Monday, November 23, 2009

Vanity, thy name is blogger

Yours truly has finally arrived in the land of the Kama Sutra. This weekend I got the opportunity to read about myself in an Indian newspaper when The Hindustan Times ran a story on erotica in the Sunday supplement Brunch. Given that Indian notions of propriety are considerably different from my own, I take my hat off to the journalist, Supriya Thanawala, who had the unenviable task of making an interview with me printable for a mass audience.

The result: I am now the face (or more exactly, the lips) of kinky bloggery for the readers of the Hindustan Times. This involved some editing of my email/phone back-and-forth with Supriya. Her article is a 2-page spread, with obvious limitations on space, but on my blog there are no such concessions to the physical constraints of paper and ink, so here's the full Q&A that we did over email.

(I am ambivalent about this. Really, publishing an interview with yourself is like wanking, except with hyperlinks and formating buttons.)

Here goes...
Who are some of your literary influences? Did any particular writer stimulate you to start writing the blog?
Good filth is hard to find, and I have ripped off the good ones with great pleasure. I often go back to Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye, and to Pauline Réage's Story of O. Nicholson Baker's The Fermata is another book I've borrowed from - particularly style and tone. Of course, without Susie Bright's Best of American Erotica series I probably never would have gotten interested in literary pornography to begin with. Lately, Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty and The Swimming-Pool Library have probably given me the most stylistic rip-off material. His prose just makes me want to take the verbs and run.
How would you compare the experience of blogging to other media like books and films?
Blogging is an instant-feedback medium. Readers leave comments and send emails sometimes minutes after the post goes up on the blog. There's a sense of immediacy, of connection. It's an illusion, of course - like me, they just have their favourite blogs neatly gathered together on their RSS feeds, but I like the fantasy that there's a devoted army of eyeballs out there, thirsting for every crumb that falls from my keyboard.
Do you think that it's important for someone who writes erotica to be sexually experienced themselves?
I don't know. If someone who's only eaten at McDonald's their entire life wrote a cookbook on Indian cuisine, would the reader be able to tell? If there are chaste virgins out there writing hot sexy fiction, I'd be very happy to read their work. We need more testaments to the creative powers of the human mind.
What are some of your best memories of blogging?
The actual writing itself is not particularly memorable. I get pleasure from it, but the real kick comes from the reactions, the emails, the comments and the naked pictures that get left in my "tip jar".
Do you feel that if you were a woman, your style of writing would have perhaps been different in any way?
Since I started blogging, I have regularly been asked: "Are you a woman?" Apparently there's something in my style, tone, whatever that suggests femininity. I take this as a compliment, even when the question is framed like an accusation that I am somehow falsifying my blogging persona beyond all the other obvious and widely-advertised falsifications.

I've even had some rather strident emails from men and women, telling me that I am female and that I should admit it. Some of these emails were quite convincing, enough to send me rushing to the mirror for an emergency self-examination. You can never be too sure of your own gender.
Why does women's writing on sex grab a lot more attention compared to that written by men?
Maybe there are simply more interesting women out there who write about sex, and the interesting men write about other things like cricket and football. Of course, there are some brilliant men with interesting things to say about sex, for example Dan Savage's advice column and weekly podcast. If anyone was so misguided as to email me for serious advice, I'd exploit Dan Savage's work as mercilessly as I've lifted from Nicholson Baker and Pauline Reage. Too bad no one seems to want my opinions on how to conduct their lives.
How would you differentiate pornography and erotica? There are some who might say that erotica is more 'artistic' than pornography; pornography is entirely masturbatory. But would you argue that even good porn would have to be artistic in order for it to work well and in a positive manner? What is the 'real' line between the two according to you?
There is no inherent difference between pornography and erotica, there's simply arousing or dull. Fortunately, no one seems to have figured out exactly which is which.


Scarlet said...

The thinking you're a woman thing has always confused me.... I really don't see the "tone" Maybe it's the lips?

nilla said...

