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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

All Worked Up About The National Crisis

by J.T. Benjamin

 

J.T. Benjamin

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, thank you for attending. I have a short statement.

As you all are well aware, the national attention has once again been drawn to a barrage of sex scandals involving public officials here in the United States. Last month Republican governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford confessed to having disappeared for several days to visit his mistress, a woman he considered his “soulmate” in Argentina. This was only a few days after Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign confessed that he’d been carrying on an affair with the wife of one of his staffers, even going so far as to have made several monetary payments to the woman’s cuckolded husband to keep the fellow quiet.

This of course follows on the heels of several other adulterous scandals involving U.S. public officials, including Sen. Larry Vitter of Florida and Former Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York who consorted with known prostitutes, as well as Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, who was caught soliciting homosexual sex in the men’s room of a Minnesota airport, not to mention former Florida Congressman Mark Foley who “sexted” male Congressional pages, President Clinton’s impeachment and the subsequent revelations about the adulteries of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senate Majority Leader Ron Livingston, and the list goes on and on. And on. And on. And on.

To this point, I’ve had two responses when these respective scandals have broken. My first, more personal response has been to sigh and roll my eyes and mutter, “What’s the big deal, after all? It’s just sex. We’d all be happier if everyone just minded their own business when it comes to personal sexual indiscretions.”

My second, more professional response has been to laugh and jeer and mock and ridicule, especially in my column “All Worked Up” (shameless plug) at the esteemed “Erotica Readers And Writers Association” website (even more shameless plug). It’s always nice to have material for columns just drop into my lap like that.

For example, under normal circumstances I would gleefully point out that in 1998, then-Senate candidate Ensign called upon President Clinton to resign in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal, saying in 1998 that the President had “no credibility left,” and in 2007 he also demanded that Sen. Craig resign.

I would also, under normal circumstances, cackle as I brought up what then-U.S. Representative Mark Sanford said of President Clinton in February 1999, “The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will,…because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything.”

However, I fear these are not normal times. I fear we’ve reached a tipping point. What had started out as fascinations with adultery committed by public officials seems to have become obsessions. To the point where it’s interfered with more pressing and, frankly, interesting matters.

I don’t WANT to write about politicians getting busted for illicit sex, but I feel that I HAVE to when it just presents itself like that. I mean, how could you not? Gov. Sanford disappeared for FOUR DAYS, telling people he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” Who knew the Appalachian Trail extended all the way to Buenos Aires?

And what about Senator Ensign? His parents…his PARENTS paid hush money to the tune of $96,000.00 to keep the scandal under wraps. My first impulse as a pundit when I hear this stuff is to say, “COME ON! I GOTTA WRITE ABOUT THIS! It’s like daring me to go to a topless bar and not look at the tits! I couldn’t ignore them! It would be rude!”

And yet, I’m troubled. We’ve become so fascinated by all these sex scandals we’re avoiding the bigger picture. This country is facing a monumental stack of problems. The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Two devastating wars. High unemployment. Corporate bailouts. Global warming. How the porn industry is being undermined by free clip sites like Youporn and Redtube. How digital technology is showing every little flaw in pornstars’ bodies. The ever-shrinking market for quality paperback erotica, and of course, the ongoing censorship wars.

Ladies and gentlemen, I fear that we cannot begin to address these problems without being able to put our obsession with political sex scandals behind us. And, since I capitalize on such sex scandals as much as anyone, I feel it’s appropriate for me to offer a solution.

The solution I propose will, I hope, not only enable us to regain our national focus on what’s really important, but will also restore a sense of unity in the face of what can only be considered as a crisis of our national identiy.

In Europe, you have to acknowledge they know how to deal with this shit. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has had multiple wives, multiple children, multiple scandals, and yet he’s still as powerful as ever. Both of his immediate predecessors, Francois Mitterand and Jacques Chirac, were known to have had second families while holding France’s highest office. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had to face accusations not only of adultery, but of soliciting prostitutes and of hosting sex parties with fellow heads of state. And yet, despite all these scandals which would cause politicians on these shores to consider plastic surgery and a full change of identity, European politicians seem to roll with the punches and find ways to carry on.

The French have a term called “sangfroid.” It literally means, “cold blood” and can best be defined as “self-possession or imperturbability, especially under strain.” The term is most effectively used with regard to sexual matters.

I’m reminded of a story which best illustrates this concept. An American, an Italian, and a Frenchman are sitting at a table discussing what the term means. The American says, “’Sangfroid’ is what a fellow has when he’s fucking another man’s wife in the other man’s own bed.”

The Italian says, “Not quite, amico. One has ‘sangfroid’ when he comes home and finds his wife in his bed with another man and the husband says to them, ‘Don’t mind me. Please continue.’”

The Frenchman says, “Non, non, non. When a man eez fucking another man’s wife in zat other man’s bed, and zee husband comes home and says, ‘Don’t mind me, please continue,’ and if zee first man is able to do so, ZAT, mes ami, ZAT ees sangfroid!”

ZAT, mes ami…(ahem..cough, cough. Excuse me). I mean, THAT, my friends, is the sort of can-do spirit which this country is sorely lacking! We need more leaders willing to stand up and say, “My private affairs are my private business and none of yours!” We need more politicians showing a little more sangfroid.

I mean, look at Mark Sanford, for crying out loud! He looks about as interesting and colorful as a swiss-cheese and mayonnaise sandwich on white bread, with the crusts cut off. For the guy to get one woman, let alone TWO to want to see him naked has to be some sort of achievement!

Therefore, in the interests of our national identity, I wish to make a proposal to our elected officials. I want to give them a chance to show off a little more sangfroid.

Here’s the deal. Every elected official on the state or national level gets one pass when it comes to adultery. Think of it as a gimme. A mulligan. A “Get out of jail free” card, if you will.

From this point on any politician who stands up and admits he or she broke the Seventh Commandment may do so on one occasion, without being raked over the coals. No calls to resign, no impeachment proceedings, no jokes on late-night talk shows.

Politicians get to come clean, clear the air, allay suspicions, maybe even to strut their stuff a little bit, we all feel better, and we get to move on to more important things.

You get that? Politicians get one chance to fool around without consequences.

But only one.

Use it wisely.

J.T. Benjamin
August 2009


If you have comments or questions about this column, please drop by J.T. Benjamin's blog or send an email to J.T. Benjamin

Get All Worked Up with J.T. Benjamin in ERWA 2009 Archive.

______
"All Worked Up" © 2009 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,...doctor, 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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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
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Hollywood’s Censor
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Lady in Red
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Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
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Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
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The Other Side of Desire
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Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister