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Archive for Sidewalk Smut

SMUT STAND REPORT: May 29, 2015 (Bath)

WHEN: 5.5 hours (6-11:30pm), May 29, 2015. WHERE: the Bell Inn, Bath, UK. OUTPUT: three pieces of microsmut, a custom typing job (see below), one book sale, and three half-pagers, covering everything from a kinda woo-woo gay buttsex scene (very spiritual, I assure you) to the prelude to a standing fuck in a shadowy corner of a pub courtyard (huh, I wonder where that came from 😀 )

Last night reminded me of why I prefer to set up the Smut Stand in a pedestrian thoroughfare, NOT at a bar. Out on the pavement (sidewalk), I'm in one place while everyone passes me by. I get the occasional fly-by harassment, but it doesn't really matter because people are just moving on. The gazes change, and so does the energy, and I have a bit of breathing room. In the courtyard of a bar—excuse me, a pub—I'm still sitting in one place, BUT SO IS EVERYONE ELSE. They're just sitting there, scrutinizing me, staring at me. The situation is further charged up by the fact that I can hear them: THEY'RE SITTING RIGHT THERE. You'd think this would give people time to consider the purchase in a reasonable fashion, maybe get up and ask me questions, and sometimes, yes, but oh god, not always. On the street, people move along and whatever speculation they might be indulging in about my writing skills or my signage or my tits or my face, I don't hear it as the groups move on down the pavement. In a pub, DUDES I CAN TOTALLY HEAR YOU. Very unnerving at times last night. It was definitely a Friday crowd, more sexed up, arriving more as one or two people and less in groups, as the previous night's clientele had done. Oh, Thursday night, I missed you so much last night.

I think I must have been there for two hours, maybe two and a half before I got anything. I spent that time catching up on subscription smut (YES, I offer 3- and 6-month smut subscriptions, inquire within!) and noodling about with some microsmut to get myself warmed up. In bars, see, the microsmut moves faster, and it remains a genre that I am uneasy in. I did also sell a copy of Bang It Out, vol. 2, to an older gentleman who admired the whole set-up, but when I handed him the book, he said, "Oh, I am quite sure it's amazing, but I can't really read, I'm dyslexic." We chatted for a bit, and I explained the whole process to him, and he bought the book anyway. "It's my daughter's birthday," he said. "Make it out to her. She's turning 21, she'll love it."

My first commission came a little bit later, a bit of microsmut for a lady who would turn out to be a very caring presence for me there in the courtyard for the rest of the night (she had seen me the night before, and finally got up the courage, I guess). After her, things started picking up, but it remained a night full of things that I don't normally do:

  • SMUT FOR SOMEONE NOT PRESENT. The guy wanted to get a full-length piece for his best friend's 30th birthday party. He seemed honest, and I needed the money, but I was prepared to pull the plug during the interview at the first sign of someone yanking my chain. He was able to tell me quite a bit about his friend's personality and general approach to sex and women (sounded like a real salt-of-the-earth gentleman, in a decent way), and I presented him with a titty-fuck that culminated in a sneaky little finger up the birthday boy's bum. (The patron said he knew for a fact that his friend had butt plugs and used them regularly.) I am really curious how the birthday boy likes the piece, but his generous friend was thrilled and not being at all sleazy about it, so that turned out all right. I wouldn't want to make a practice of it, though.
  • TYPING RANDOM SHIT FOR PEOPLE. This guy asked if I would type up one of his poems, and showed it to me on his iphone. "It's quite rude," he said, but I shrugged. He doesn't know what "rude" is, fuck. The poem was kinda rumpety-pum, good vocabulary, crap scansion. I'm not doing that for free, I said. "I don't have 15 pounds," he said. What do you think this is worth to you? I asked; when he hesitated, I said, how about 5 pounds. Whipped that bugger out in 5 minutes. It was an ode to Satan's "bum chunder", which is apparently British slang for diarrhea. Do I care? I do not. I have done Extreme Top in all of his scatological glory. A little bit of naughty high-school verse is not going to make me swoon. Five easy pounds, I'll fucking take it.
  • SPENDING ANY TIME LISTENING TO PEOPLE HAGGLING WHO CLEARLY HAVE DIFFERENT PRIORITIES. "Five pounds? I don't have that kind of money," says the hippie dude with the feathered hat as he sat down, clutching his third pint of expensive real ale. He rummaged through his pocket. I said, no, here, I'll give you this, and handed him a bit of microsmut that I had written earlier. He said, "Wait, wait… Nope, this is all I have," and plunked down six pence on my tray table. I am not the sort of girl to throw money in a person's face, but if I were, that would be a good occasion for it. Six pence. Oh wait, that's almost a dime!
  • DOING SMUT FOR TRADE. I have occasionally swapped writing with the poets down in New Orleans, but if a rando comes up to me on the street and starts the encounter with "I'll trade you…" I hop on the Nope Rocket right away. I don't know what their skills are! Plus they're usually drunk! And while I do hope for strong and interesting encounters out there on the street, I am there to provide a paid service. So, nope! HOWEVER, last night I made an exception for doing a piece for the collective of bar staff. One of the waitresses remembered me from last year—in fact, I think she said I did a piece for her—and around 9:30 she asked if I would consider doing a piece of smut for five of the bar staff, in exchange for a pint and a shot. I said, make it a half-pint of cider and a sandwich, and you're on. That's right around the time I started getting busy, and she kept saying, "No no, take your customers!" So I didn't get cracking on that piece until after the bar was closed and they were kicking everyone out.

