Adrea Kore, archetypes, author intent, erotic fiction, erotica, Female Ejaculation, Female Sexuality, Luce Irigaray, multiple orgasms, On Writing, Sexual Mysteries, sexual relating, sexuality, Tantra, women writing sex
Away with my lover last weekend, I experienced something sublimely inexplicable, yet familiar, during foreplay. An explosion of silver sparks danced across the inside of my closed eyelids as we kissed deeply. These sparks are always accompanied by intense pleasure, and a feeling of closeness to my partner. Yet they also feel magical, and remind me of the idea in quantum physics (and in the Moby song “Stars”) that we humans are made of the stuff of stars, that we too can shimmer and gleam.
In a recent post on what makes a piece of fiction erotica, I touched on authorial intent, and I want to delve into this from another perspective here. The issue of intent for the writer is perhaps continuously evolving, shifting as one’s writing evolves. Intent is a drive, a strong motivation to write about certain subjects in certain ways, in the hope of certain outcomes. I believe intent is closely linked in with desire, but also our core values as experiencing, exploring beings.
One of my core beliefs is that we are more than just bodies; we are also energy, soul and spirit. So, when we engage in sex, we aren’t merely bodies grinding against one another. We cannot but share and merge our energy. Tantra is a practice and philosophy that reflects my beliefs, and I’ve been exploring it, both practically and theoretically, for almost two decades now. Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means “weaving” and aptly, it weaves a spiritual philosophy developed over centuries with sexual and meditative practices. I’m drawn to it it also as a framework that acknowledges, supports and accepts the concept of a multi-orgasmic woman. And men, for that matter. Tantra was a world I felt confidently at home in. I was multi-orgasmic before I was Tantric, but Tantric practices such as breathing and visualization, as well as a more precise anatomical knowledge have definitely given me tools to strengthen my ecstatic experiences.
The shadow sides of our sexual psyches also intrigues me, and I see sex as a way of expressing different aspects of ourselves. Classical Tantra doesn’t encompass this side of our sexuality, but archetypal theories do. We can think of these other aspects of ourselves, like Jung did, as archetypes: the Vixen, the Warlock, the Witch, the Warrior, Venus, Pan. Through sex, we can put aside our everyday selves, and delve into other aspects of the psyche; we can allow them to come out and play.
… writing erotica is my own personal creative liminal zone, the point where sex merges into language, language into sex; two of my enduring fascinations.
Additionally, I take delight in the theatrical elements of sex; creating mood and atmosphere, using elements of costume and role play. Ahh, you mean kink, some of you will say, and yes of course many kink practices borrow from theatre. But kink is a loaded word, and one can play with all of these elements (even being tied up) without identifying as ‘kinky’. I did these things for a long, long time before I knew there were such concepts as kink or BDSM. I am inherently theatrical, creative and sensorily curious. I like to think of creative ways to enhance sensation. So these things drove me to dress up, put blindfolds on my partners, ice their nipples, tie them to tables. And to desire similar things done to me.
About five years ago, I began a Tantra teaching course. I didn’t complete it for lots of reasons, some of them, sadly, traumatic ones. But what I also realised is Tantra doesn’t encompass all of who I am sexually, nor how I want to explore sex. Around that time, I’d also written, performed and had my first erotica piece published. Why did I become an erotica writer, and not a sexuality educator? Although the desire to run workshops on writing sex and exploring fantasy is definitely a future possibility, I can’t fully answer this question at present. Except to say that I need to be creative, and writing erotica is my own personal creative liminal zone, the point where sex merges into language, language into sex; two of my enduring fascinations.
I am (benevolently) haunted by certain intense, ecstatic, mysterious moments and discoveries on the map of my sexual experiences. More intriguingly, it is those moments and sensations that seem beyond language, or logical explanation (or both) that haunt me; I am pulled back to the page time and time again, to the challenge of translating these most visceral, sometimes ethereal sensations into words and imagery. I write erotica partially in order to record these elements, but also to revel in the mystery.
In writing this list, I’m not trying to validate these moments as logical, nor am I trying or explain them. I’m simply naming them as a list of experiential “touchstones” that keep me connected to the mystery of sexuality, and keep me writing about sex. In fact, part of their personal portent for me, is that I don’t understand some of the experiences I’ve had intellectually. My body understands them. My senses felt their absolute veracity. It’s a searing contradicition, this knowing and not-knowing, and writing erotic fiction gives me a space to both engage with and contemplate this paradox. They are not puzzles I need to solve, rather they are mysteries I want to contemplate. Perhaps that’s also why I didn’t take the sexuality educator path.
Weaving these ‘touchstones’ into pieces of fiction, fusing them into a character’s experiences allows me to describe the mystery without having to solve it; to present it without having to explain it. As if I am the curator in a Museum whose role is to most effectively display the Shroud of Turin for visitors to wonder at, rather than being the expert who must work out by science how either to verify or debunk its authenticity.
Through the challenge of translating these sensations into words and imagery, I am also able to, in the words of Anais Nin, “taste life twice”.
