This post is an abstract of my book ‘Come Laughing!’ I hope that it will inspire some people to order the paperback version or download the e-book!
‘Twas my own fault, though not a deliberate one. But, as a result, this, my first published print-on-demand book, has become shrouded in ambivalence, suspicion and, dare I say it, slightly creepy and unwelcome online messages from young men all over the world!
My fault because, in my enthusiasm to get published and my total naivety, I did not explain properly what the book was – and, perhaps more to the point, what it was, and is, not.
I was stumped myself when it came to choosing the correct labels for the book – so I am not surprised that others have been similarly confused. You see, I labelled it ‘Humorous Erotica’- and, by Goddess, has that mistake come back to haunt me or what?!
For starters, it is a book of short pieces and not a novel. It does not have a coherent plot, a recognisable setting or a cast of characters. Although, in a moment of madness, I also labelled it ‘Poetic Pornography’, it isn’t – or at least not really. Hard core it ain’t and it certainly does not cater to the audience, and individual proclivities, which made ’50 Shades of Grey’ such a phenomenal success.
So what the feck is it?
It is my views, attitude, prejudices (I am sure), true stories fictionalised and thoughts about sex, sexuality and the damage we do by making the whole thing into an unintentionally enticing taboo. It is sixty-nine (and, yes, I did choose that number with tongue in cheek and deliberate humorous intent) short pieces which, though varied in tone and subject matter, sum up my attitude towards bonking, masturbating, lust, talking dirty, privy parts and a whole host of other sex-related topics.
I have no idea to what extent my very blunt and open views match those of my contemporaries, It may well be that many other women born in the late fifties identify totally with what I say; it is equally likely, however, that my writing is as shocking to them as it is to some other, younger, people!
I have always challenged pointless rules and, to me, stupid taboos. I have always been a rebel in my own way. So ‘Come Laughing!’ was, and is, part of a continuum, if you like (and even if you don’t!): It was part of an attitude I have, a kind of, ‘Why do we do/say/not say this?’ I am not claiming that I am right or that everyone should think the way I do. That would be arrogant and patronising. What I am doing is to set out my own stall – that of a post-menopausal woman in her late fifties who has, in the past, thoroughly enjoyed horizontal (and vertical!) pleasure and who finds the whole subject hilarious.
Of course there’s more to it than that. Love, trust, partnership, shared delight, bonding, caring and so forth. But in this book I chose to concentrate on the funny, lyrical, outspoken and downright outrageous side of the sexual coin.
In some of the pieces, I adopt an alter ego (a series of them, actually); in others, I have given fictional characters my own experiences; in still others, I write from true memory.
Throughout, it is MY voice. It is very much a woman’s take on the whole thing – no doubt about that.
I chose the title deliberately – to make people chuckle, to make them think and to express, in two words, the crucial importance of humour in the world of eroticism. Do I really think it possible to have an orgasm through laughing? Who knows?! Who cares?! I love the title and its snarky echoing of a certain televisual extravaganza.
I think this book could have a certain universal appeal because it deals with experiences we all have at some time or another, and questions we all ask ourselves and our partners: Condom or IUD, for example; should the hair in the hold match that on the deck; what place, if any, does talking dirty have in the bedroom/hayloft/field; is sex any better/worse if the pork sword is circumcised?
I tackle such matters head-on! It is not, let us be quite clear about this, a literary masterpiece. It does not have a clever plot. It does have characters, but they do not meet one another (bloody good thing too as you’ll find out if you read the thing!) by and large.
Is it funny? Yup!
Confronting? Probably. I often am!
Sexy? That’s for you to decide!
Note: The original, purple cover (as seen at the top of this post) has been superseded by a more overtly sexual red one.