A few weeks after my first public reading, I received an interesting email. Apparently, Novella was more invested in my stories than I thought she would be and so she contacted the host of some literary blog, or podcast she was listening to, who in turn emailed me for an interview. From what I’ve gathered, the podcast was mostly about “new” independent authors, and the woman who ran it was interested in talking to a “sex author” as she called me. On top of all that she was from Canada, I think, which made it all the more appealing as I like talking to people from other parts of the world, and so I accepted.
Novella was just as intrigued as I was when I told her, and she asked if she could be with me during the podcast, just to listen in on it, and so at the appointed time she came over to my apartment and brought a bottle of vino, for good measure. She ended up drinking it herself though, since I’m not too keen on alcohol and like to stick to softdrinks, and when the hour for the interview arrived, she was already slightly tipsy.
The podcaster called almost up to the minute at the time she said she would. We talked through skype, as it seemed the most convenient way of doing this, but didn’t use any video, so all I could tell about her was her voice, which was very nice, somewhat high-pitched and very prim and proper. She sounded neither young, nor old, but it’s hard to tell someone’s age just from their voice, so I won’t. “Hello,” she said, “is this Kathrin?”
“Yes!” I answered, excited and maybe a little too enthused, “hi there!” I could hear her smile through the line. “Well, are you ready to start right away?” she asked. “Sure,” I answered and she fell into a short introductory speech which she must’ve said a thousand times before until she introduced me: “Today, my guest is an independent writer of erotica for women. Welcome Kathrin Pissinger.” She gave them the pen name Novella must’ve told her and then asked, just to be sure: “Kathrin, is it Kat-reen or Cat-rien?”
I shrugged. “You can call me Suzie,” I answered.
“Suzie?” she repeated, puzzled. “Yeah,” I said. “My real name’s Giovanna, but everyone calls me Ellen.” She was speechless for a moment, but then said: “I think I get it. So you’re Vera.” I laughed. She seemed to be smart, and I liked that. It’s not often an interviewer understands humour. “That’s right,” I answered. “Well then, Carol, let’s talk a little about you. You’re a writer of erotica?”
“Porn,” I replied. “Erotica sounds too fancy for the stuff I write. It’s hardcore porn. I don’t want anyone to read my stuff expecting to find sensual love stories with some vanilla sex scene in them and then be put off by it, so I think it’s better to call it what it is.” She seemed a bit thrown off by my reply, as she had a hard time saying the word “porn” as she continued. I assumed it had something to do with American prudishness. “Okay,” she said. “So ... porn ... so ... what are you usually writing about?”
“Well, about anything that turns me on, really,” I answered. “Which is mostly lesbian sex, with a good deal of kinky fetishes like anal sex, domination, fisting, pee, everything I like.” She caught her breath at the word “pee” but didn’t say anything and instead continued: “Oh. So. Have you been doing that long?”
I reclined in my seat and put my hands behind my head, getting more comfortable talking about my writing. “Well,” I said. “For about a year now. I’ve written something like 40 stories so far. They tend to be quite short, though, because I usually only write until I’ve come, or come enough to be satisfied and don’t like to draw things out.” Novella pulled her chair up next to me and leaned her head against my arm, looking a bit drowsy but enamoured. Must’ve been the wine.
I wondered if the interviewer realized she was in the wrong kind of interview, as she apparently struggled to find words to talk about sex, but she bravely continued with some standard questions that can be used in almost any circumstance: “Well, and ... are all your stories about yourself? I mean, did you ... do you write about your life ... like ... is it autobiographical?”
I smirked. It’s the question that always comes up, but I tried to be as courteous as possible. “Well, some of them are, some of them are not. I like to say I write about what I did, like to do or dream of doing and let my readers figure it out for themselves which is which. It’s part of the appeal, I think, so I like to keep that a secret. However, some stories clearly are fiction, like the Zombie thing I had started recently...”
“Oh,” she said. “Like the Walking Dead or something?” I laughed. “Well, something like that. My Zombie Apocalypse has a lot more to do with fucking, and less with fighting. My Zombies are some weird rape-monsters, for example, and the heroines are a lesbian couple with a distinct dom-sub relationship.”
“Hmm, so are you a fan of the Walking Dead?” she asked. “Well, I’ve seen the TV-series and I like it alright. It’s a bit odd in places, because I like to imagine myself in these circumstances and for the most part, it works pretty well, but then there are things that break the ... immersion, I guess you’d call it. Like, everyone on the show like dresses and lives pretty much like in the 1800’s, but apparently there is never a shortage of shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream and lady shavers. That kinda breaks the spell for me, as it’s one of the things I look at in a woman. Like, if I was without running water and showers for a week, my hair would look very different. And body hair ... well, I’m a big proponent of female body hair anyway, so I think realistically the women on the show should be a lot less shaved.”
Vella nuzzled my armpits, leaning against my side while the podcaster seemed completely taken aback. “Uh ... I don’t think I know what you mean,” she said. I sighed. “Are you shaved?” I asked her. She began to stammer: “I ... uh ... I don’t ... I don’t think...” I nodded. “See,” I interrupted her, “we’ve got this weird little taboo thing about the female body where it needs to conform to a certain idea, and if it deviates from that, you’ll almost be outcast. Like, if you keep your armpits, or even your pussy unshaved, you’re somehow less accepted than the skankiest crack-whore. Consequently, only people who don’t care much about social acceptance, like artists or hippies, stay unshaved. And me,” I laughed.
“You ... you’re an artist,” was all she could think of as a reply. “Ah bullshit,” I laughed. “I write porn. It has nothing to do with art. It’s an outlet, and it’s fun, but it’s not art.” She seemed thoughtful and serious when she replied. “I think writing is an art,” she said quietly. “At least not less than any other art.”
“Well, alright,” I said. “If you think of my writing as art, then it’s very, very dirty art.” I laughed. “So, I guess your ... characters, then, are ... unconventional women?” she asked. I shrugged. “What’s a conventional woman? I love all women, no matter what they look like. Are you into girls?” I asked the podcaster casually. She stammered again, not prepared for that kind of questioning: “I ... maybe ... I have never ... uh...”
“Okay, so maybe bi-curious but you haven’t sucked much pussy,” I concluded. “So let me tell you, women are very different from the picture we get in the movies, on tv or in books. Like, one time there was this weird discussion on one of my stories about my use of the word ‘slime’ to describe a woman’s vaginal secretion. Like that was inacceptable. But considering the consistency and feeling of the liquid in question, I thought slime was the best and most accurate word for it. And I didn’t think it was wrong, especially considering how good it tasted, but several people thought that word was too gross, or something. Like the way women really are is somehow not acceptable and needs to be prettified when writing about female sexuality. And I’m not doing that, I think women are sexy the way they are, and all those things some people find gross actually turn me on.”
I took a deep breath while Vella leaned in. “I love it when you get passionate about something,” she whispered in my ear while her hand ran down my chest, cupping my breast playfully. I smiled at her while the interviewer tried to sum up what she just heard: “So, I guess then your stories feature very diverse characters?” she asked. With Novella’s hands all over me, I found it hard to focus on the interview and so just asked back: “Well, I guess it’s women like you and me. You know, everyday people. Like, how would you describe yourself?”