I lugged my shit inside, with the help of that nice lady who had been my first patron of the evening, and finished the staff piece, with the typewriter click echoing weirdly in the empty pub. Over at the counter, the bar staff and a few lingering regulars danced to music and slugged back shots or pints of this or that. (So this is the sort of thing that happens after-hours in bars! I never knew!) When I'm done, I wave to them and tell them to make ready; the group comes over to stand in front of the stage while I place my feet wide, in my smut-reciting stance, and deliver a group-sex piece that will not go down in history as one of my best offerings. What? They wanted FIVE people in it, by name, in half a page! But they fucking LOVED it.

They passed the smut around, amidst talk of framing it and hanging it in the back room, while I huddled thankfully over the feta-salad sandwich and half-pint (they happily threw in a couple of packets of crisps). That was my first food in over 12 hours. I was grateful, they were excited. Sometimes it's worth making exceptions. The night ended well.

*****

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SMUT STAND REPORT: May 28, 2015 (Bath)

WHEN: 5.5 hours (5:30-11pm), May 28, 2015. WHERE: the Bell Inn, Bath, UK. OUTPUT: six pieces of microsmut and four full-length (e.g. half-page) pieces, covering everything from an improbable simultaneous orgasm (the young man assured me he knew how to reliably do it) to a deliciously softcore frolic in a pond after hiking.

I stepped in the Bell Inn, after approximately one year away, wondering who would be here. In my admittedly limited experience of bars, staff tend to rotate through quickly and I still don't really understand the concept of regulars and having a "local". However, within the first 10 minutes, I got really clear on all of that. I was greeted by a bartender who totally remembered me, and promised to let the new manager what was up. When I set up out in the back garden, the young woman at the nearest table turned and stared. "You're back!" she said. Yes? I said. "You wrote an amazing piece for me last year! I'm going to want another one!" Minutes later, an older woman walked up and said, "Good to see you!" I remembered her from last year; I wrote a nicely kinky camping story for her and her (now ex-)boyfriend. "Yeah, he dumped me," she said, and shrugged. "He doesn't know what he had!" And then my first customer of the night stepped up, a young woman with long dark hair and amazing green woolen vintage trousers. "I walked by you last year," she said, "and I didn't stop, and I always wondered what I had missed. Not this time!"

She was sitting with a group of friends, and her purchase set the ball rolling: three more of them ended up getting microsmut, too, including a birthday girl and a lanky young man who confessed to me that he was experimenting with channeling his sexual energy away from masturbating into non-sexual creative endeavors, like launching his own music label (I think that's what he said, I was still kinda stunned by the detail he went into behind the masturbation-channeling).

This peer pressure cascade effect is absolutely a thing in bar environments, and last night, wow. A little later, a friendly businessman, I think in his mid- to late 30s, peeled away from another table of friends and asked me what I was up to. He sprung for a full-length, and then when everyone else at the table wanted to see the result, he told them no, but that if they bought their own, that he would trade views with them. I AM TOTALLY STEALING THAT SUGGESTION, because four more of them decided to go for pieces. Toward the end they were crowd-funding a little bit, but they pulled it together.

In strange/awkward news, though, I ended up having to do a re-write last night, for one of the customers at that table. She had said in her interview that she liked to role-play sometimes, with older, more assertive guys, who knew what they were doing and would tell her what to do. I gave her a contained start of a scene, with a strong narrative arc, rather than a more in-the-moment, impressionistic piece, like the ones I had written for her colleagues. Nope. Didn't fly. They were all discussing their pieces while I was working on the last one, and I could hear her discontent. So I went over afterward and said, seriously, I have a money-back guarantee. I can rewrite for you or give you your money back, or give you a copy of my book. She was embarrassed, but I insisted on making it right. We did a follow-up interview, clarified a few points, and the second attempt she was thrilled with. I'm not sure what happened, if I lost my focus or was getting tired—it was approaching the end of the night—but that was a highly salutary and humbling reminder. I can NEVER phone this in, and I need to get my strategies in place to stay fresh and focused.

*******

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