Sunday, June 19, 2011

HOW TO CREATE AND USE MIND-STRETCHING CONCEPTS

PART III – by John Rosenman (www.johnrosenman.com)

[This article was originally titled]: Alien Sex! Alien Sex! Alien Sex!


If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering how you can spice up your alien sex scenes, perhaps invent a new perversion you won’t find in The Joy of Sex. You’re tired of the same 301 ultra-kinky positions, even when they involve Lance Stud and his extraterrestrial sweetheart, Ms. Good-tentacle. In this essay, I will try to suggest some far-out, bizarre, mind-stretching and perhaps even illuminating and liberating possibilities, primarily by focusing on one scene from a recent novel I wrote.

But first, what do we mean by alien sex? There are several possibilities or categories, and the short list below is not meant to be exhaustive.

1. Human sex, usually boy-girl/man-woman, but it can also be gay, bisexual,
transexual, gay transexual, etc. How is this “alien,” you ask? As Ellen Datlow observes in her introduction to Alien Sex, “male and female humans so often see each other as ‘alien’ – in the sense of ‘belonging to another country or people; foreign; strange; an outsider.’” What’s the title of that book about gender differences and relationships? Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Potentially, though, any erotic human relationship can be alien because it involves reaching out to someone vastly different from you. Put another way, I’ve sometimes felt that the strangest, most alien creatures imaginable are fellow homo sapiens I’ve met.

2. Humans with aliens, as in, “My boyfriend’s from Orgasmo IV, and did I
mention he’s not only an hermaphrodite but the ninth member of a group entity with a hive mind?” This category is probably what most of us mean when we think of alien sex. The aliens can run the gamut from being just like us to waaaayyyy different. For one of the former kind, check out the movie Cocoon where the alien female looks just like a beautiful girl, but boy, what a celestial climax! As for being different, in Octavia E. Butler’s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novelette, “Bloodchild,” an alien female impregnates a human boy by inserting her eggs directly into his stomach via a needle-sharp ovipositor, thereby not only knocking him up, but turning off some male readers who canceled their subscriptions to Asimov’s. Do NOT try this in your bedroom!

3. Humans with animals. Now, before you shout “Ewe!”, please be advised that
some of these works are classics and possess enduring popularity. C’mon, what do you think Beauty and the Beast is really about? Some stories, e.g., Leigh Kennedy’s “Her Furry Face,” involve sex with an educated or cerebrally-enhanced animal. Others are mythic, such as the one about Pasiphae, who got it on with a white bull and gave birth to the Minotaur.

4. Gods with humans. For a starter, check out a few Greek myths. Zeus, that
cheating husband and heavenly womanizer, always seems to get the hots for a particularly fetching, down-to-earth beauty, and in the fertility department, I can guarantee he never shot blanks. And, to combine #3 with part of #4, in one legend he even assumes the guise of a swan and rapes Leda. Elsewhere, in Hesiod, Gaia or Earth, who is the mother of Heaven, mates with her son to produce the race of Titans, which must make for an interesting family tree.

5. Humans with non-human humans. You know, with vampires or the undead,
lecherous zombies or werewolves, Michael Jackson, the extreme Religious Right. You get the idea.

Hmm, I see I’ve left out Aliens with Aliens; Humans with Pixies, Elves, Angels, Devils, Incubuses, and erotic dreams with imaginary lovers of all types. Well, as I said before, this isn’t a complete list. Also, I’d like to stress that while the alien encounter can be bizarre and, uh, mind-blowing, it must at least in some small way be compatible with a human frame of reference and be partly understandable. If you write, “The Alien Queen rippled her zzzekeka in the fourth dimension as Lord Skyhopper caressed the ninth incarnation of her tripartite mind and they both entered each other’s shimmering manisfestations in null-space” – well, you may have a little trouble connecting with readers, although I can think of a few members of my particular writers community who would probably get turned on anyway.

Okay, lets look briefly at my novel, Alien Dreams, published by Drollerie Press. In order to save his crew from vicious alien “angels,” Captain Eric Latimore must leave the woman he loves and become a male of the aliens’ beautiful, telepathic species. Then he must mate with their queen, a process that lasts ten thousand subjective years. (No premature ejaculation here!) After his transformation into a great, feather-clad creature, Latimore (now Ragar) sees Aleia descend from the sky with his now super-acute vision. “Her lustrous white wings” opened “to enfold him, and in the sun, her teeth were the deep bright red of fresh shed blood.”

