gay erotica

Jason Ritter Nude Scenes; Pygmalion Story "The Makeover"

I personally don’t think good actors have to shy away from nude scenes in films in an attempt to try to be more artistic…or even better…than actors who do nude scenes (or even sex scenes). In other words, I think there are times in films, just like in books, where nudity and sex is important to the storyline and it shouldn’t be overlooked just because an actor has an issue with doing nude or sex scenes. I include both men and women in this.

And Jason Ritter is one of the best actors out there today, and he’s done nude scenes that I think moved his scenes forward and he does it in a way that isn’t too obvious or in any way offensive.

Here’s a web site I’ve linked to before where you can check out a few photos of Ritter’s nude scene in The Education of Charlie Banks.

And here’s an interesting interview with Ritter where he talks about his nude scenes. As of yet, I don’t think he’s ever done full frontal.

You seem to always take your pants off when you’re in a film with Jesse Eisenberg.

I guess the rule is, if I’m in a film with Jesse, I have to show my butt. It’s in his contract: I have to humiliate myself. He’s got a sick fascination with my butt. [Laughs] Maybe it’s a generational thing, but a lot of actors these days show their butts. It’s not like we’re trying to show our butts because it’s some terrible movie late at night on some weird channel like it used to be, but if our characters like to get naked, that’s representative of life. We’re holding up a mirror — to our butts. [Laughs]

Pygmalion Story “The Makeover”

In full disclosure, I don’t always watch much on the Hallmark channel. Cedar Cove is about all I can take, and even that’s been grating on my nerves lately because of all the sickening sweet dialogue and ridiculous background music (picture Dumbo skipping stones). But once in a while Hallmark has a film that I’m curious about and I like to check it out to see how these films are done. In this particular case the film I’m talking about is The Makeover, which is a new version of the old Pygmalion storyline. For those who don’t know the stage play My Fair Lady was also a take on Pygmalion.

Here’s part of the blurb for The Makeover from Hallmark.

Hannah and her business partner, Colleen Pickering (Camryn Manheim) don’t give up easily. For the next election, they recruit a candidate – beer vendor Elliot Doolittle (David Walton) – who is definitely a man-of-the-people. His mother Allie (Frances Fisher) is the definition of “piece of work,” as is his sister Bonnie (Georgia Lyman). Elliot – whose thick South Boston accent masks considerable intelligence – is the polar opposite of prim-and-proper Hannah.

As you can see, they turned the story around and made the male lead the poor, unpolished wretch instead of doing it with a woman like they did in My Fair Lady…the Audrey Hepurn character. In this particular film, The Makeover, they even used the same last name…Doolittle…as they did in My Fair Lady.

The film was excellent, and the way they adapted this age old storyline gave it a different feel and I didn’t even mind the commercials in between. However, it’s basically the same thing I did with my gay erotic romance, My Fair Laddie. Only I did a gay version, as a parody, with two gay main characters, and plenty of erotic scenes. 

And there’s one thing of which I’m certain, someone else will do yet another version of Pygmalion in the future. And then again, and again. It’s like the Cinderella trope. Most people love it.

You can read more about The Makeover here.

Photo attribution.

My Upcoming Project with Bruno Gmunder German Publisher

In the past, I’ve posted about how I sometimes work with publishers in Europe, like German Publisher, Bruno Gmunder. I’ve been working on and off with others for a long time, and I think the last thing I did for Bruno Gmunder was this, which I posted about in 2010. Over the last twenty years I’ve made a long list of contacts, and professional friendships, I value dearly all over the world.

Back then it was magazine work, which I’ve also always loved doing. There’s a very different process when writing for magazines, and magazine editors are different to work with. It’s a more relaxed feeling…for me…and the focus on any story going into a magazine is slightly different than those going into books. The story really has to move fast and lean toward high concept. There’s no playing around and word economy is always of the utmost importance. I see a lot of new authors talking about how many words they have in their books and I don’t always get that because the true sign of tight fiction that works is less, not more. But that’s another post altogether.

And, another reason why I love magazine work is because you reach far more readers than you can with books. There’s very little promotion to do because the publisher almost always has a huge readership. The money’s great, too. I’ve always found that I can make more than triple in a magazine than a book.

But this time I’m not going to be submitting something for a magazine to Bruno Gmunder. It’s going to be a short story in an anthology that will be released sometime in August. I actually don’t have the time to do this right now, but I’m making the time because they were kind enough to contact me and because I want to do it. I’m a huge fan of Bruno Gmunder, they are one of the premiere LGBT European publishers, and I can’t wait to be part of it.

I’ll post more in the future about this. It’s tentatively an erotic gay anthology, in the classic tradition of what gay fiction/erotica is supposed to be, without the restrictions I seem to be seeing in gay fiction all over the web these days. The theme of the anthology for now is older men with younger men, and it will be pubbed in the US, too. For those who are not familiar with Bruno Gmunder, here are a few links.

This is the main web site.

Here are some books on the site in English.

