Erotic Interlude: Socially Inept Men Make Me Feel So Horny
By Hapax Legomenon

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Emile Friant,  Les Amoureux , 1888
Emile Friant Les Amoureux, 1888

After not seeing Lisa for several weeks, we ran into one another quite randomly at a wedding reception. She waved to me from the other side of her room and later introduced me to Samuel (her date). She was wearing an elegant red dress, sexy as ever and happy to see a familiar face.

Later, after Samuel went to fetch appetizers from the kitchen, I asked Lisa if she'd been keeping up with my stories.

She laughed. "Sorry I've been falling behind. I've been busy planning my company's fundraiser. Actually, you might be interested to know I've been reading Jane Austen's Persuasion. It is a sad remarkable novel."

"Are you becoming prudish in your old age?"

"Oh, not at all," she said. "Some days I just prefer the classics over anything else. A good old-fashioned love story resonates more than a minor titillating episode. Please don't take offense," she said, realizing her words might be misconstrued.

"None taken," I said. "They're different forms with different goals."

"Exactly," she agreed. "With your short stories (or any short story), I have trouble keeping characters straight in my head; Chekhov may have been the better writer, but more people are going to remember Anna Karenina than the Lady with the Dog."

"Character is overrated," I said, "Erotic stories only have one subject: depicting how and why people succumb to desire."

"But that's interesting only once. What next? What happens to the protagonist in Germs after the girl goes to Germany? What happens to the man who buys condoms from the convenience store? If you tell a story without revealing motivation or psychological repercussions, you overlook the juiciest parts of the story!!"

"Who says erotic fiction needs psychological depth? I may be a horny bastard, but I doubt I'd have the patience to read a 300 page novel about sex. The novels of Kundera succeeded only because chapters were three pages long. Any painting looks ghastly if the canvas is too big."

"False analogy," Lisa said. "It's not just a matter of size; but perspective. A short story depicts a chain of events leading to seduction. But you don't appreciate how they got there or how it will change their future. A erotic short story conveys the illusion that characters care and think about only about one thing – sex. Novels at least present sex as one of many motivators. It also put a seduction in biographical context . What brings a person to the point of seduction? And what will it mean in the long run? An erotic story only wants to visit to one place and to visit it over and over. The most intriguing men in fiction – the ones most likely to stir a woman's heart – reside in novels, not short stories."

"Who's that?" I said, nodding to a busty blonde woman who had just walked in.

"That's Billie. She's happily engaged. Sorry."

I shrugged my shoulders. "She probably reads Stephen King."

"You snob," Lisa laughed. "She's actually nice. I'll introduce you when she comes over. Speaking of which, I wonder where Samuel is."

"Still in the kitchen." I said, motioning.

"I need to chase him down. I'll see you."

"Wait, Lisa....did you read my latest story?"

"Did you send one?"

"About two weeks ago. Called The Woman who Tapped her Shoe."

Lisa paused. "Was that about the woman who wore the man's necktie?"

"No, that's another one."

"Sorry, I get them all mixed up. Can you refresh my memory?"

"A man lusts after a woman in church."

"Oh that," she said, remembering. "It was okay.... It's just..."

"What?"

"The problem with this story is that nothing happens. Maybe the story would be more readable if the two people meet and have an affair."

"But they never meet."

"They should. That would make an interesting story...erotic or not. How hard would it have been for them to strike up a conversation? Do you live nearby? What do you think of that sermon? I like your dress. Hi, I just joined this church; what do you think of it? Do you have any idea how old this church is? I see you around a lot; how long have been a parishioner? Does the same priest do the later masses? I like the pastor, do you? It doesn't take a genius to come up with these conversation starters. I get so sick of reading about socially inept men dreaming of beautiful women. Cliche, cliche, cliche. What do you need to get these two together? Does the woman have to walk up and say, 'Hi, I'm Nancy. Socially inept men make me feel so horny'."

"If only," I muttered, glancing at Billie across the room, wondering how to fit her in my next story.

Written April, 2008


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" Erotic stories only have one subject: depicting how and why people succumb to desire."
                                 
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