An Ill-advised Interview with Talentless Hack “Clara Brooks”

Since she’s now firmly on the road to superstardom, it seems somewhat criminal that the delightful and enigmatic Ms. Clara Brooks has not yet been approached by either Time Magazine, Playboy or Cosmo for that all revealing interview. Yet since her many adoring fans are simply gagging to know the truth behind the mystery that is Clara, I decided to take the mammoth task upon myself and created the equally unusual Mr.X to do the seemingly impossible task and interview the seemingly uninterviewable.

So, dear reader, love of all things erotic and forbidden — read on and see this incredible personality reveal all in this exclusive interview.

***

Clara Brooks sits before me alluring, impatient, weaving all manner of dizzying, spellbinding, erotic enchantments on this humble interviewer. Dressed in a tight revealing red dress, she crosses and recrosses her legs seductively. She smiles warmly and leans forward, hugging me intimately rather than the usual aloof shake of the hand. I catch a whiff of her Chanel No.5 and a slight touch of her breast against me makes me feel….

CB: Can we get on with this, this wasn’t quite what I hand in mind?

Mr.X: It’s an honour, Ms.Brooks, to be given such a great opportunity to interview someone so smart and interesting such as yourself. May I just say that as alluring and provocative as I find your fiction, in person you are ten times more intoxicating. I feel as if I have been graced with the presence of a Goddess.

CB: Really, Mr.X, you do exaggerate, I’m just this cheeky little London girl…

Mr.X: I know, but I have to set the scene correctly for the reader. In truth you’re really rather ordinary, it’s a bit of a disappointment really. And frankly, I find your fiction rather cliché…

CB: OK, OK can we get on with the questions please? This is supposed to be a fucking puff piece.

Mr.X: So, how did you get into writing erotica, Clara? Isn’t that a bit of a filthy and disgusting thing for a lady to be doing. Why don’t you stick to Fantasy, Vampires or YA like a good girl?

CB: I’ve tried writing those things — OK not YA – for many years it was my ambition to write poptastic, exciting genre fiction. But my muse really hated me for it and she ckept screaming rude words in my ear at night, like “cunnilingus” and “cocksucker”. I realised that the world didn’t need any more fucking heroes, or if it did, they needed to be literally fucking heroes. I read a wide range of fiction and it occurredd to me that for one reason or another I’ve always been let down by sex in novels, whether it’s a work of porn/erotica or a single sex scene in genre/literary fiction – it’s always boring, That doesn’t gel with real life. Sex is a fundamental – possible the most fundamental – part of our human experience and yet we’re always so coy, dismissive or just plain terrible at expressing it in fiction. So I decided I wanted to attempt to capture sexual experience in its many and interesting forms; arousing, comic, strange, beguiling, terrifying …

Mr X: So you’re not just trying to cash in on the whole 50 Shades thing then?

CB: Well, that too. No, honestly, romance erotica is not my thing and so marketing my work will be as difficult as if 50 Shades had never existed. I want to push boundaries in terms of idea, form and content. I want my readers to feel like they’ve experienced something.

Mr. X: But don’t erotica readers just want to “get off?”

CB: They have my blessing to do that. I’m willing them on. But there’s more than one way to be aroused, and something can excite you erotically and stimulate you intellectually at the same time. I’ve had people – especially guys, for obvious reasons – tell me that they get off on my stories, and I think that’s awesome. If nobody did I’d feel a little sad because I want my writing to arouse people.

Mr.X: So your work is more than just porn? Do you see a big difference between what you write as “erotica” and pornographic jerk-off material?

CB:  Honestly, people make such a big deal over that distinction and I’m not sure that I really care for it. I might think of my own writing as “artistic” but I don’t really need someone to invent a label to categorise it as such. “Pornography” for me is material that’s subversive because it pushes the tastes of decency and acceptability in society, that is, the idea of it heralds from a time when “sex” and representations of sex weren’t considered to be decent. Everything has changed now and “porn” just means hardcore sexual content. My writing has hardcore sexual content.

Mr.X: Now for the question that everyone wants the answer to. Do you base your stories on real life experiences, or do you just make them up.

CB: I’ve had so many people ask me this one already. I think that people want to bridge a gap between the concept of Clara on the page and with the Clara they might meet in real life. But I don’t actually answer it, not because I’m coy or care what people think about my sex life, but because my fiction is about blurring the boundaries between what we are, who we are, what society wants us to be, how it defines us and our fantasy-dream-erotic inner worlds.

It seems enough to me to say that writers can only write fiction if they have experience and understanding of the world and writing is a way of expressing their experiences and understanding.

Mr.X: OK that’s getting too deep for me. Before we end up getting personal again do you want to take a moment to plug your first published short fiction, currently languishing at the bottom of the Amazon Sales Ranks, “Proud and Prejudged?

CB: Buy it because it’s awesome. Basically it’s my cross between a fan fiction, erotica and comedy and I think that makes it unique. It’s a story about a girl – Clara, my alter ego – who has a hyperactive sexual imagination, and so when reading Pride and Prejudice she ends up fantasising about fucking Darcy ; that’s what good literature appreciation is, of course. The lines between fantasy and reality become blurred, so there’s a little weirdness, strange encounters and hardcore sex. Read it, it’s some good shit.

Mr,X: Sorry, I don’t have time, I’m reading Dostoyevsky.

CB: Motherfucker!

Mr.X: Any plans for future works you’d like to tell us about?

CB: Yep, loads of stuff.In the short-term I’ll be writing a sexy semi-sequel to Clara’s Dream, which ahs easily been my most popular flash fiction so far. It’s really going to be fucking hot, so watch out for it. I’m also writing another fabulous comic Clara fiction in which Clara meets Sherlock Holmes. I’m not gonna give anything away, including who fucks who, but there’s a lot of drama, comedy and hardcore threesomes.. I’m also planning a magical novel featuring Clara which is going to be insane and a little wonderful.

Mr.X OK, this is kinda boring. My readers are more interested ion dirty facts about you. Namely, do you masturbate while you write your stories. And is that even possible?

CB: Yes, I do. And I can promise you it’s perfectly possible. It’s not the quickest, most productive way of working, though.

Mr.X: You’re bisexual. So, you like girls? If you kissed one, would you like it?

CB: I’m very into girls. Girls smell of roses.

Mr.X: That’s your Chanel perfume actually, Clara.

CB: I’m a girl.

Mr.X: Good point. Can’t we discuss their breasts and the things you’d like to do to them, though?

CB: Try using your imagination huh? But seriously, LGBT issues are very important to me. That’s half of what my blog is about.

Mr.X: You also label yourself as a feminist. Isn’t that a bit PC for this day and age? Do you want people to see you as militant?

CB: I don’t see it as militant or too “PC” at all. I just happen to think that there’s a power imbalance in the world that’s developed over time and that we should all work together – men and women – to redress that imbalance. It’s just a way of saying that I think it’s important to see women as important as men, and that women have the right to express themselves and be the people they want to be.

Mr.X: What are your major literary influences. You claim to love books and movies. Which ones are your favourites?

CB:  I’ve had lots of influences over the years and I try not to be a slave to any particular style. I read a lot of classics and am into women’s writing, my favourites are Jane Austen, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. I love Dickens, of course. I’m also a big sci-fi/fantasy fan and I love Lord of the Rings, Asimov’s Foundation, A Song of Ice and Fire, Robert E Howard’s Conan books, Gene Wolfe … the list goes on. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan, so Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love graphic novels too – Alan Moore’s Lost Girls was one of the workd that inspired me into thinking that Erotica could be pretty cool.

I could spend all night listing movie influences. David Lynch is probably my biggest. And Kieslowski’s Three Colours. But really I love anything from Classic to Modern Hollywood, to art house, to Hammer Horror. I love Star Wars, of course.

Mr.X : What’s your ideal fantasy threesome.

CB:  I could easily have said Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but this morning I realised that Kurt Cobain and Courtenay Love would have been damn hot. I fancy most celebrities, this won’t be a problem for me. Natalie Portman, Scarlet Johannson, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender… you get the idea, I could do this all day.

Mr.X: Finally, any tips for aspiring writers?

CB: Work harder than I do. Don’t masturbate while you are writing.

