Home-Made Pornography OR, The Girl in the Red Photo and the Trouble She Caused

More than anything else, this piece has gotten me into a lot of trouble. And, I expect,  will continue to do so. Even though it was inspired by one woman, it has come to involve a number of others, none of whom were happy about it.

I met the woman in the photo at a party in Sydney for about five minutes. Someone photographed us with my then-girlfriend and a mutual friend of ours. She was tall and sexy and I tried to get distance between us, so as not to make the GF unduly uncomfortable.

Oscar Wilde said that the only way to get rid of temptation is to give in to it, to which I add my own addendum; that, or flee in the other direction.

Some time later, maybe a week, the woman contacted me over Facebook. We became friends, began correspondence and one day I opened an email from her and was confronted by the above photograph. It inspired me to write the following piece. She was the muse.

She sent more photos; I sent more pieces. We began a (largely pornographic) MSN correspondence which ran to over 40,000 words. (All photos save the red one – and all writing – has since been conscientiously and respectfully deleted).

I really enjoy getting to know people in an epistolary format. When people write, they cannot help but give themselves away; it’s as revealing as the intaglio left in your arm if you press a coin against the skin. The other thing is that connecting so strongly with someone you meet so briefly is a profoundly romantic idea.

To my abject horror, I opened my email account on New Years’ Eve 2010 to find that the cache of photos had been systematically deleted. The realisation that my GF at the time had been trawling through it fell into my stomach like a lozenge of ice.

The most interesting stories are always the ones with the greatest amount of blood in them. The problem with this story is that not all the blood that was spilt was mine. Perhaps this means that it doesn’t really belong to me. Worse, it might spill a bit more.

So… why am I publishing it? The GF of that time was a wonderful woman who, frankly, deserved better. And the girl in the photo probably got the best part of me (one of the best parts, anyway) isolated from the parts that taint a romance into a relationship.

My previous girlfriend (who I worshipped like a Goddess) would have been furious I still had the red photo in my possession and hadn’t written anything like this for her.

In the end, I sat on the damned thing for so long the girl in the photo acquired a fiancee. He found the red photo and the piece while snooping through her emails. He’s furious about the whole thing, and I’m stuck sitting on it – again.

I’ve decided to throw my hands up and publish it because its one of the best things I’ve done and I don’t believe someone can come along and invalidate your whole life before they arrived, just because they’re jealous. That and the fact she can clearly blame the whole thing on me. She refuses to talk to me anymore, anyhow.

This piece was essentially a romantic gesture. To paraphrase Paul Schrader, it leapt out of my head like an animal. I think it is essentially quite similar to the other love letters I have lodged on here, in that this kind of writing (only) comes from abstraction and futility.

When I’ve written things like this, it is because the relationship has  either become hopeless or will never exist at all.


Those who recite platitudes about fear of failure have never failed at something they care about. Writing is standing at the lip of the cliff of ambition.

You come along the road of discipline and application, carrying the best your talent and effort will allow, and then you have to cast it away; out into the void of the internet, or the ether, or whatever you conceive public reception to be.

I guess the fear of failure reminds me of what Nietzche said about ‘If you look long enough into the void, the void begins to look back through you’. The sensation of failure, as an artist, is the pressure of that stare as it bears down on you. That stare ignites like a flashpoint at every atom of your being.

Fighting may be harder to execute than art, but it’s much easier to succeed at. You don’t have to compete with all the fighters that ever lived, and if you can at least hold your own and display tenacity and courage, your efforts are justified.

Artists are ‘competing’ for recognition against the best that ever were; courage and tenacity are nothing more than the chits to get you in the door.

When you step up to the lip of that cliff with your own cherished effort, you are struck by your own shameful meagreness and the arrogant ignorance that convinced you to stand up in front of titans like Shakespeare, Dickens and Tolstoy; figures who manage to tread whatever mystical updrafts elevate them in that void which is the history of culture.

This piece, as a love letter, did on a small scale what every writer hopes to do; it touched someone deeply. It was a victory, small but conclusive. The irony is that it is ostensibly a piece of pornography.


When I wake the air is warm and the sheet, courtesy of the ceiling fan, is alive against my skin. The slight abrasiveness of new cotton signifies and perhaps even causes the gradual return to sentience; my nipples, my belly, my thigh, the back of my hand.

There is a shift in pressure against my back as she moves on the mattress. She gets out of bed and then I vaguely hear the musical tinkle of her piss in the toilet. When she returns, her footfalls are soft on the carpet.

I throw back the sheet, feeling the delicious play of air projected by the rhythmic oscillation of the fan. I feel her get back onto the bed. I reach out; my hand bumps her arm and I shift it to her shoulder. I guide her towards my cock, half-stiff from the sheet, the air, and the expectation.

The warm shock of wet on the head is almost as profound as the tickle of her hair as it falls across my inner thigh. I shift my hand to the base of her skull and draw her down. She pushes her hands onto my thighs as my cock hits the back of her throat, but she moves to accommodate it going deeper.

