Maybe it’s because us chaps don’t have the imagination or the patience, or perhaps we can only respond to visual stimuli (and there’s plenty of that about), but the booming market in erotic fiction is almost entirely aimed at women.
So what would erotica be like if it was written with men in mind?
We asked award-winning author Ewan Morrison to write an exclusive story for Esquire.
Waiting For Gina
"Everyone tells me to shut up about it. They think I’m bullshitting or winding them up. They say it’s just too damn good to be true. I mean, what kind of woman would grip your arm within the first five minutes of your first date and whisper, “Please stop, stop talking. I have to suck your cock, right now.” What real woman would then invite you to join her in the toilets, which in this particular bar are conveniently unisex with non-gendered cubicles, as if she’d planned to do this with you, a total stranger, all along.
If you don’t believe me I have evidence left on a dating site. One of those ones that every guy knows exists but only ever checks out after having staggered home alone after a big night out and chatting up bird after bird to no avail. You know, when it’s 4am and there’s not the remotest chance of a booty call with even the most drunken “cuddly” friend-with-benefits, so to idly pass the flaccid hours till the pills wear off, it’s a “Sex Now” site. You know, the ones that use GPS to map “Hot and Horny Local Babes…” “In your Neighbourhood…” “Hungry to fuck right now.” And they’re always populated by BustyCharlene and DoggyJane (only two miles away) who are both deeply photoshopped and are on every other “Sex Now” site and so don’t actually exist at any locale. So yeah, this was me, and unlike most guys who are sobered enough to call it a night when the “Enter your credit card details” web page flashes up, I went ahead, gave them access to my life savings and typed in a seriously misspelt and ranting profile in which I boldly described myself as many things, some of which included the words “hung” and “master looking for a cock-worshipping slave”. I think most guys have done this at least once – well, maybe apart from the credit card details.
Pathetic. And, of course, I regretted it in the harsh light of day as I realised that I’d just signed up for a year’s subscription at £79.99, which had penalties for breaking my contract and I threw the damn phone across the room and was on the edge of puking into my brogues when I heard my phone ping with a message.
Hi HungMasterStud, it said, I’m Gina. C’mon, I thought, this is just some automated reply, right, that every schmuck gets when they sign up for these scams. Gina, the “skinny, multi-orgasmic, deep-throat loving cock worshipper” had sent me a Hi and a winky smiley and told me that she loved the picture of my dick and then I clocked that yes, actually before sleep I had, for real, posted a dick pic, but not my own, since I’d been too pissed to achieve the necessaries, but a random quickly picked dick from a Google search of “dick” or maybe even “monster dick”. And when I checked it was pretty substantial and looked olive skinned, at least Latino or maybe even – depending on how I tilted my screen – black. Just as well she was a fake automated message, I thought, otherwise she’d be painfully disappointed.
And I’m looking at the picture of the girl in this profile, and well it’s her lips, pouting in red lipstick and only her lips. A bad sign usually and if she was real – and there was a 99 per cent chance she wasn’t – she’d have picked lips because they were her best feature, ie the entire body and face would be porridge – so not the kind of wench you’d want your mates to know you’d ever been with. But still “a mouth is a mouth”, right, and the insistence in her many messages and the RU free at 11? and a real address to meet at, told me Gina’s lips were real enough for me. I agreed to the date and put on my shades. Thinking – as any guy would – c’mon, this is too good to be true and cautious that someone, somewhere, somehow was having a joke at my expense.
So, I get there and then I’m thinking, you mindless dork, how are you going to spot a girl whose only identifying feature is her gob and how is she going to identify you, because the only name you gave her was HungMasterStud and the pic of your dick was not even your own.
And this place was not anywhere near my comfort zone – it was way too arty. There were these hipsters in pork-pie hats and those heavy, black-rimmed specs and these super-ironic try-hard girls with pink bouffant hairdos and tattoos. You know, they have that so-bored-of-everything-in-life facial expression even though they’re only 19. So then I’m crapping it that the vast BBW over there – visibly scanning me, looking like some cross between a rockabilly and Bettie Page’s granny – is Gina, and maybe those lips, which she has plastered in this kind of Fifties’ retro housewife crimson, are actually going to come over and speak to me.
