Friday, December 27, 2013

Ninety-Three: Characters

I do think that I'd have to craft any erotica that I might write into some very specific forms.

The erotica I'd write would have to have an s/m storyline, as much for the element of ritualized sex as for the s/m itself.  I'd want there to be an sense of the very formalized about the story line. There would be a sense of cool (or even cold) formality and ritual. The characters would be able to look at what they were doing with a kind of stylized distance, a kind of abstraction. There could be romance, and even longing, but there'd always be a sense of distance. My characters would have read about the things they hoped to do long before they ever did any of them, and they'd always see themselves as being part of a story.

The characters would be age-disparate. There's never any question about that. The girl who's the heroine would always be much younger than the hero. However not? The hero would always be me, at least in some ways. The heroine would be a much younger, though she'd always be fiercely bright and well-read. Even as an undergraduate girl, as a co-ed, she'd understand the literary references implicit in the affair. It would be important that she knew those things, that she was aware that s/m existed, that she knew what any affair with the hero would involve.

My heroine would be young, yes--- perhaps just barely into her twenties. But she'd have lived inside books all her life, and she'd be visualizing herself as a character in a novel or a film. She'd have read enough to know what her older admirer wanted from her. The word "predator" wouldn't frighten her at all.

There's a moment that I'd insist on seeing, by the way. Imagine that early-autumn night in the city, and imagine her there on the stoop of a brownstone, holding hands with the hero, kissing him,  and knowing what's waiting upstairs in his apartment. She puts out her cigarette and stands and pulls him up by his hand. "Show me," she'd say. "Show me." That's very much what I'd want--- a girl who's willing to explore, who's prepared to overcome any fears with the desire to try new things, to just dive into experience. That would be important--- that she'd be willing to go up those stairs as an adventure.

He is older--- that's a given. How much older? Well...enough to make their affair suspect in most people's eyes. Enough of an age difference for their affair to be transgressive. But it's important that he not see her as a child or as simply a plaything. He admires her courage and her intelligence as much as he loves her long legs and sharp, visible hipbones and ribs. Whatever he wants to do with her, he wants her to be part of it, to know that she sees herself as a character in so many stories.

I can think about what's likely to happen upstairs--- silk blindfolds, silk bindings, riding whips and candle wax. I can think about those things. But what matters is that the girl who's the heroine walks up those stairs because she wants to see new worlds and new experiences, and that the hero knows that his own role in the story demands that he offer her up formal, ritualized experiences.

It's no less important that they talk, that the affair demands long conversations late at night. The story can be very explicit, but to the two principals, it's also about long conversations, about stories and dreams spun out late in the night. It's important that they know that each of them is creating backstories for what's happening.  For every kiss on a bare hipbone, for every new position and every enacted ritual, there must be long, intricate conversations. They'll be deeply enamoured of one another, deeply in lust and in love. But they'll be all-to-aware of what they're doing together, all-too-aware of being part of something very formalized.

I'm not sure at all if this makes any sense. The story I'd want to tell would be very passionate, but a passion that's mediated through literary references, through an awareness of all the books and films that my characters have experienced.  My characters would approach one another through their own knowledge of those things. Is that erotica, no matter they might do in bed? That's a question that I'll open up to any readers--- does self-awareness blight erotica? What are your thoughts on that?

Anyway... It's hard to imagine erotica that isn't about two people who want to experience new things, who are aware of so many things in books and films that they need in their own lives.  Erotica for me requires a kind of distance, an awareness of sets and setting, an awareness of what sets and props the characters have chosen--- brand names, despite anything Remittance Girl may have said. My characters would always want to be part of a literary world that embraces everything they do with one another.

Erotica for them has to be about be about dreams rather than flesh...or at least about something formal that's more than the mere collision of flesh.

I do wish I new how to write all of this down--- to shape a story around the characters I've seen in my mind's eye all these years.

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