When I am fully hard, I pull her head away and lift her over me. The slick, sticky head of my cock bounces against her thigh, then her butt. Each contact winds me incrementally tighter. My balls are contracting, climbing towards my body.

I reach up and feel the gorgeous flatness of her stomach and move upward to the jutting curve of her breast. I know her body so well that I know, even with my eyes closed, that if I spread my fingers, the switch of her nipple will be right under my thumb.

She moans and wiggles and my cock slides over the wetness forming on the lips of her cunt. The wetness of the head finds it and slips across it like a groove. She moves back and forth a few times, tilts her pelvis one way, I tilt the other and

I am inside you. The intricate tissue of musculature that forms the inner walls of your body shifts and rolls like the tumblers in the most divine lock and you find the shape of me with your most personal, most intimate grip. You exhale from the shock and the fact that I am now suddenly embedded within you.

You put your hands on my chest and spread your fingers. It’s more a reposition than a grind, but the movement scatters electricity through synapses and we moan together, united in sensation by your movement.

I am joined to you because this is entirely about two bodies, as much as sailing requires a ship and an ocean. One pushing against the other, deforming it ever so gently. Just like water you are displaced and press back somewhere else.

You push down onto my chest, pushing me down against the buoyancy of the mattress. You sweep your hips backwards and the shaft of my cock slides right through, until only the head is sitting between the lips of your cunt. You sweep forward and I reach further into you.

This pushes me into the moment more conclusively than anything, short of debilitating pain, possibly could. I hold onto each twist and caress, each one registering as singular and perfect precisely because it is passing. Because, with a glorious conclusion, this will eventually be over.

“Oh God,” you say. This is the only thing to say; there is no other description for it.

I know your body from the photos you have sent. My favourite is the red-filtered one you took in the mirror with a camera phone, kneeling on the bed. The way the grain of the shadows gathers to create the image is reminiscent of the way iron filings will trace a magnetic field on paper.

From the red photo I know the curve of your stomach and the vertical line that runs from beneath your sternum, subtly bisecting your navel. The way you tilt your head back and to the right so you can see the image on your camera phone has the effect of illustrating the column of your neck and veils your eyes in shadow. It structures the fall of your hair onto your shoulders.

I see the cliff of your cheekbone and the plane of the cheek below it. I know the way the light flows down across there and along your belly, down to the inverted ‘V’ of your thighs where you kneel on the mattress.

The image has become a cipher for all I find desirable; the magnet which draws my sex towards it the way salt water draws the negatively-charged ions in my blood when I swim in the ocean.

I shuffle the scenarios at which this instant of one body meshing with the other could occur; standing up, breathing hard against your neck and ear like an animal, pressing up and in from behind, pinning you against a cubicle wall.

Most of the sound would be muffled by the dull thumping of the music in the club outside. I kiss the skin behind your ear tenderly, grazing it with my lips and the end of my nose, focusing on it with an intensity of which only the most fascinated lover is capable.

Back here on the bed, I flip you over. Your back arches and you push back. As I build my rhythm, I trace the tattoo on the small of your back with my thumb. I reach under and grasp your hips, feeling the hard protuberances of bone and the soft flesh beneath them, and pull you onto my cock. In this position, my reach is greater.

You inhale sharply and the suggestion of hurt excites me. I reach further under you and, cupping your breasts, lift you up. I turn your head so I can push my tongue into your mouth.

You try to suck it but the suction breaks as you moan. Your saliva smears against my lips. It’s not quite a kiss anymore; the whole activity is dissolving into a series of desperate, animal contacts. I flip you over again; I want to see your face.

I marvel at the reality of something I have fantasised about for so long. I relish the shock of raw sensation as my balls smack wet against your butt. I want to pour myself into your body like a river of cock and tongue. I want you to drink; to swallow until I am alive inside of you.

As if I am your blood. Animating you. Making you sentient. Making you conscious, cognitive and alive. I want to line your veins and arteries. I want you to carry me around with you all day; when you walk, talk, eat, and lie down, feeling me move with that same delicate, gentle rhythm that is as personal and intimate as the beating of your heart.

The sensation builds as the head of my cock passes against the hot, wet membranes of your flesh, the way they close as I withdraw and are pushed aside as I move forward and in where I pause so you can grip and hold me. The itch that builds and builds and

her cries, hungry and demanding, pull me away towards her. I shut my eyes tighter to keep you here. And then I get as tight as I can; it peaks and I shatter, pouring into her, down between her legs.

The alarm goes.

“Shit, I hope it’s not eight,” she says, and I fully open my eyes. “Shit – I’m late! Can you drive me?”

“Sure,” I say. I look for a pair of pants. Then I try to remember which pair of pants the car keys are in. There’s not even time for a cup of coffee.


One Response to “Home-Made Pornography OR, The Girl in the Red Photo and the Trouble She Caused”

  1. One of your most engaging posts, thanks for casting it out there. Will stay with me. As a recently divorced and remarried man I think relationships between men and women will probably never be fully understood. Hold on to the photos, eventually they may be all you have of someone who at one point meant everything.

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