The community I live in has this regular thing where we sit in a circle, pass around an object of some kind, and share what we’re feeling. Whoever holds the object talks and everyone else listens. Cross-talk – responding directly to what another in the circle has said – is discouraged.
This ritual is immensely important to me, because it’s a place where people can share their lives and emotions and not fear judgement. It’s one of the reasons I moved to this community – the only place I found it before was at AA meetings I attended with my ex-boyfriend (and it’s really not right to attend those meetings unless you have an addiction problem).
I’m of the opinion that humanity could use more of this kind of thing. Instead, we get Facebook. Social media sites where the only option is to engage in a dialogue. I’m realizing that a large part of the reason that I avoid social media sites is because of the fear of judgement. People shouldn’t have to defend their views all the time. People deserve to be heard and not be criticized or commented upon. I wonder how many voices Facebook actually silences?
I don’t really know what to say about the outcome of the election. I was shocked, and now that emotion is settling into a familiar stew of anger, fear, apathy and fear of my own apathy. I barely want to say anything for fear of it bouncing around the internet echo chamber. But for what’s it’s worth: fuck misogyny, fuck xenophobia, black lives matter, and viva rampant faggotry. I love and care about you.
I just posted a new story – Reunited, originally published in the Bruno Gmunder anthology Whipping Boys. This one’s about the class homo getting his revenge on a bully. It’s one in a batch of vaguely S&M-themed stories I wrote for Bruno Gmunder back in 2014.
I know I haven’t posted in a while. I feel really cut off from online life which is both good and bad. I’m working steadily on a large-ish writing project lately and I don’t know when it will see the light of day. Mostly I’m at this really transitional stage in my life and I’m trying to just exist in it and not get too worried about the future. I don’t feel as excited about writing erotica as I used to. Maybe because it feels like there are so few outlets for it. Maybe I’m just cut off. But the anthologies have all but died out – pretty much the only money-making thing I can see is ebooks, which I still do, but publishing them feels a bit like shunting stories off into the void. I know that people read them, but they’re so solitary or something.
Am I complaining? I’m not in the best mood, writing this. I am listening to Angel Olsen’s new album which is so good. I hardly know what to say when I try to write things online. I never post on Facebook anymore. It feels weird to be cut off from that world because the internet is where I got my start, writing. Now it’s like I’m only writing for myself.
I just put out an ebook called Waitress Takes More than the Tip and it marks a couple of firsts for me: it’s my first ebook under a pseudonym (“N.J. LaHoise” – it’s no “Richard Bachman”, I know, but then again I’m no Stephen King) and it’s my first ebook of hetero erotica.
Except it’s not entirely hetero. It’s three stories by three different narrators that comprise a loose arc. I submitted the first story to Penthouse Variations back in November. I was so determined to get into Penthouse Variations! It was one of the first porno mags I’d ever seen, back when I was eleven and somebody showed me a stack of porno mags under a pile of tar paper in the train yard. According to their call for submissions you couldn’t email your story, you had to print out a manuscript and mail it in, which was so cute. And they paid $400 a story! There are hardly any porno mags still publishing erotic fiction these days, let alone ones that pay for it.
It was all so charmingly old-fashioned. So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when I didn’t receive a reply, then looked at their website and noticed that their most recent issue had come out three months ago. Apparently Penthouse Variations is dead, but weirdly enough there doesn’t seem to be any notice of this on the internet. Maybe magazines are dying off so quickly that it isn’t even a story anymore. I was so pissed, though! I missed the boat by three months.
I wondered what to do with that story and then I got this idea for a story collection that would be like a daisy chain: so two people would fuck in the first story, and in the next one a character from the first story would fuck somebody else, then that person would narrate the next story and so on. It would create this whole community through stories that would maybe intersect and get messy with intrigue and relationships.
That’s what I wound up doing but I only went three stories into it. The first one is about two friends cheating on their significant others, and it’s a hetero story featuring the oh-so-taboo (in some sectors of the hetero world, anyway – Penthouse Variations called for this type of content) subject of anal sex. The next story is about a lesbian encounter. The third story is about a guy finding out he’s been cheated on, and he winds up getting fucked up the ass with a strap-on.
It was all very fun to write but I have no idea how to market it. So here it is. I hope people will be interested enough to check it out cause I think it could be a fun read even if it’s not your particular cup of tea. Please ignore the el cheapo cover art, which literally took me ten minutes to Photoshop.
