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The Fetish of Disbelief
Written by Paul   
Thursday, 22 December 2011 03:23

Unicorn - Trot

This, for example, is probably not happening.

Suspension of disbelief is critical to the success of any piece of fiction.  We have to go along with the story in some fashion, no matter how out-and-out ridiculous it may be.  Whether it's a story about miners in West Virginia in the 1920s or about purple-skinned ice-pirates on the moons of a planet called Umloort we have to believe it enough to care, to follow the characters to find out what they do.

There are really two main ways to do this, which can operate separately or at the same time, but they are the key features.  Either we build a world through authenticating (that is, convincing) detail so that it feels real even if readers know it is not, or we tell the story with such a charming, assured voice that they come along anyway, persuaded by our engaging self-assurance.

Porn presents its own challenges as regards suspension of disbelief, not the least of which is that in porn people have a lot more sex than real people for the most part do.  A major weapon at your disposal as a writer of smut is that whether or not your audience believes that there are really people who get laid this much, they want to believe it.

And this is another truth about suspension of disbelief: the reader is on your side.  They want, after all, to be told a story, to be entertained - otherwise they wouldn't be reading your story to begin with.  They want to go along for the ride and have a good time, and for the most part you just have to not get in the way of that.

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Legendary Lovers: Who decides that, anyway?
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Written by Amanda Gannon   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 03:01
Heath Ledger as the hottest Casanova ever.
Laugh at his clothes all you want, he is still scoring with your mom.  And your sister.  And your girlfriend.

So what actually goes into a legendary lover?  The traits we associate with sexual prowess are quite revealing.

First off, sexual prowess is a trait that is overwhelmingly prized only in men.

Legendary female lovers?  Oh, dear.  More like legendary sluts, am I right?  The sexual prowess and appetites of women like Cleopatra or Catherine the Great may be awe-inspiring in a "holy shit that thing could eat us!" way, but a woman whose whole schtick is being an excellent lover is not someone held in high esteem.  In fact, completely imaginary sluttiness can be used to taint a powerful, intelligent woman's name even centuries after the fact (q.v. Lucrezia Borgia).

It boils down to this: a man can be a prodigious lover and still be an honorable gentleman.  A woman cannot be a prodigious lover and still be a lady, and a lady's "honor," well, we all know what that's a metaphor for.  The whole grotesque double standard is a calcification of the societal mores that dictate men should have lots of sexual experience, and women should not.

This shouldn't come as any surprise.  Women's sexual urges are often dismissed or demonized.  The nasty stereotype of the woman who orders guys around in bed and who is impossible to please, who takes too long to come, is just an inversion of the woman who learns all about how to please her partner and never gives any thought to what she actually wants personally.  Neither of them are positive stereotypes.  The ravenous all-fucking Queen Cuntbeast is not a particularly positive stereotype, either, although she sounds awesome, and I would love to invite her over.

Ahem.  Moving on.

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Putting the X back in X-Mas
Written by Paul   
Monday, 19 December 2011 05:22


New chapter is online, still free so click here to read Chapter 10: At the Fucking Opera.  In which Lanner may be forgiven for not following the plot.

"Erm.  And this is act . . . three?"

"Four," she sighed, then slid directly against him and proceeded to utterly mangle the plot for Astivar's latest masterpiece in a husky undertone, straight into his ear.  "The black sorcerer laid a curse on the hero during a swordfight because of a prophecy, and now he has to find the perfect virgin to break the spell, only she's crazy because her mother took away her magic fish charm, and now the hero thinks he's in love with his mother!"

"Oh, Gods."  He was going to need a drink, helped himself from the bottle chilling in a bucket nearby.

"Not his own mother, the sorcerer's mother – who is really the princess' mother."

"And the man in black – that's the sorcerer?"  He kept his voice low so Ygrania would have no reason to turn around and see how Nyvala had nuzzled up to him.

"Pretending to be the captain of the bodyguard.  See?  He has feathers.  Only captains have feathers."  Her breath tingled down the side of his neck.  "Big, brave captains."

"Erm.  I see."

"Only here comes the hero!"  She sighed dramatically, sending gooseflesh rippling pleasantly down his right arm.  She smelled like honey, and amber, and warm grass, and girl.  "The bad guy wants to kill him to get the virgin, so he can break the spell."

"He laid the spell."

"The other spell!  The prophecy!  Which says he's going to marry his sister!"

"The woman in green?  I thought that was the Empress."

"Haven't you been paying attention?  Oh my Gods, here comes Taon."  She visibly slid down in her seat.  Lanner coughed into his drink as her knees parted under her skirt.  Did she even know she was doing that?

Action on stage there may be, but the action in Box 5 will be heating up faster!


 
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