You can go there and check out all the links very easily. It’s not hard to navigate even if you don’t speak German. There’s not only a classic quality to their publications, but also an artistic visual quality that seems to be disappearing nowadays with all these digital book covers that have low quality images of off-balanced blissful gay men and creepy little kids running through fields of clover hand in hand as if they are on their way to the next Glee concert. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I think I might have even done a few I’m proud of. It’s just nice to see more classic art for a change, too, like the image on the cover above.

Boardwalk Empire Erotica; Gay Erotic Romance; What’s Gonzo Porn?

After watching the season finale of “Boardwalk Empire” last night, and watching a highly erotic BDSM scene (erotic for TV standards), I couldn’t help wondering whether or not the writers on BE had been influenced by “Fifty Shades of Grey.” And while I’m seeing a lot more erotica in the mainstream in all media forms, I’m also seeing this almost Victorian attitude toward gay fiction. This all does tie in, so stick with me. 

When I write posts like this I like to step back and remain objective. And that’s not always easy to do. But I often find gay books being promoted as erotic and yet I don’t find any erotica in them…or very little erotica. And that’s interesting in itself because gay fiction and erotica have historically been almost synonymous. It’s part of gay culture and gay history…my culture and history. Yet what I’ve seen lately are books that seem toned down in an erotic sense, with bland sex scenes, almost the same way films used to be toned down in the golden age of Hollywood film making. They are far from representative of gay men in most cases, and if you’re a gay man it gets a little confusing. But more than that, I have seen true gay erotic books, in spite of excellent sales numbers and an obvious strong, discreet readership, absolutely slammed by the gay erotic police.

When I released “Chase of a Dream” in two versions, one with sex scenes and one without, I thought I’d at least see a balance. If anything, I thought the erotic police would be happy to finally have a gay romance minus only 7,000 words of strong sex/erotic scenes. But they went blank, not even one review on the book without sex scenes. Interesting. And the uncensored version of “Chase of a Dream,” sold a lot of copies to the same wonderful discreet fan base I’ve had for years, which is why I didn’t let them down. I really thought that by releasing two versions I was doing this for readers…giving them what they wanted. It’s now evident that I was wrong. And I won’t self-censor another book again. I may write gay fiction without any sex scenes. I’ve done that before when the book called for it. But no more duel versions in my lifetime.

The other night I was watching a film titled, “Beware of the Gonzo,” and when I went to look up something about it later that night I did a search and came up with tons of links to “Gonzo Porn.” My reaction was shock. Here I thought I knew it all and I honestly did not know there was such a thing. I know what Gonzo Journalism is, but didn’t have a clue about Gonzo Porn. According to Urban Dictionary, this is Gonzo Porn:

When it comes to pornography the term ‘Gonzo’ refers to a style of film making pioneered in the 1990s by directors such as Seymore Butts and Ben Dover.


Gonzo porn took the storyline out of adult movies and headed straight for the sex. No longer would the pornoholic have to fast forward through 10 minutes of inept dialog to get 5 minutes of sex. They got sex throughout the whole video.
Gonzo porn was not always shot in the first person or in point-of-view fashion as some have suggested here and the quality of the movie depended largely on who was producing it.

So after reading about Gonzo Porn, I couldn’t help thinking about a lot of the blog posts I’ve written in the past about the differences between erotic romance and porn. I’ve never tried to define porn and I never will, but I have always maintained that erotic romance and erotic fiction is basically fiction that has both a strong storyline and strong sex scenes. If you take the sex out, like I did with “Chase of a Dream,” you still have a story. I think there’s always been a market for readers who enjoy reading erotic romance and erotica and I think there always will be. The sex in erotic romance or erotica is supposed to take the reader to another level and move the story forward. And by taking the reader to another level it creates a deeper more personal reading experience that books without sex don’t have. I think the sex should also be exaggerated a little, like all other aspects of fiction. That’s why it’s called fiction.
 
And yet I’m finding more and more gay fiction without sex and I’m starting to wonder why. I just finished writing a scene for an upcoming book in the bad boy billionaire series I’m writing for ravenous romance. And I wrote a tongue-in-cheek scene that I hope will be received as humorous, but I don’t have *high* hopes for this. It’s a lot like the burping dick scene I wrote in “American Star” and people actually took that scene seriously. I’m still smiling about that one. But I digress. In the scene in the new book, “The Vegas Shark,” a hapless young male stripper shoots ping pong balls out of his behind. It’s his individual “gimmick” at the fictional club where he works and customers line up to see his ping pong ball show once a week. Oh, he’s very big there. This is supposed to be both funny and erotic. When they wrote a scene like that in a classic gay movie twenty years ago with a woman people couldn’t stop talking about it. Of course I had to alter my scene because it’s not physically possible for a man to shoot ping pong balls out of his behind (I don’t think it is). But I figured something out that worked. And yet I can’t even imagine, as Dorothy Parker would say, what fresh hells await me with that scene when the book is released.
 