I’m just about to run but then I see this girl, sitting alone in the back, sipping on this straw in this black drink and this girl is stunning in that femme fatale way, super skinny with these incredible cheekbones and these erect nipples poking out through her silky blouse and she’s got this kind of Seventies’ fast-and-loose, hair-in-the-wind vibe – like what’s-her-name in Girl on a Motorcycle. So I’m thinking, c’mon, there’s no way this can be Gina, but then I get another message and when I reach for it she looks up, her phone in her hand, and smiles.
There are footsteps – hers or mine I can’t remember exactly because of the excitement – and she stands and asks if I’m looking for someone and tells me her name and so then we’re sitting and I’m talking. Talking, don’t you hate that? You know when you’re just spouting every kind of panicked crap because a woman is just so beautiful. And her vast black eyes look up through her jet black hair, in this heavy smudged eye shadow and these things are stirring every part of me. And all she says, at that point, that I can remember, is, “People talk so much,” and she has this way with glances and I can tell she’s looking at my lips and not hearing what I’m saying and then she says that line I told you about before and before I know it I’m in the toilets awaiting her arrival.
Then it came to me that maybe those hipsters out there were making an art project and they’d installed a hidden camera in the bogs. Maybe I was going to be guy number 352 in some montage of losers they’d edit together for some smarmy video installation entitled “Waiting for Gina”. Or maybe they’d post it on YouTube. I stood there in the toilet cubicle feeling like a dork-to-be and thinking I’d give it one more minute then leg it, but then I heard the outer door. Then I heard heels. She was wearing these strappy things with peekaboo toes. There was a knock on my cubicle and I opened the door and she was there, her eyes flashing then her finger to my mouth, her lips in a “Shh” shape. Gina wasted no time. She locked the cubicle door behind herself and crouched. No kiss, no talk, no eye to eye. She undid my belt to free my cock and balls, and started gorging herself, filling her mouth as she rolled my length across her cheeks, all the time making these whimpering noises. She pulled her split skirt to the side and started frigging her clit frantically as she sucked and kissed my dick.
It was maybe due to the fear that we were going to get caught any minute and the noises that came from her, which were getting wilder as she placed a hundred tiny kisses on my shaft and ran my dick over her closed eyes and held it to her cheek, but I was rock hard and ready to come. I had to hold her back and stood still staring down at her, this totally anonymous female pleading, worshipping, fingering herself senseless and practically weeping at the very sight, smell and taste of my dick, with those pretty eyes, staring up at me and begging me to let her suck. I nodded and she forced herself to gag again and again, till the whimpering became a gasping. My sperm shot across her face and she tore open her blouse so that I could spray her nipples and this triggered spasms through her, her legs splaying out under the next cubicle with a scream that surely everyone in the entire bar must have heard. And all of this could have only taken one minute.
I had this strange need to kiss her and thank her and maybe whisper or hold her or do at least a little part of the usual male-female communication stuff, but she put a pussy-wet finger to my mouth and turned her back to me. The two of us stood there facing the cubicle door, listening for the sounds of humans beyond as my dick shrivelled to nothing in her hand. She was shivering and although we were close in that small space, after I’d tucked myself back in, she didn’t want to touch me or for me to touch her. We were like two criminals hiding from the cops, listening for sounds. There were footsteps, male sounding, and then the hand dryer went on. We stood there for minutes like this, unmoving, and she didn’t make eye contact with me. As soon we heard the outer door opening and closing, she undid the lock and slipped out without a word or backward glance. I waited another minute and thought I’d meet her at our table and get her number but there was no sight of her. I waited an hour, then another, but she was gone.
Some friends have said she must have been suffering from borderline personality disorder, or was someone with STDs who couldn’t meet using her real identity, or that she was a frustrated housewife, or a suicide. One of my mates even said she was probably just a very convincing transvestite, but that’s crap. Then there’s those who say it was all just a dream and not a very original one at that. I did, after all, return home for a midday snooze, they point out, and didn’t get up till the middle of the next night. I think everyone would be a lot happier if it was just a dream.
I’m pretty sure Gina never returned to that bar because I spent many evenings and mornings waiting for her there. I couldn’t trace her because, actually, I knew nothing about her – where she worked, what clubs and music she liked, did she have any family, any of the things we might have discussed on a date. In fact, her name probably wasn’t even Gina. When I checked the website again, her profile had been erased. Or maybe she had 10 new ones, all in different names, all with different pictures of her mouth or different women’s mouths or any other body parts grabbed from the millions on the net. Maybe she had profiles on 10 sites, 20. Maybe Gina wasn’t even one woman but just a kind of code name that women into anonymous sex use. All I know is that since this encounter, I can’t stand the small talk, and the chatting-up and what movies we’ve seen and books we’ve read and what songs we’re into. I can’t stomach the “Would you like to come up for a glass of wine” and the romantic music and the bed and the how-was-it-for-you. Regular women bore me, the whole damn process does. I just have to hope she shows up again, on the site or in the bar. Or I’ll have to give up on her. Yes, that would probably best. I can’t spend the rest of my stupid life waiting for Gina."
Q&A: Ewan Morrison
The author of Swung and Close Your Eyes explains how he set about writing the erotic short story that you’ve just enjoyed reading.
Do you get a kick out of writing about sex?
Writing about sex is a bit like being in a desert and writing about water. If you describe the desert well enough, you’re going to get thirsty. So actually finishing a piece of good sex writing can take many attempts over many days.
Why do you think so much of erotic writing is geared towards women?
“Erotica” is just the middle-class female word for “porn” and, to be honest, erotic writing for women is just a tiny percentage of all the porn in the world. Women started consuming naughty books not because of some historic surge in desire but because of digital technology – the real reason Fifty Shades of Grey was a success was e-readers. I’ve lost count of the number of women I’ve seen moistening their seats on the train by “secretly” reading Fifty Shades on a Kindle.
What do you think men require from erotic writing that's different to women?
Men aren’t really interested in erotic writing or in fiction for that matter – it’s a well-documented psychological phenomenon. Give us a history book on Lee Harvey Oswald or a textbook on how laptops work and we’ll be drooling. Text isn’t a turn-on for men, but images are. Men are aroused by looking and detachment and not by the dissolution of identity, which is more common to the feminine psyche – “two becoming one and merging into each other”, and so on. Men love watching women experiencing the pleasure that men are giving them, so men’s erotic writing usually reflects that detachment.
How did this affect the story you wrote for Esquire?
The story is absolutely all about a visual spectacle – a theatre for one. It’s anti-talk. It’s anti-sharing. It’s also antisocial and the act described is borderline illegal. It’s about the male ideal of having absolutely no relationship whatsoever with the woman who is having sex with you. Pure, no-strings sex, which is, deep down, what men like.
Who are the best writers of sex?
Henry Miller was the greatest sex writer because he threw away all those flowery nature metaphors that DH Lawrence and his imitators relied upon, and because he clearly knew how females ticked. He was one of those guys that left-wingers wish never existed – a sexist, pleasure-obsessed bloke who turns women into sex-crazed animals. He was “bad”. His writing was also educational: in Tropic of Capricorn, there are some handy tips on the G-spot, dealing with nymphomaniacs, curing erectile dysfunction and avoiding genital lice.
What’s the best description of an orgasm you’ve ever read?
The best line is more philosophical than arousing and tells much about the pleasures of prostate stimulation. It’s William Burroughs: “We see God through our assholes in the flash bulb of orgasm.” The worst line about sex that I have ever read was in one of the Fifty Shades books and it was one of those unintended puns that somehow made it past the editors. It described fellatio as “a heady experience”.
A film adaptation of Ewan Morrison’s novel Swung is currently in post-production.