Tag Archives: sex


Roberta Morton Leg up
illustration by L.W. Eden copyright © 2015

Bernadette. My first sexual encounter. I was thirteen, she was forty and pregnant; in the fourth month, with her fourth child. A redheaded woman whose body was already exhausted.

She had called over to my mum to ask her, Hello, can you send the boy over to help me out, thank you so much. Of course I didn’t want to go. Word would get round that I was a good lad. I knew what that would mean; I’d be running errands for every old woman of the village and sitting out cups of tea and mounds of stale biscuits instead of getting real money for my pains. No thanks! Mother sent me off with a shove in the back and a clip on the ear. When I’m grown up, I thought, I’m gonna bash you lot back. You’ll see how nice it is!

Hardly had I got through the door, she grabbed me and ripped my clothes off. Bloody Nora! That day, I ran over to her house at least 9 times. Mother didn’t mind. One less mouth to feed this evening, she laughed, at least my children are proper Christians, she said, a clothes’ peg in her mouth.

The next time I saw him I told the curate that I could never become a clergyman.

‘Why not, my son?’


Live without sex? I’d rather go to hell in a hand cart.



‘Lick my clit. No, not like that, not so hasty.’

For a minute it bothered me that there was a baby up there jiggling around and watching us. But only for a minute. The strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue. I didn’t know that. Bernadette did. She knew a lot. Bernadette says he would have taken my faith if he had said I could fuck around on the sly and still remain pious.

‘You can’t have it all, my dear, no one can. Mmmm, that’s nice. Now stick your tongue in. Can you whistle? Oh my lord, he can!’

He took my faith by not saying this, don’t you see? Those hypocrites fuck anything that moves, every widow, widower and child.

‘Indeed they do. Can you pop over tomorrow?’ She kissed me on the forehead before pushing me towards her front door. I stuck my finger in her one more time on the way out. I got a clip on the ear, but she was all smiles.

I reckon Bernadette knows what she’s talking about.

(from Verses Nature, forthcoming)

After Paris

copyright © Martin Gunther

Take the time to see my juice? In Paris? Just spit on me then barge right in.

The Authoritative One.

As in: sit there in an L shaped of tensed muscles, misunderstanding. Stutter several times something about the impossibility of knowing I would feel that way about it he could only say he was sorry

but his voice is bitter and he makes no attempt to cover it up

As in: reach under the bed for the coloured hankies, take a couple, double them over. Wedge them between the legs to soak up
i) his ejectamenta: hurry-came
ii) pubic whimpers unstoppable, body-fated, pointless ovarian holler
iii) echo wakes up, lonely:

this is the closest I can get


“Either all around or in its wake the explicit requires the implicit; for in order to say anything, there are other things which must not be said.” (Macherey, 2004)

After Paris: from my novel-in-progress, Verses Nature. Context of excerpt: He took her to the City of Love. It was supposed to be a dirty weekend to pep up their marriage, backbroken by years of Catholic sex. Of patriarchal righteousness. Her explanation, not his. His’d be that she wasn’t making an effort, he’d show her how.

So many on the erotica bandwagon, out-trumping each other with steamy love scenes. What about when it’s just a lousy experience you’d rather forget? If you know what I mean, say: Aye! Me louder than the rest: AYE!!!

This is an entry in her diary. The diary comes in handy after her nervous breakdown. Helps her to retrace developments she will have to analyse with her therapist.  I like diaries. Emails. Letters. Like the idea, as a reader, of peeping through the keyhole whilst keeping an ear open for footsteps approaching. Also: the diary, here, hovering between documentary and fiction, between the literary styles associated with each. Diaries have me scooping up stylistic liberties by the armful that’s why I love this form as much as I do direct speech. Documentaries are more prescriptive though their (apparent) neutrality (can we ever stand outside of ourselves?) allows a certain detachment I have come to value when off again scrutinizing.

The challenge for me, in this scene and elsewhere, is to offer a different picture of relationships, of sex, to the one portrayed by my (irresistible) male protagonist, Tatar. Cue card: to which extent do genre, gender and voice overlap? Polarization factor: high. Wo/men speaking a different language (and all that). Need to keep an eye on this so I don’t write my way into any camps I’m none too keen on being/becoming a member of.