SEXUAL HAUNTINGS: A LIST
So, without further ado, here is an annotated List of my “Sexual Hauntings”; moments of the sublime, the sacred, the profane, the inexplicable. Sometimes all of the above.
OF THROATS & VAMPIRES
Elaborate sexual fantasies about a vampire, midnight abductions, throat ravishment, torture in a castle and posession somehow were actively present in my imagination at the age of eight. Maybe I’ll tell you about it in detail. Sometime.
Heightened pleasure (that I replayed over several weeks in bed at night) felt at fifteen, still a virgin, when my first serious boyfriend thought to go a bit beyond “pashing” and kiss and nuzzle my neck on a chilly ice-skating date. The pleasure was so intense, that I became concerned that if I had actual sex, I might explode.
The realization at nineteen (now not a virgin, but also not sexually ‘prolific”) that I could orgasm deeply, deliciously and with various ‘tones” and explosions of pleasure through my body just by my boyfriend kissing, sucking and biting my neck. Then the discovery, upon confiding with a more sexually versed friend, that this seemed contrary to her wider field of knowledge, and that I was somehow different.
This propensity for orgasmic pleasure via my neck has never diminished. Rather it has intensified. It’s like there is a direct electrical current from my neck (especially but not limited to my jugular vein) to my womb / vagina, lighting up other parts of my body along the way.
ON ORGASMS, CHAKRAS & SEX-MAGICK
Readers of my blog will know that orgasms are one of my favourite topics, so here I go again. At twenty, in a relationship with a very sensual man almost twice my age who loved women’s bodies, and knew a thing or two about good sex, I discovered I could orgasm four, five up to ten times in one sexual encounter. The orgasms often felt like different voltages of electrical currents, rippling through my entire body, before exploding out of my sex. At this point, I experienced them as discrete, which is why I could count them. In a few more years, I started to experience them in layers of different sensations and intensities, ebbing and flowing into and out of one another. It became harder to count them, and soon after that, counting became both impossible and irrelevant.
I would be gasping, speechless in the aftermath, feeling lke an incredible dervish of sexual and energetic presence had just stormed through my body.
At twenty-six, I met a man who was a poet, an intellectual, a sensualist and someone I came to love deeply. We felt intense attraction to one another. I adored his poetic sensibility, and he was in awe of my orgasmic capacities. We discovered and started exploring Tantric practices together. Some of it we’d already been doing intuitively. In those three years, I had a lot of sex. Strange, crazy sex-magic occurred. Often. In time, as if orgasmic energy is somehow contagious (hello Wilhelm Reich*) he too became multi-orgasmic, and didn’t have to ejaculate to have full-body pleasure. It was a privelege to witness, and things got crazier.
Around this time, I started to have more more and orgasms that culminated and released in what I can best describe as my chakra centres. Rather than releasing through my vulva, I was having heart, throat, third eye and crown chakra orgasms. often accompanied by rushings and tinglings of energy, images of white light, sensations of weightlessness, incredible surges of physical strength and energy. Sometimes they were crazily, ecsatically intermingling, shooting out simultaneously from my sex and my heart. I would be gasping, speechless in the aftermath, feeling lke an incredible dervish of sexual and energetic presence had just stormed through my body. I had read parts of Luce Irigaray’s This Sex Which is not One (1985) and was struck by the similarity of my experiences to her assertion:
“But woman has sex organs more or less everywhere. [It. in original] She finds pleasure almost anywhere. … the geography of her pleasure is far more diversified, more multiple in its differences, more complex, more subtle, than is commonly imagined – in an imaginary rather too narrowly focused on sameness.”
My partner could often feel them, and tell me where he could feel the energy pouring out from, and into, his body. In time, once again, he started experiencing these ‘chakra orgasms’, though less frequently than I did.
We could go out to dinner, and mutually orgasm – several times – over the restaurant table through the power of gaze, breath and honing our energetic connection. No touching was necessary. Call it the dessert before the dessert.
ON INLAND SEAS & LIQUID ECSTASIES
In my erotic fiction and poetry, metaphors of female sexuality as oceanic or aquatic abound, and this is not by accident . In the words of Tori Amos (who I am certain shares my oceanic propensity), I hold “a sea secret inside”. Not only do my orgasms often feel like waves breaking over or through my body, but internally, I seem to have an inland sea.
I dislike the term ‘squirting’ to describe female ejaculation. It makes me feel like a hose, and that’s rather too phallic for my sexuaity. But yes, I can squirt. I can also gush, flood and saturate, and where all that sweet-salt liquid comes from is truly a mystery. I’ve always loved swimming in the ocean, and the idea of mermaids, so sometimes I like to imagine I am part-mermaid. As my sexual partners learn, when I’m in this liquefying state, they must feed me lots of water, or quite suddenly, I will collapse. Perhaps the more apt verb is ‘wilt’.
