Today Josephine Myles is here to celebrate her latest release, Custom Fit, and is sharing why she likes her characters to keep (some of) their clothes on.
Clothes maketh the man-on-man sex scene
We don’t have to take our clothes off, to have a good time, oh no… However, I’m not sure Jermaine Stewart had the sort of thing in mind that I do when I get my characters set up for a good time. No cherry wine required!
Okay, now I’ve shown my age and given you all a thoroughly eighties earworm, let me make up for it by exploring my—sorry, my characters’—clothing kinks. When I first started writing sex scenes and getting feedback on them from my beta readers, there would often be comments in the margin along the lines of “did they take their trousers off yet?” or “please tell me he took his socks off!” which really got me wondering. Does everyone want to get entirely naked before getting it on? I mean, isn’t there something incredibly sexy about leaving something to the imagination? Like the Butlers in the Buff do?!
Right, those who’ve read my filthy books might be shaking their heads and thinking I don’t leave much to the imagination, but maybe you’ll recall some of those instances when my characters are very far from naked.
It started with First Impressions. One of the first short stories I ever wrote, it features a man obsessing over another man on the train. Obsessing in particular over his socks. It was a direct result of that comment about how socks should never be left on during sex. It’s just not sexy. Well excuse me, but I wholeheartedly disagree. What could be sexier than a fit man in socks and nothing else? Okay, maybe he can have a tie, but no shirt. Come on, who’s with me? What if I add in a pair of vintage sock suspenders? Yum! (Warning, that link is definitely NSFW!)
I carried on with the theme in my 2012 release Tailor Made, which revolves quite heavily around clothing, as you might imagine from the title. One of the main characters, fashion student Andrew, discovers that he has quite the clothing kink, and indeed, the whole plot revolves around a rather special outfit that Andrew makes for Felix. I always wanted to write a second book exploring Felix’s clothing kink, which he hints at during Tailor Made, but it’s taken until this year to finally block out the time to write Custom Fit. This is where I dive more deeply into what clothing means for Felix, and whether crossdressing is something he indulges in purely for thrills, or if it’s of much greater significance for him.
In fact I’m not just interested in the pervy aspects of clothing. I think clothing plays a huge part in our identity—it’s one of our main signals to the outside world of who we are. Some of my characters have very carefully curated wardrobes, like Perry and Mas with their vintage clothing in Stuff, whereas others couldn’t care less what they wear, like Jasper with his awful sweaters in Junk. Either way, it’s possible to gain useful knowledge about someone simply by observing how they present themselves.
But let’s get back to the pervy stuff, shall we? Yes, I think it’s what you wear in the bedroom that really speaks volumes. I had great fun dressing up Cosmo in a leather corset in Screwing the System. Nothing like a man in a corset for gender-bending sex appeal (see my Pinterest board for proof!)
But if subs in corsets are too humdrum for you, how about a Dom in a football kit? That’s soccer for all you Americans, by the way. Yep, I really enjoyed turning all the BDSM clichés on their head when dressing Jeff in How to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps. He’s really not into the whole leather scene, and will quite happily turn up at his local BDSM social in double denim, much to the derision of some of the women there. Which is one of the reasons he ends up with Eddie rather than the female subs he had his eye on…
So next time you read or write a sex scene, pay some attention to the clothing. It doesn’t all have to be ripped off in search of skin. Maybe it’s what you leave on that really matters.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Mark Twain:
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
What do you think, readers? Are you a socks-on or socks-off kind of person? And do you have any particular clothing kinks you’re happy to share?
(Tailor Made #2)
Published ~ 22nd August 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Being "wrong" has never felt so right!
Felix McAvoy is having an identity crisis. No longer the bad boy of art college, he’s now employed as a human billboard, roaming the centre of Bath dressed as a Roman soldier while attempting to fight off his nicotine cravings. It’s a come down for the former conceptual artist, although there are compensations to the costume. The skirt, for one…
While Felix hasn’t made a secret of his desire to wear women’s clothing, he’s never dared try it until now. He’s always been worried once he goes down that road, he won’t want to come back, and the prospect of cross-dressing 24/7 terrifies him. Of course, he can’t tell that to Andrew, who’s now busy making Felix a slutty red dress.
Andrew Wheeler loves coming home to Felix and their cosy city centre flat. He just wishes Felix would let him know what’s bothering him; maybe then Andrew could confide what he really wants. Felix might not see him as anything other than a top, but Andrew’s yearning to switch things up.
Living together is one thing. Actually plucking up the courage to talk about their secret desires is going to be a whole other—and excruciatingly embarrassing—kettle of fish.
Meet Josephine Myles
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo publishes regularly with Samhain. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion.