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'07 Authors Insider Tips

by Louisa Burton
Formatting Your Manuscript
Scams / Choosing an Agent
Pitching Your Novel...
From The Call to Published...

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
Who Is Telling This Story?
Itís Work, Not A Hobby
Where Ideas Come From

Sexy on the Page
With Shanna Germain
Plotting Erotic Fiction
Seducing Your Muse
Creating Characters...
Description, Action & Dialogue
Fucking on Paper
Ten No-Nos of Erotic Fiction
Climactic Moments: First Draft
Critique Groups
Revising Your Erotic Story
Finding the Perfect Markets...
Just Submit Already
Rejections and Acceptances

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Verb Tense Confusion
Coming Up with Story Ideas
Attend a Writersí Conference
The Fundamentals of POV
Should I Sign That?
Etiquette for Authors
Erotica is Serious Work
No Body Writes for Free...
Shameless Self Promotions
The Myth of Writer's Block

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
The Time is Write
The Beautiful People
A Book by Any Other...
Synopsis: the Necessary Evil
Erotica or Porn?
Feedback Whine

2007 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
What's it like being a writer?
An Apology to Salespeople

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
About Secrets
The Perfect Fuck
About Choices
The Age of Consent
The Kingmaker
Kids and Sex
The Price of Beauty
The G.O.P.
All Worked Up About Hate
Real Men

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Good Sex: A Physics Lesson
Meet Frankenstein
Thoughts on the Orgasm Gap
The Very Bloody Marys
The Doomsday Erection
Online Threesome Porn

Get All Worked Up About M.Y.O.B.
by J.T. Benjamin

Early last year, in this very column, I announced the adoption of a new motto, to coincide with the then-upcoming mid-term elections. My goal was to give like-minded, free-thinking, sexually liberated, intellectually sophisticated people of exceptionally good taste, (like the readers of this column), a ready-made high caliber piece of ammunition in our war of words against the forces of sexual repression. Whenever the enemy tried to shove their anti-freedom, anti-fun, anti-whoopie doctrine down our collective throats, my motto would provide an easy, clear, direct response.

And what was this ready-made credo? This soundbite? This armor-piercing shell of a catchphrase?

"Mind Your Own Business."

As I wrote back in January, 2006:

"Itís firm. Itís assertive. Itís simple. Itís ĎGet The Government Out Of Our Private Lives.í Itís Freedom. Itís Liberty. Itís All-American. Itís Ann Landers saying, ĎDear Concerned: M.Y.O.B.í Itís Hank Williams singing, ĎWhy donít you mind your own business, so you wonít be minding mine.í You canít get more All-American than Ann and Hank. Of course, regarding child pornography and sexual assault, we all need to crack down, but when it comes to monitoring the sex lives of consenting adults, we have to say just four simple words.

"Mind Your Own Business.

"A guy down the street hangs a "Gay Pride" flag in his window where everybody can see it.

"Mind Your Own Business.

"The newsstand on the corner sells books and magazines with all kinds of filth and dirty pictures.

"Mind Your Own Business.

"That couple in church looks nice, but I hear they throw late-night private parties once a month, and some of the people in those parties wear lots and lots of leather.

"Mind Your Own Business.

"Mr. Edwards, the math teacher, has a roommate named Jim, and thereís only one bed in their apartment.

"Mind Your Own Business."

I have to say that the reaction to my adoption of that credo has been overwhelmingly positive. I canít count the number of emails, blogs, and general comments Iíve received in support, for which Iím grateful, and Iím glad to see that even certain public figures have been voicing similar sentiments.

I just didnít expect most of them to be REPUBLICANS.

Take young Tyler Whitney, for example. Heís been working as the webmaster on Colorado Republican Congressman Tom Tancredoís Presidential campaign. Tylerís also gay. Mr. Whitney was recently "outed" by the Michigan gay newspaper "Between The Lines," and his cohorts on the Tancredo campaign rushed to his defense. Bay Buchanan, one of Tancredoís top advisors, even said, "A personís sexual preference is a personal matter and has nothing to do with the campaign."

Amen, Sister! Thatís the MYOB philosophy at its finest. Well stated!

The only problem is, Whitneyís boss is famous for his anti-gay marriage rhetoric, and Whitney himself is a card-carrying member of the Young Americans For Freedom group at Michigan State University. YAF is listed as an anti-gay, anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and nine months ago, Whitney himself was seen at a YAF-sponsored demonstration against pro-homosexual legislation, holding a sign that said, "Go back in the closet!"

So it appears that Whitney was NOT a believer in the MYOB credo right up until HIS right to privacy and HIS sexual preferences were brought to public attention. Thatís okay, Tyler. Converts are welcome in our movement. As long as youíre a believer now, thatís all thatís important.