Mr.X: Clara, I’d love to say that this has been a pleasure, but honestly, apart from being able to stare at your overly exposed cleavage for extended periods of time, it’s frankly been a really dull interview with a talen less hack.

CB: I really can’t believe I created a fictional interviewer who insults me and my work. I must have a serious psychosis,

Mr.X : Don’t be so hard on yourself, most authors do. Especially the ones destined to fail.

CB: Ouch.

Robin Thicke’s Clear Cut Lines.

I don’t know what lines Robin Thicke thought that he was blurring. The tragedy of the song is that his lines are so damn clear-cut. What’s more, this thing is so damn sexist that my jaw dropped to the floor a little when I first saw it. Then it dropped through the floor when I realised that this thing had been at no.1 in the pop charts for a decent length long time. Oh, it’s catchy alright, I’ve been humming it away to myself all day, and let’s face it, it’s another genius piece of marketing. You can imagine the “how can we create a little controversy to promote this song?” conversations. “Ok, tits alone aren’t enough to skyrocket sales, let’s make it really sexist and then say that it isn’t; that’ll grab some attention.”

It would have been helpful if rape hadn’t been brought into this. I fully respect that rape culture needs to be discussed as much as possible, but pinning a criticism on the lyric “I know you want it” as being rape-y is taking the focus away from arguments against the song that I believe to be more powerful. I have no doubt that a lot of rapists use this line, but it’s also a staple of the sexist “I know you wanna fuck me” brigade, which translates as “I’m a douche, pleeeeease fuck me”, not everyone of whom goes on to rape their would-be illustrious conquest.

Thicke’s defense of the song is worth quoting:

 Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.’ So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, ‘Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.”

I’m no sure that anyone would believe for a second that this is either genuine or well argued, but what’s worrying is that it hardly matters, since the catchiness of the song trumps all. That and the fact that there are more than enough guys out there with low IQs who are going to identify with this video and see a popstars credibility as good enough reason to have the attitude that it champions.

So, what is that attitude exactly? The song is hardly saying “Go out and rape a woman,” but it categorically is not a song that liberates women from a repressed sexuality. Some of the songs subtler lyrics

So, hit me up when you pass through,
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two.

“What do we need steam for,
You the hottest bitch in this place .

The way you grab me, must wanna get nasty,
Go ahead, get at me .“

Did I say subtle? I meant sad and pathetic. Where Thicke would have you believe that there’s something liberating about this song, being about women given the opportunity to unleash their sexy side, notice that it’s the man doing all of the liberating, the man saying what goes and what does not, and most importantly notice that the man is controlling the sexual language and the encounter. “I know you want it.” “You’re a hot bitch” “I’m gonna tear your ass” (seriously?) Where’s the female voice here exactly? Is this the sexual encounter that all women have secretly been dreaming of? There must be some women out there really desperate for Thicke’s big dick, I suppose.

I’m thinking that it’s not down to Thicke’s big Dick to be liberating women in the manner that he chooses, a manner that’s completely controlled by a male’s lyrics and a male’s iconography. What’s doubly insulting is that these blurred lines that are supposed to make women so mysterious and complicated are simply the Madonna/Whore duality that has been used to keep women in their place in art and literature throughout the centuries. Women – as far as men are concerned – are either the meek, virginal, containable domestic goddess (tried to domesticate you, but you’re an animal) or they are the evil, difficult to control, lustful, wild whore. Think Snow white vs her evil Stepmother (and other similar fairytales) or Cordelia vs her Sisters in King Lear.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MadonnaWhoreComplex

What this song is actually doing, under the guise of liberation from domestication, is simply showing Thicke taming both sides of what he believes to be the nature of woman. Women, you can be liberated as long as there’s a reputable member of the patriarchy about to make sure that liberated nature doesn’t get under control.  We can do better than this now, can’t we?

I couldn’t care less about the tits in the video (I can’t stop thinking that girl totally looks like Anne Hathaway) Does that pass as controversial still? I do care that their presence and actions of the women is thoroughly dependant upon Thicke’s sexual gaze. I do care a lot about Thicke’s obnoxious patriarchal messages.  I’m not seeing a lot of feminine empowerment here.