Dirty Words
by M. Christian
(Alyson Publications)

The point of writing erotica is to turn the reader on--right? M. Christian uses a formula in order to do this, something he calls "The Sexual Response Cycle." This entails: "Excitement (an idea comes to mind), Plateau (putting it together), Orgasm (riding the high), and Resolution, (The End)," but it does not succeed in eroticizing the content of the book. While he builds up the eventual climax with a clear story development, the tale itself and the pinnacle are both so abhorrent, one would rather not read it at all.

It seems Christian wants to represent only negative and deviant sexual power struggles; sex for money or merchandise, incest, sex with animals, sex with dead people, etc. He completely dehumanizes and desensualizes sex, making it as raunchy/dirty/abnormal as possible. In the story "Blue Boy," M. Christian sexualizes his description of the protagonist's debate over whether to rape and kill again: "The scene rolled through his mind in perfect clarity; a quick slap to knock [the boy] off balance; a shove to bring him to his knees; unzip and jam a too-hard cock in his mouth; feel him swallow and gulp it down through artificial moans and complaints; maybe fuck him, turn him around, yank down those tight jeans and stuff a cock into the warm, expertly designed asshole; and then do it--a knife, a fun, whatever--shooting white come into a steaming bath of blue blood."

I'm aware that there is a market for this sort of porn, considering the existence of pregnant women in pornography, kiddie porn, German shepherd porn or whatever. I don't, however, believe that these are the sort of descriptions that the average sexually/mentally "healthy" person would find arousing.

M. Christian is supposedly appealing to a homosexual male demographic. I wonder, however, how gay men really feel about these stories. In none of these narratives are the sexual participants described as attractive or passionate--sex merely ends up being the inevitable course of the story. For example, in "The Harley," biker/sex partner Mammoth is described as "hands down, [having] the most righteous stench--one like a rap sheet (fucking bad and sticks to your ass for life): body reek, oil, farts, old blood, dog shit, the works." Fellatio and intercourse ensue because Mammoth and his cohort Monster bet a motorcycle on whom can groan louder during sex with their lackey--a character aptly named "Pup." During intercourse, Christian describes the sound of the sex as "a wet slurping, a sucking chest wound kind of noise."

In the story "Puppy," the protagonist Leo decides to adopt an orphaned puppy only after he discovers that the dog's mission is to satisfy him sexually. Not only is this an elaboration on an illegal and revolting sex act, it is written in a trite and sophomoric fashion, the puppy often speaking to itself in first person. Poor, misrepresented fictional puppy.

Dirty Words is a collection that I would call the "Faces of Death" of short story writing. Not only is the collection a travesty in sexual horror, it is also a cheesy and unbelievable representation of human interaction through writing (besides, of course, the expert descriptions of hard cocks and gallon-large cum shots). If I were to assume that the author, M. Christian, was trying to do anything other than shock/annoy the reader, I would say that he is in dire need of therapy.