so had virtually nothing to do with football for me, of course, but I remember enjoying the food and company.

I also have known numerous people who are football fans and follow teams and the game as closely as I’ve been known to follow, for example, baseball. All of this is to say that I happen to have written a story that opens with a Super Bowl party—a party that ends up seeming fairly important to the interaction that happens subsequent to it. :) This story happens to be the title tale of my short story collection Safe.

As with many stories I’ve written, there is autobiography woven into “Safe”, though in subtle and interspersed ways that would be hard to explain. The one football-related autobiographical aspect of it is that it was inspired by someone I do know, and I have experienced him as a considerable football fan and someone who would be indeed thrilled were his team to play in, much less win, the Super Bowl.

So in the vague tradition I seem to have started for 2018 of posting story excerpts that correlate to holidays, dates, or events currently occurring :D, I’m sharing here an excerpt of this story. “Safe” was the final story I wrote for this collection, and perhaps appropriately, it closes the book out. Like “Hers to Keep” (from my New Year’s post), this story was one of the ones that was previously unpublished. Continue reading