Just like Mary. She just had a baby boy with her life-partner, Heather. Thatís right. Samuel has two mommies. Of course, the Holy Terrors have been up in arms about all this. Focus On The Family founder James Dobson eve chimed in, saying on the FOTF website that "The two most loving women in the world cannot provide a daddy for a little boyóany more than the two most loving men can be complete role models for a little girlÖThe fact remains that gender mattersóperhaps nowhere more than in regard to child rearingÖIsnít there something in our hearts that tells us, intuitively, that children need a mother and a father?Ö(R)aising children is a two-person job best accomplished by a mother and a father." Some of Dobsonís cronies on the Łber-right even called Mary and Heather, "cruel" and "selfish" for bringing a baby into the world without a father.

To her credit, Mary wouldnít put up with that shit. She proudly proclaimed, "This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child." You go, girl! Tell those fascists hiding behind the Bible to get their stinking noses out of your uterus and your bedroom! Itís tough enough raising a child in this day and age, and itís been made all the more difficult when right-wing, homophobic assholes feel theyíve got the God-given right to interfere with your right to happiness and the joys of motherhood. Way to go, Mary Cheney!

Mary Cheney?

Yup. As in, "Lesbian daughter of Vice-President Richard ĎPrince Of Darkness/Darth Vaderí Cheney. Chief crony to George Dubya Bush and sidekick whore to the very same religious right homophobic assholes who are shrilly attempting to legislate homosexuality into fourth-class citizenship status. Maryís been working diligently for her fatherís campaigns for years and has never said one word to criticize or dilute the Bush-Cheney cabalís message of anti-gay hatred.

So Mary and Heather are also latecomers to the MYOB party. Thatís okay. Youíre welcome anyway. Itís a shame your sonís been born into a world of such animosity toward his two mommies, and that his grandfather is one of the main sources of that animosity. But itís cool. Itís also ironic.

Thereís irony, and then thereís hypocrisy. When Bill Clinton was being impeached for the Monica Lewinsky affair, two of his biggest critics were House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and then-Congressman David Vitter of Louisiana. Both Republicans screamed bloody murder that Clinton had engaged in an otherwise private indiscretion, and that his moral failings were so great that he should either resign or be removed from office.

At the time, Gingrichís and Vitterís wailings drowned out any responsive, "Mind your own business" argument, but rest assured. Both Gingrich and Vitter have seen the light, now.

A few months ago, on James Dobsonís (him again!) radio program, Gingrich confessed that while he was persecuting Clinton for adultery, Gingrich himself was cheating on his second wife, with the woman who would become his third wife. (For that matter, Gingrich started seeing his second wife while he was still married to his first wife. I detect a pattern, here).

Gingrich sees no hypocrisy or irony in his actions, and heís even gone on the record as saying that private affairs (pun intended) shouldnít be fodder for public discussion. In effect, heís saying itís None of Our Business. Which it isnít. Except when he says it is. Like when itís someone elseís business.

Finally, David Vitterís situation is still the stuff of late-night talk show monologues. The phone numbers in the D.C. Madamís Rolodex. The testimonials from several well-known Washington and New Orleans prostitutes. The tearful Jimmy Swaggert-style "I-have-sinned" press conference, standing next to his "supportive" wife, who looks like sheís staring down the barrel of a shotgun.

Of course, any decent observer would conclude that Vitterís indiscretions and the attendant consequences should be solely the province of himself and his wife, and itís none of our business what they do or how they do it, right?

And the fact that Vitter demanded Clinton resign over the Lewinski affair should bear no reflection on Vitterís own position in the Senate, right? Live and let live, right, Senator? Mind your own business, right Senator Vitter?

Congressman Gingrich?

Ms. Cheney?

Mr. Whitney?

Looking back, I blame myself. I appreciate that conservatives are seeing the light, but itís apparent when I came up with my MYOB credo, I didnít go into enough detail. I went for brevity, not precision. Iíd just assumed that when someone wants to be left alone, he naturally must be willing to leave others alone, as well. It appears that Gingrich, Cheney, and the rest didnít get the subtlety of the message until it was their private lives under the microscope.

Therefore, Iím revising my credo. The new one doesnít flow off the tongue as well as "Mind Your Own Business" does, but I donít want any more misunderstandings.


"If you keep your nose out of my bedroom, Iíll keep my nose out of your bedroom, and nobody has to suffer a broken nose."

Howís that?

J.T. Benjamin
August 2007

Get All Worked Up with J.T. Benjamin in ERWA 2007 Archive.

"All Worked Up" © 2007 J.T. Benjamin. All rights reserved.

About the Author:† J.T.Benjamin says, "I'm a generalist. I write about what interests me, which is just about everything." His resume reflects the diversity of his interests. He's been a disk jockey, insurance salesman, private investigator, journalist, college professor, child advocate, political activist, truckdriver, thief,, lawyer, Indian Chief. He's currently trying to start a hippie commune in the Denver/Boulder area.
Email:† J.T. Benjamin

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'07 Book Reviews


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