It’s not Gonzo Porn. There’s detailed, very emotional storyline in this book, as there are in all of the highly erotic gay romances and stories I’ve read in the past. So while I have nothing against Gonzo Porn, and it’s obvious the millions of other people who watch it don’t either, I don’t write it. I also wonder if this trend to censor strong sex out of gay fiction is going to continue or if it’s just a trend that won’t last. I have read gay fiction recently where you’d think gay men didn’t even have sex…or it’s so vanilla it’s like going back to the old days of TV where Lucy and Ricky had to sleep in twin beds. Of course we all knew Little Ricky didn’t not arrive via the stork, but that was the implication and Lucy and Ricky were absolutely sexless creatures. I doubt Fred and Ethel ever saw each other naked for that matter.
 
I’m writing another post this week about an actor who did a film in “yellowface” and how THAT fresh hell was received by the Asian community when they heard about it. In a way, I think what I just posted about gay fiction, Gonzo Porn, this need to censor, and current trends in gay fiction have a lot in common with actors putting on yellowface. But I don’t see gay men getting as upset about it as the Asian community is about actors in yellowface. That’s interesting in itself. My theory is that gay men just move on, dismiss the ridiculous, and don’t give it a second thought.  
 
But then again a lot of this comes down to book sales…just like Gonzo Porn. There’s obviously a strong discreet market for gay erotic romance and erotica, just like there’s a market for Gonzo Porn. Although the two are polar opposites because there’s no storyline in Gonzo Porn, my hope is that sales will win out this time and what I’m seeing is nothing more than a passing trend in gay fiction. And the most interesting thing about all this is that it’s not the straight community that seems to be doing the censorship. I’m not actually sure where it’s coming from…I sometimes imagine this secret group hiding in the wings…but it’s obvious with books like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and scenes like the one in “Boardwalk Empire” last night that the straight mainstream community it just as interested in erotica as anyone else.
 
Photo from morguefile.com   
 

A Book Preview, Galley Sample…

This is a rare for me to do. But I received permission from the editor, Shane Allison, and decided to post a short excerpt from a book galley. It’s an excerpt from my story, “Off Campus, Man,” in a not yet released collection of short stories from Cleis Press, titled, COLLEGE BOYS.

off-campus, man 169
Harlan LaRochelle was an attractive young man with a plan
of his own. He didn’t want to go to Morehouse College in
Atlanta like his father and two older brothers. He’d applied to
Morehouse to appease them, but then he’d secretly applied to a
large university in Washington, DC.

A few months later, his father smiled and patted his back
when he’d been accepted to Morehouse; his mother hugged him
and cooked his favorite dinner. But when Harlan announced
during that same dinner that he was going to the large university
in Washington instead, his father dropped his fork so fast
he chipped a dinner plate. The mother clutched her napkin and
gave him a look.

Harlan looked his father in the eye without blinking. “I’m
going to college in Washington, DC,” he said. “I’ve been accepted
already. They have an excellent journalism program there.”
All this was true. They did have an excellent journalism
department at the Washington school. But the real reason he

didn’t want to go to Morehouse College was because the thought
of spending four more years without knowing what it was like
to kiss another man caused his stomach to turn and his knees to
twitch. He needed distance from his prominent Atlanta family.
And he needed to explore his sexuality as much as he needed
to study. He was a smart young man, with soft brown skin, a
nice firm, round ass, and square, firm chest muscles. He already
knew that women were attracted to him, but he wanted to find
out if men were interested in him, too.

A few months after that, at the end of August, when the
shouting and mean stares finally subsided, he kissed both
parents good-bye, started his black SUV, and drove north to
Washington.

The first few weeks he concentrated on getting settled in the
dorms and focusing on his school work. His roommate was a
tall, thin techie type who spent most of his time with his face
glued to a computer screen. Harlan liked most of his classes and
he made a few casual friends. And everywhere he went he saw
good-looking young men. When he passed them by on his way
to class, his penis jumped and he had to stare down at his shoes
so he wouldn’t get a full erection. But he wasn’t sure what to do,
or how to approach any of them.

And then one Saturday afternoon in mid-September everything
changed. He was on his way back to his room when he
accidentally bumped into a guy wearing shiny red running
shorts and an oversized black sweat shirt in the dormitory
lobby. The guy had long, wavy, dark blond hair, was average
height, and hadn’t shaved in about two days. His pale blue eyes
were the color of Harlan’s birthstone, aquamarine. Harlan had
been looking for his keys in his backpack and hadn’t seen him
coming. He’d bumped his elbow and had knocked all his books
to the floor.

THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE and Google Wave

In the next week or so, a new book titled, THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE, will be released by ravenous romance in the m/m section. I wrote this one, like a few of the others, as another gay interpretation of a classic romance. I’ll keep readers posted with updates about when the book will be released.

Here’s an image of the book cover. It was nothing like I expected it to be, and I’m extremely happy with it. The artist captured the images of both main characters in perfect detail.
And, today I’m supposed to be getting a google wave invite. When I do and I start using it, I’ll do a blog post about google wave and what it’s all about. And if I get any invites for other people, contact me if you seriously want one.