A taste of ‘Exchanges’

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Image: Jane Christensen

Image: Jane Christensen

When Melbourne-based indie erotica publishers banQuetpress and Little Raven decided to collaborate, a grand idea was hatched to give writers an opportunity to show-off their steamy tales in an erotic short story competition.

The three winners are featured in Exchanges: Ankur van der Woude, Tasha Bibi and Sue Booker. All three stories explore erotic exchanges of power and pleasure in playful, dramatic and original ways. Ankur van der Woude’s ‘Willkommen in Deutschland’ is a feisty romp through Berlin between a movie star and a mere mortal; in Tasha Bibi‘s Moscato and Chocolate’ two lesbian lovers and newbie kinksters find pleasure in blindfolds and booze; and Sue Booker’s ‘Fine Lines’ blurs the line between Master and slave.

Exchanges launches this Sunday at Hares and Hyenas.

‘Willkommen in Deutschland’ by Ankur van der Woude

‘Are you mocking my English?’

‘Not at all.’ He glances around the restaurant. ‘Or maybe I could give you friendliness lessons, instead.’

‘If you’re not enjoying yourself, you could go.’ Fool, why did you say that?

‘But I haven’t had my dinner. And it would be rude to leave you with the bill.’

‘That’s the least of my concerns.’

‘Ah yes, because you’re trying to fend me off, aren’t you? Must be hard work.’

I watch him over the rim of my glass. It’s satisfying, seeing him annoyed, but I know I’ll be mortified later. Should I apologise?

‘Well, why don’t we get it over with?’ he says. ‘You give me a handjob under the table, and I’ll pay for dinner.’

I almost choke giggling.

He relaxes. ‘Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?’ He leans close, ‘But tell me, how do I get groupies in this place?’

‘How should I know?’

‘Well let’s say I did take you home. What would you want to do?’

‘I’d wipe that smile off your face, for a start.’

‘Oh?’ he sits back. ‘And what does that entail?’

‘Moscato and chocolate’ by Tasha Bibi

Mai had rearranged her room again. It wasn’t a huge change this time, but she’d moved the bed around so that it was pushed up against the side and back walls with the headboard facing into the room. She’d also moved her desk and bedside table around to the foot of the bed, which increased the air of seclusion. On the whole, everything looked cosier than before.

I kicked off my shoes and flopped down on the bed. The window shade was down, blocking out the last of the daylight. I looked up as Mai walked in and closed the door, making sure the cat was on the other side of it.

‘Since when do you have a candelabra?’ I asked, noticing it now that I was eye-level with it. She grinned and knelt on the bed to kiss me.

‘Since I decided tonight was going to be a little different,’ she replied.

‘Fine lines’ by Sue Booker

I don’t much care for flawless beauty, in art or in life. It’s not as if I can’t derive pleasure from the image of a perfect body — or the sight, even the feel, of the body itself — but I find the peculiarities that set people apart more compelling. My own work has been rejected because of the quirks in my subjects that give them depth.

Don’t misunderstand me. Potential lovers needn’t be deformed. Everyone has deformities if we know where — or how — to look. High priestess of imperfection with a cult following of freaks, I’ve sanctified asymmetry, scar tissue and birth defects through the medium of gelatin silver prints; been crucified by critics for revealing the forbidden.

There’s something pristine about a perfect face or body that makes it seem uninhabited. Untouched by pleasure or pain. It’s my conviction that our responses to these extremes form our character. And so the greater an individual’s submission to the pleasure — or pain — principle, for I can only conceive of the two as one, the more responsive and thus desirable that individual becomes.

© Ankur van der Woude, Tasha Bibi and Sue Booker 2014

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