Because porn stars show us so much of their acreage, they are often surprised by fans who feel an unwarranted sense of familiarity. This is an inevitable occupational hazard the savvy performer handles gracefully. She says, “This is how much of me I choose to show you.”
But somehow the writer of erotica seems more exposed and, despite her art, more of an exhibitionist. We call them performers because a porn star can get away with doing something she mightn’t be feeling.
But “writing what you know” indicates writing what you are, which is why Portia Klee Jordan’s “And Then Her Mouth” is a masterwork of dirtiness and longing that sidesteps what usually distracts me about erotica: the feeling that I’ve got the author’s number and I’m somehow paying for her therapy.
Fans of porn from the late days of gentlemen’s magazines will remember Jordan; she is also behind the scripts of many an AVN award-winning film, back when one could make a living writing such things.
While each of these 14 stories has a turgid and throbbin’ center, Jordan provides an impressive array of Tootsie Pops that get us there. Bar girls, third wheels, band geeks, retirees, and predators easily overwhelm the standard-issue angry liberal arts major who weeps and fellates archetype common to ‘zine eroticists.
Plus, we are reading stories that, though batter-dipped in sex, don’t lose the human flavor within, so are great snapshots of loss, redemption, conflict, and nostalgia, sprinkled with lines like:
I grab her spare ass, I shovel her cunt into my mouth like a backhoe.
I’ve learned from the porno to meet a feller’s eye when I’m giving head, no matter how stupid I think I look.
and everything that comes before and after the sentence
I’m going to do it anyway.
(Here’s the power of the printed word for you: While I can show a colon through a gaping anus on this site, I am loathe to even explain the story that last line comes from.)
Jordan is also fond of a hole being a hole. “In the dark all cats are gray,” she reminds us. And, on a few other occasions, “Pussy ain’t got no face.” This might just be the sort of anonymity erotica needs.
Written in the 1990s when Jordan was in her twenties, the stories of “And Then Her Mouth” have been re-released by the startup imprint Xynobooks. If you’ve ever felt erotica was too precious, lose yourself in these smart stories where the faces aren’t so recognizable.
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: “Backstage Passes”—Gropey groupies and pre-”Twilight” vampires; Tina Tyler on Christa Faust’s “Money Shot”
See also: Xynobooks