But in particular, I’d like to say hello to Ellie.
I don’t know if the rest of you have been to Ellie’s blog, but it’s quite, um, candid. She appears to be a woman of considerable appetites and, while I’m not one to judge, I do feel a little sorry for her husband. Presumably he doesn’t know what she’s getting up to behind his back with a string of men, women and portable equipment.
I was uplifted by the frankness of her writing. Indeed, I hadn’t been reading Ellie’s blog for more than a couple of minutes before I felt a post coming on.
So here we go: I was reminded, as I so often am by these sorts of things, of the few years that Dave the Roofer spent supplementing his income by writing erotic fiction for a publishing house called Fantasy Towers. Sadly FT has gone bust now (they even sold their web domain to the Financial Times in a bid to stay afloat) and that was, in part, Dave’s fault.
To be fair to Dave, he’s always striven for new territory and, after a while, he began to find the constraints of the FT style guide a little tight. He wanted to really stretch the genre as wide as it would go and so he managed to persuade FT’s owner and chief editor to take a gamble on what turned out to be his final book, Nun Buggers.
Sadly it proved too extreme for FT’s readership and the firm effectively choked to death, not unlike Sister Gloria, the auto-erotic asphyxiation-inclined Mother Superior in the book, who was found hanging by her rosary from the door handle of her office in the Convent, with a tennis ball in her mouth and an extra large love egg up her whotsit.In a poignant twist, the love egg was still jiggling. It was, Dave wrote, the only life left in her.
But it was the chief editor’s call to publish the book, ultimately, so he’s to blame. Dave told me that when he first went to see the chief editor, he was staggered by the amount of books in the office, with many classic British novels among the bongo. He asked the editor if he’d read them all, and the editor said he had, indeed.
“Oh yes,” he said, “all of them, and more than once. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Sense and Sensibility, Brideshead Revisited, Bleak House, Wuthering Heights, Pamela, they’re all terribly dog-eared, I’m afraid. But none is so well thumbed as Howard’s End.”
“That’s good, is it?” said Dave.
“It’s wonderful,” said the editor, smiling wistfully. “Time after time I lose myself in it for hours.”
It was three months before Dave realised that Howard was the office junior.
For a couple of years Dave was their biggest selling author. Of course he didn’t publish under his real name, Dave the Roofer. He had a nom de plume, which he actually took from a distant ancestor: The Contessa Alexia von Lichtenstein (the Roofer – lol!!).
Dave started out writing erotic twists on established stories or genres. The saucy horror short story The Camel’s Paw gave him his first big break, and he followed this up with Charles Dickings’ Great Expectorations, a skit in which pathological liar Pip feeds Estella an absolute whopper and she finds it hard to swallow. Then there was the Life and Times of Miss Hand-Shandy, a story about a girl who works in an eighteenth century massage parlour, which had a very happy ending. Of all of Dave’s books from this early period, I liked the semi-autobiographical Wankenstein the least; it was too self indulgent. Dave did admit to me once that, by this stage in his historic erotica writing, he had begun to run a little dry.
The fixation with illicit rumpo within the confines of religious buildings that was eventually to prove his downfall was evident in the only gay erotic novel he wrote, charting the nightly trysts between two extremely flexible and open minded residents of a Silent Trappist Monastery.
Called The Love That Dare Not Speak It’s Name, it’s pretty much like Brokeback Mountain, but with monks, and less dialogue (it’s all about body language, the book’s jacket says). Dave hasn’t spoken to Annie Proulx since her short story came out. He’s tetchy about the details, but he thinks she ripped him off. It’s a shame, they were really good friends, and he did her roof for mates’ rates.
Probably his most challenging period was when he got into hyper-realism. Fantasy Towers tried to dissuade him from following this route, knowing, I suppose, that what their readers really wanted was fantasy. But Dave is an obstinate man and, when the creative urge is upon him, cannot be knocked off his path. So I thought I might give you a sample of writing from this, his most difficult erotic book: The Married Sex Life of Robert and Claire.
To set the scene, Robert and Claire, have just got home after a meal out for their fifteenth wedding anniversary.
“Well the food was nice, at least,” said Claire with a sigh, stepping out of her high heels and massaging her feet. She made a mental note to buy a new pumice stone.