Heya. Not a ton to report. Life continues apace at the commune. I recently completed a painting project (see above) and I love this one maybe more than any of the others I’ve done. I worked on a newsletter and I just released an ebook of straight erotica under a pseudonym (more on that once it actually uploads). I’m in Pittsburgh for the week, and it’s raining.
I just posted a new story: Office Politics. Give it a read and consider purchasing my recently-released ebook “Buddy”, which features two brand-new stories including one about fucking your dad’s best friend.
I put together an ebook with two brand-new stories. It’s called “Buddy” and it’s out now.
It’s a guy thing: two buddies, helping each other out. Nobody has to know… Natty Soltesz, incomparable author of hot ‘n porny gay erotic fiction including the 2016 Lambda Literary Award nominated story collection College Dive Bar, 1 AM, presents three stories of buds bein buds:
Living the Dream: Fuck as much as you want, as long as you want, as many times as you want: that’s the dream, and only a good buddy can make it real.
Best Buddies: Two old buddies learn that marriage can’t kill a solid friendship, and hot sex can only make it stronger.
Waylaid: A young man on his way to college gets stuck in his hometown for the summer, but his dad’s best friend makes it worth his while.
Well, I lost again. I hadn’t intended on going to the Lambda Awards this year but at the last minute I got this idea for an acceptance speech so I made the trip happen on a whirlwind tour through NYC. I had a fun time putting together my look for the ceremony but I didn’t get to make my speech, which is a shame. As was the case with the last time I attended the awards, neither of the winning authors in the gay & lesbian erotica categories showed up to accept them. I’m like C’mon, Lambda: not only did I look fabulous, I had good things to say. I wanted to acknowledge the particular ability of porn writers, which is to make people cum through words. It’s a power I’m awfully proud of and which I take quite seriously. But it’s back to life, back to reality, and I’m glad about that. Awards are cute and all (even cuter when you win, I’d expect) but just doing the work is the real goal and its own reward.
I moved to a commune a few months ago. I don’t know how much more I want to say about it. I’ve always been reticent when it comes to broadcasting details about my life online (that’s one way I show my age) and the place I’ve moved to also avoids media exposure. It’s a special place, for sure, but in another way it’s just like any other: people living with each other and trying to get along. My daily life varies but usually it’s some variety of writing, art-making and helping out with various tasks. I’m learning a ton. I’m also very much out of my element, which is a gift and a challenge.
I first came to this place five years ago and had the novel experience of feeling like I’d found “my people.” I’d never identified with a community before – not even the gay community, really – and it was intoxicating. I’ve come back several times over the years, and about three years ago I decided I wanted to live here.
It was not an easy decision. I’d lived in Pittsburgh since I was eighteen. I have deep friendships there, a support network, a family. I had to get rid of most of my stuff and move out of my beloved apartment. I had to quit the job I worked at for the last nine years. That wasn’t so difficult – I was pretty burnt out on it – but it did thrust me into the great financial unknown. The hardest part was rehoming my cats. I found a really nice guy on Craigslist who lived just a few blocks away from me and adopted both of them. It wrenched my heart out but I know I did right by them.
To complicate matters I fell in love about two years ago. I told him my plans from the outset so it wasn’t a shock when my time to leave came around, but it still wasn’t easy. We’re hundreds of miles apart but we talk almost every day, and the freedom and trust he’s given me to follow this dream only strengthens my love for him. I don’t know what’s going to happen – does anybody? – but I ain’t skeered.
I’m where I’m supposed to be. I grew up in a small town and I’ve always wanted to get away from the city again. I get to explore the connection I have with this community and learn some valuable life skills. I get to wake up every morning and do what I was born to do – write – and I’ll be able to do that until I need to make money again.
What I’ll do then is anybody’s guess. More than anything this experience has been a lesson in living life one moment at a time. For most of the past three months I’ve been living out of a tent. I never wanted that, but it was an opportunity – to fall asleep at night to the owls hooting, to wake up to the birds singing. I’ve tiled a bathhouse, shoveled shit out of composting toilet and helped build a staircase. I’ve also written. Nothing too significant, mostly cleaning up old projects that I hope to have out in the world soon.
I’ll be selling books and zines and other undefinable things at the Rainbow Book Fair this Saturday! I’ll be tabling with the fabulous writer and fellow Go Deeper Press author Dario Dalla Lasta. I love this event, it’s always a good time so if you’re in the New York City area come out and say HAYYY.