Archives: religion

“Annunciation”

Mofo publishing’s latest anthology of literary erotica, Sacrilege, comes out August 17th. This week I’m sharing excerpts from both my stories in it.

“Annunciation” is a Marian devotion, a confession, a denunciation, and a love story about growing up queer in the Catholic Church.

Annunciation

Gabriel

The Nativity is the third Joyful Mystery.

My first crush was on the archangel Gabriel, who I thought was a woman.

I stared at the illustrations in my religion textbook, studying every nuance of the figure, taller than the kneeling Mary (or even when kneeling to Mary) but slender. Details of that long body were masked by a white gown that flowed to bare feet, draped the wrists of gesturing hands. The beardless, fine-featured face was framed by a cascade of golden hair. These details recurred in image after image. Already half-daydreaming, I skimmed text that spoke of “the angel,” and I knew girls named Gabrielle.

So to me, the Annunciation was always a matter of two women together in a bedroom.

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“Deliver Us”

Mofo publishing’s latest anthology of literary erotica, Sacrilege, comes out August 17th. This week I’m sharing excerpts from both my stories in it.

“Deliver Us” is a lighthearted and angry look at the kind of sex that will get you sent to hell. Namely, exorcism roleplay, with bondage, warming oils, and getting almost too deeply into character–

Deliver Us

Ryan might have made a mistake in telling her that his first awakening to bondage had come through some C-movie about an exorcism. Watching that lissome teenager writhe, strapped down on the table—though just a kid himself, he’d known something was going on, something even beyond the desperate, weirdly poignant straining for salvation. Years later, he found out exactly what. And years after that, he confessed.

And now he was about to lose his immortal soul over it.

But God, Ann looked good in a Roman collar.

“I thought about being a nun,” she said, running her fingers over it. “But in the end it didn’t work out.”

“No kidding.” He grinned. “When it comes to nuns, I always think about . . . either sweet little old lady campaigners of social justice or else rulers across the knuckles.”

“Seriously. When I was younger, I thought I might have a vocation.”

“You’ve never mentioned that before.”

She shrugged, and he remembered that she didn’t talk much about her Catholicism in general. Or her ex-Catholicism. Which seemed more likely, given her continued playing around with the collar. She brushed away the ends of her brown curls hanging over it.

“Anyway,” she said, “I just thought of it when I put this on. Since they don’t let women become priests. A Sister would be as close as I could get.”

“I think you’ll make a good priest,” he told her.

“Thanks.” The moment of softness passed from her eyes, and she leaned over him. Loomed, really. When he stood, they were the same height, but Ryan always felt as if he shrank five feet when he was tied up. And the improvised vestments seemed to do something for her—she grew in them.

She said, “But after all, there’s lots of things they don’t let good Catholic girls do. Extramarital sex . . . sex not for the purposes of procreation . . . most of everything we’ve ever done.”

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Upcoming stories

My cup overfloweth. Contracts are signed, edits are underway, and I just discovered that I’ll be sharing the tables of contents in two upcoming anthologies with some very excellent people.

Your cup might overflow as well, dear reader, because in each of these anthologies I have two stories.

In MoFo’s third anthology, Religion (originally Sacrilege), my stories are kind of different from each other, but between them cover plenty of my Roman Catholic influences.

“Deliver Us” is about what happens when you get exposed to bondage through B-movies about exorcisms, and your girlfriend is an ex-Catholic who once wanted to be a priest.

(When your boyfriend did become a priest and you want to rescue him from his decision, you get A Last Touch of Grace. Comparing that story in 2016 to these stories in 2017 probably reveals something interesting about my spiritual journey.)

“Annunciation” is a semi-autobiographical novella in flash about growing up queer in the Catholic Church. Novella in flash might be a slight exaggeration, but I’ve recently fallen in love with the form and its cousins after reading Sylvia Brownrigg’s Pages for Youeven if I didn’t manage a “true” novella of the appropriate length and independence of the composite flash pieces, it was fun experiment. The format might also be influenced by the 5 + 1 fanfiction genre, in which case we have “Five times I* believed lies the Church told me about gender and sexuality and one time I figured it out,” I guess, or maybe “Five times I really missed the fact that I was queer and the realization(s) that put me right.” Not only was “Annunciation” fascinating to write (I said these stories “covered a lot of my Roman Catholic influences,” but what I learned most is how much is left to uncover), I also got a little angry. In “Deliver Us,” too. That seemed to fit MoFo’s call, which includes “a preference for Catholicism—the eroticism and hypocrisy are built right in.”

The narrator of “Annunciation” first identifies the androgynously-illustrated Gabriel as female, “So to me, the Annunciation was always a matter of two women together in a bedroom. “

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