“One hundred and twenty fucking quid,” said Robert, hiccupping. “And that dessert was only a chocolate fucking pudding. It was a piece of piss; even you could have made it. Just because that twat’s on the telly. He wasn’t even doing the cooking, the fuckwit.”
Robert walked to the downstairs toilet, knocking their wedding photo askew as he bumped into the wall. With a sigh he began to empty his bladder.
“Christ, I’ve been dying for this since we got in that cab,” he shouted. “Hey, pretty lucky to find an unlicensed one, eh love? Saved us a tenner at least.”
“Do you think you could please shut the door when you’re using the toilet,” said Claire. “And don’t go all over the seat,” she shouted, adding “for fuck’s sake” under her breath.
“I never go over the seat,” Robert replied, wiping the seat with some toilet roll.
Robert flushed the cistern and swayed out of the toilet and back into the hallway. Claire sighed to herself. He was drunk again. The meal wouldn’t even have been so expensive if he hadn’t ordered that second bottle, not to mention the dessert wine. Still, at least the kids didn’t have to see him like this. She’d packed them off to her mum’s.
“Bloody hell, fifteen years,” said Robert putting his hands on Claire’s tits. “Where’s it all gone, eh?”
“I don’t know,” said Claire wondering whether Robert thought she was enjoying his attentions.
“Right, then,” he said, “I suppose we should, you know, nip upstairs, given the kids are away. Make like it’s fifteen years ago, eh love?”
Claire couldn’t remember if she’d even enjoyed it fifteen years ago. Nonetheless, she took the stairs ahead of him.
In the bedroom Robert struggled out of his trousers and stood before her, in his shirt, underpants and socks. She let her dress slide to the floor, took off her tights and bra, and slipped between the sheets. Robert pulled the bedclothes back, naked now, and clambered on to the bed as she parted her legs in tired resignation, shut her eyes and waited.
“Oh,” said Robert.
Claire opened her eyes. Robert was looking ruefully down at his cock, which was flaccid.
“I don’t know…” he started to make an excuse…
“Just forget it, don’t worry,” said Claire.
“I’m so tired and stuff, and work’s really stressful,” Robert said.
“You’re drunk,” said Claire, flatly.
“I could, er, I could use my mouth, I mean I could go…”
“Please, Robert, shut up,” said Claire, “you’re embarrassing me.”
“Or maybe you could, y’know, kiss it. That might wake it up a bit…”
“Get off!” said Claire.
Robert rolled to the side of Claire, and she turned her back to him.
“I don’t know why, for once, we couldn’t just have a romantic night together,” She began. “Dan takes Juliette away for a weekend once a month. I’m not asking for that, I’m just asking, for once, that we have dinner out and some kind of attempt at romance. But no, not even on our fucking anniversary. Don’t you care, Robert? Don’t you care? Robert…”
But Robert was asleep.
In the early hours of the morning he awoke with an erection so powerful it almost hurt. His head was full of hot, scattered images, fragments of dreams he’d been having. He was horny as hell, that was all he could think about. He rolled over and whispered to his wife:
“Claire, are you awake love?” he gave her shoulder a shake. “Claire, are you awake? I’m really bloody horny. Can we have sex now?”
Claire was awake, but she pretended to be asleep. There was no way, there was just no way. When another shake got no response, Robert sighed and turned over. Suddenly he remembered one of the dreams he’d been having, about the young girl who worked in his office. God she was so gorgeous. So young, so... so unspoiled. Without him willing it, his hand found its way down to his cock.
It didn’t take long. He let out an almost inaudible moan. Breathing in it felt as if he inhaled no oxygen; only despair.
Well, there you go, readers, I told you it was challenging. I for one struggled to see the titillation in it. But Dave was convinced that he’d started a new movement in erotic fiction and was not to be dissuaded. Then, as soon as it had come, it was gone, and he was back to more familiar output, with some utter filth based on the Swiss Family Robinson.
The thing that always used to make me smile about Dave’s books, the ones that had the actual fantasy stuff in them, was that they were all read by people who thought they were written by an aristocratic woman. In fact, of course, they were written by a 16 stone roofer from West London. Dave told me that this was more or less the norm, and that most female writers of erotic fiction are, in fact, men.
Now I’m not suggesting Ellie is a sixteen stone man, I don’t doubt her femininity for a moment. No, no. But it does get you thinking, doesn’t it.
Anyways, once again, welcome to all my friends and Ellie: Keep it up!