They both soar above the clouds and enter an alien stasis field that contains a spacious and opulent bedroom. There they couple, drenched in her fragrant musk. But though Aleia is more lovely and irresistible than any human, I wanted to complicate matters for Latimore, make her truly alien, strange, and frightening. So I reveal that her gorgeous, sublime image is only a mental projection, “a carefully constructed illusion designed to beguile and seduce” her mate. What is Latimore really embracing – an angel or a hideous, alien spider that will suck him dry?

In order to portray an act of alien sex, I also wanted to break down as many boundaries as possible and then erase them. Some of these boundaries are personal and psychological and involve Latimore’s sense of his own identity and what it means to be human. Other blurred boundaries are sexual, particularly when he and his bedmate swap bodies and each other’s supremely intense sensations. Copulating for centuries, Latimore realizes that “The nerve endings of angels were connected to the heat source of the universe, and he burned forever in its flames.” Despite his ecstasy, part of him is repelled by the act, for he fears that more and more, he is becoming an alien who views humans as cockroaches:

Horror and self-disgust grazed his mind. No, he must not think that way! He was still human, and his allegiance lay with them. But then Aleia introduced him to a new ‘permutation’ of angel lovemaking, showing him how they could float and braid in the air with the merest stirring of their wings, and flow over and around and even through each other. He plunged deep into her every orifice, and with wise touches of her supple fingers, she awakened him to transcendent sensations he could never have imagined. Then he was in her mind, gazing out at himself and feeling his own turgid flesh penetrate his body. Only it was HER body now, ALEIA’S body he occupied, and he experienced firsthand her divine pleasure, pleasure that HE was giving her. Or was it Aleia who brought him repeatedly to such ecstasy, to titanic delights that would kill even the most resilient of humans?

Finally, after millennia, they part. Aleia tells him their union has been successful because the holy child she seeks has been conceived. They need never touch each other again, for in their minds, every moment of their almost eternal lovemaking will be as fresh as ever. As Aleia tells Latimore telepathically, “You are here always, Ragar. Every moment, every thrilling touch, is as vivid as ever and will never fade.” Like the lovers in Fredrick Pohl’s “Day Million,” these sweethearts will be plugged into each other forever.

Looking over this particular scene, I notice it isn’t very erotic, but that wasn’t my main purpose. What I was trying to do was explore speculative possibilities and present a compelling alien encounter far different from humans’ and yet recognizable. One major suggestion: in creating such scenes, don’t forget to explore the psychology of the participants and to make the reader care. In this case, I hope folks identify with my (once) human protagonist and sympathize with his fears and feelings.

This is the first essay I’ve written where I’ve asked myself, “Why the heck are you doing this?” I think part of it is that sexuality is one of the most basic features of what it means to be human and a writer. We may look ridiculous while doing it, but really, would our lives even be worth living without physical passion and erotic love? Sex is the stuff of song, the rhythm of romance. It pounds and reverberates through our lives like a great drum solo. I know there are some who feel that the “old in and out” gets boring and there are no new ways to present it, but I’m not one of them. To me, sex is inexhaustible and endlessly fascinating, and the permutations have yet to be fully plumbed. That’s basically why I’ve stripped my prurient psyche bare here, folks, to get your juices pouring and suggest a few more creative approaches. Oh yes, there’s another reason too. Have you noticed that sex is funny? I’m not just talking dirty jokes here, but joyful ones as well. Humans do like to laugh, and what could be better to laugh at than the source of life itself?

Or maybe this is all hooey. My wife told me I’m a dirty old man and just want to
shack up with an alien. When she said that, I foolishly responded, “Well, what do you think I’ve been sleeping with for the past forty years?” Not a good idea at all.

The garage does get cold this time of year.

2 comments:

Kay Dee Royal said...

I like the comment your wife made about shacking up with an alien - LOL.

You've written a spicy, sensual part, even if it isn't as graphic as erotica romance...it strikes the emotion perfectly.

I enjoyed reading all about your mind-stretching concepts. Good tid-bits to reference.

John B. Rosenman said...

Thanks, Kay.

Sometimes I feel sorry for my wife. ;)