Luckily, I’ve mostly attracted partners who also like swimming in the ocean (!), so I’ve never been shamed for it. Research has suggested some women may store it in the tissue of their vaginal walls, and upon contractions caused by pleasure, the liquid gets released. I don’t really care how it happens, what I love is the exquisite rush and release of pleasure that accompanies it. I also often feel this sense of heightened feminine power surge through me, and often this is where the archetypal elements come out to play. Enter the Sorceress, the High Priestess, or Kail, the Hindu Goddess of birth, death and rebirth. Look out, lover.
On other occasions, I think that’s where I store sorrow, and more of it can be released through liquid orgasms, than through crying tears. I can feel incredibly elated and light-headed afterwards. It feels a bit like the high from dropping a tab of Ecstacy, though, of course, shorter in duration.
BEYOND PHYSICAL REALITY : Here-and-Not-Here
As I mentioned at the opening of this article, I’ve seen silver sparks explode behind my closed eyelids on many occasions. This effect is always accompanied by the onset of intense pleasure, and often a feeling of gratitude, love and closeness to my partner, culminating often in orgasms. I write about it here, in my short story Mobius Strip.
I’ve also experienced blasts of white light, but sometimes other colours – scarlet or gold – like exploding paint bombs, most often when my eyes are closed. It’s like all my senses become drenched in that colour.
I’ve felt the boundaries of my body disappear, often during a succession of orgasms through different parts of my body. On occasions, I feel as if I’ve left my body, been flung into outer space, suspended and weightless in a dark starry silence. Or, as if the boundaries of myself dissolve, and the Cosmos bleeds into me. Suddenly, the stars are inside me.
We, too, can gleam and shimmer.
So, there’s my list. Many of my experiences would fall into what people would call esoteric. I decided to not include all of them in one post, for fear of overwhelming both myself and my readers.
Writing erotica is a way to affirm my ‘aliveness’, to record some of my most ecstatic or transcendent moments, by weaving my own specific sensory memories into a character’s experience. Even if these sexual “touchstones” are not part of any particular story, I’m now realising they form a part of my writing “raison d’etre.”
I write about these aspects of sexual expression not only to be celebratory of sex, but also to be authentic, subversive, feminist, provocative and inclusive. I definitely write with the intent to arouse the reader, but equally to enlarge the scope of what a reader might think is possible, permissable or desirable sexually. However, not every reader is going to respond to my work in this way. There are elements of me as a writer that like to confront and provoke. So if I don’t arouse them, I aim to at least provoke reflection, to engage the reader into thinking more about sexuality and human behaviour.
I think that’s part of why I enjoy depicting my female characters having multiple orgasms, squirting orgasms, finding or having their g-spots stimulated, my male characters having non-ejaculatory orgasms, people having transcendent orgasmic experiences. At various points in history, and even currently in some circles, these things have been thought of as myths, or not physically possible. Female ejaculation is one such phenomenon. Well, doubters, I ain’t fiction.
My first ever real fan letter came from a woman who had seen those sparks I talked about earlier, and had read Mobius Strip when it was published in ERWA’s online fiction gallery (2013). That letter made my week. I realised that if my fictional explorations incorporating some of my “real” sexual experiences could connect with individual readers and affirm their reality, then that was incredibly motivating. My desire to keep writing erotica deepened.
In my author Bio, I often write that I am engaged in “the articulation of the feminine experience”. As authorial voices, women have missed out on centuries of permissable literary exploration of our sexuality, of our complexities of arousal and desire due to the politics of patriarchy and oppression. Women have been written by men, mediated through the male perspective, the male gaze. I sometimes feel feverish with how much I want to fill this massive feminine ideological chasm. (Now there’s a metaphor.) It’s wonderful that there are now so many women writing about sex. The tide has definitely turned, but it was a long, thirsty wait.
Writing erotica is one way of honouring embodied vitality and intelligence, and celebrating the human capacity to achieve transcendent, sublime or altered states; to touch the mystery of being consciousness in a body, but also somehow part of a greater consciousness beyond the boundary of the body. I wonder, fellow erotica writers, is this a particularly personal intent? Mystics of different cultures have used meditation, trance, dancing and in some instances, sex, to enter these states. Powerful, conscious, connected sex is one such gateway through which these states that can be experienced.
My body of writing is small thus far, in comparison to what I hope to write in this lifetime. Yet, if I am leaving any kind of “legacy”, it might be one that says: “Yes, I lived intensely. I felt unforgettable, sometimes inexplicable sensations, and I write them in the hope that they will act as both a record that such things are possible, and a catalyst for others to experience them too.”
We, all of us, can gleam and shimmer ...
Annand, Margot. The Art of Sexual Ecstasy. London: Harper Collins, 1989.
Irigaray, Luce. This Sex Which is Not One. New York: Cornell University Press, 1985.
- My reference to Wilhelm Reich is a nod to his theories of “Orgone energy”; his belief that orgasmic energy was something that was transferrable, and could both heal and be harnessed for other purposes. I don’t know a lot about his theories, but his ideas are both radical and intriguing. Reference pending.