Dearest Mon...

I've been a lurker/reader at your blog for over a year now. I write erotic bdsm fiction. I am a bdsm "virgin". Seriously. I have recently met online, a Sir that I will have my first encounter with.
I would love you to come and have a look at my blog. I write a new story virtually every day.

Be interested in your opinion!


Tara said...

Oh good God. Two things:
1. I come from the land of the Kamasutra and the Hindustan Times. I am writhing with laughter at the thought of the average Hindustan Times reader spending time on your lovely blog, Mon. I can just imagine all the internal conflict, the delicious cognitive dissonance, the horrified fascination.. that would drive them... straight into the bathroom for a wank. Behind, of course, a firmly locked door. What a hoot. I don't care what 'Indian doctors' say: the Indians I know are virtually Victorian and quite happy to stay that way. Just try asking one if he'd like to try going down on you tonight. 'Oh darling, that's not in our CULTURE. *insert horrified face here.'
So glad I make hot, stickly and unapologetic lurve to my current someone.

Now that I've had my most unattractive little rant, I can go to point #2:
Namely: The Kamasutra! Have you read it? Do you have it? I'm curious.

Goose said...

There's simply arousing or dull.

Wise fucking words. Fucking wise words.



MonMouth said...

Goose, that's what I aspire to: fucking wisdom:)

Scarlet, I'm pretty sure it's the lips, yeah.

Tara, I do own a copy of the Kama Sutra, in the stylish but (I am told) imprecise Burton translation. It's got lovely pictures. Have you tried all the positions yet?

Nilla, welcome.

chicu said...

mon, actually, I admit to having thought you were a woman too.. and to being a little confused a few posts down the line.
as for the KS, my favourite edition is the Alan Danielou version. No, I dont own it yet and yes, I will very soon.

miss ntx said...

All i can really do after reading this is smirk. and warn you that e-wanking and other literotica musing is just not your most flattering side mon.

more of the good hot n dirty stuff, please?? don't make me beg.

miss ntx said...

oh, and i agree with scarlet. what female tone?? definitely the lips.

unless. you're sure you're not female? ;)

Cheeky Minx said...

I would have thought a sex blog is the perfect place for a (quick) wank!

Great insight into your influences, interests and drives.

Nancy said...

Wait - are you bragging? Boasting? And people find this somehow odd or different?? LOL! I didnt notice any change in you, Mon ;-)
And dont even get me started on 'brunch'.

SK said...

Darling, people that have that much time to even ponder such ridiculousness clearly need to take up a hobby. Or get laid. Or both.

Does this continue to elevate you into celestial notariety?

May I have your autograph? Perhaps using your implement of pleasure...

MonMouth said...

OK, back to the smut, then. The next post will be pure filth, I promise.


Nancy said...

Your subsequent post was hardly "pure filth" - but it was lovely...

Miss Dixy said...

I can certainly bare witness to the fact that you are not a woman, but a hot blooded man I'd love to fuck..imagine a dark cosy bar..we are sitting beside each other..I happen to lift my skirt for you to see my stockings and say I am horny for you is an understatement..xx fellow hedonist

Miss Dixy said...

actually on second thoughts the above is rather a tame scene..maybe you sucking my nipples as you fuck arse elevated as I receive your hard cock..then rolling ram your cock deep and slow into a better image. damn!even writing about it makes me wet..xx fellow hedonist

MonMouth said...

Miss Dixy, I'm shocked! What kind of smutty blog do you think this is? :)

Imelda Imelda said...

Well you're lips are rather lush. I'm pretty sure I have seen the evidence that you're male though ;) Seriously though, some interesting thoughts there thanks.

D. said...

:) Do you somehow imagine that there _isn't_ a devoted army of eyeballs out there, thirsting for every crumb that falls from your keyboard? Why do you think we add you to our RSS feeds, if not in anticipation of those very crumbs?