If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James, you’ll love Deep Inside by Polly Frost.
“I haven’t taken my pills for two days. I put them under my tongue and only pretend to swallow.”
“Two days? But aren’t you—”
“Dangerously oversexed?” she says. “You bet!”
A dominatrix with a discipline problem. A nervous virgin tempted by an unearthly sacrifice. Lust-crazed Viagra addicts. A seductive serial killer. A sexual psychic who can foresee other people’s erotic adventures. And a street cop hooked on alien ecstasy…
The sensual men and women in this sizzling collection are all in search of the ultimate sexual high. No plain vanilla sex here; driven by insatiable desires, they push their bodies and souls to the limits, exploring the outer reaches of eroticism. From arcane sexual rituals to the heights of Hollywood decadence, Deep Inside breaks every taboo as it takes you inside the throbbing flesh and twisted urges of the kinky, the depraved, and the supernatural.
Turn down the lights and enter a new realm of exotic and forbidden pleasures.
Please welcome the amazing Polly Frost as she talks about her life, erotica and her book Deep Inside.
1. How did you get started writing erotica?
I started writing erotica in 2002 largely because it was considered a risky writing career thing to do. Most writers, if they do erotica at all, do it under a pseudonym. But I’m one of those artists who, if you tell me I shouldn’t go there in my work, I will. I don’t take risks in real life, because I like to save up taking risk taking for my art.
I’d been writing humor that was published in places like The New Yorker and The New York Times. That was great, but you’re always restricted as to what you can write.
I was also drawn to doing erotica because of the way I started out as a reader — the 1960’s and 70’s was a time when respected and established literary figures like Philip Roth, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut didn’t shy away from sex in their work. And the big pop novels like Valley of the Dolls and Peyton Place were drenched in sex.
It bothered me that literature took this turn in the 1990’s when publishers no longer wanted to do those kinds of books. How can you write truthfully about the world and not write about one of the most powerful forces in it — sex? Put it all together, and you have me, wanting to cause a fuss with some sex writing.
2. Tell us about “Deep Inside” and why men and women have loved it.
Men tell me they like it because it’s so unabashed about being a turn-on. There are exploitation-movie elements in it. There’s action, and there’s humor, and there’s heat. They don’t feel like they’re drowning in female fantasies and romance-needs.
Women who have loved it are gals who dig raucous stuff with humor and sexiness, and who get off on that. There’s a lot of hot fantasy in it, but it’s definitely not romance for daydreamers! Plus: it’s very cinematic, and who doesn’t like that?
Plus a lot of it is funny. The usual assumption is that laughter breaks the erotic spell. I wanted to show that laughter can actually heighten the eroticism. Works for me, anyway! And many people have told me how relieved they are to be allowed to laugh while getting turned on.
3. What do you think separates how men and women appreciate erotica?
The cliche is that women are more romance-oriented and men are more action-oriented. I think it’s a pretty accurate cliche, and I did my best in my book to come up with plenty for both sexes to enjoy.
4. Tell us about your show Bad Role Models and What I Learned from Them.
It’s a one-woman show I’ve created that I’m taking it around the country to theaters as well as to oddball venues, like horse rings and wineries. It’s autobiographical tales and reflections about how much certain bad role models have meant to me, from a hard-drinking horse trainer to a 50 year old husband of one of my mother’s friends when I was 17. I got more from these people than I did from any of the self-proclaimed goodie-two-shoes good role models I was supposed to be paying attention to. Don’t you get tired of all that baloney about “mentors” and such? I sure do. This show is my way of shooting a few holes in that. People tell me it’s funny and touching, and that it gets them thinking about their lives. In fact, many of the people who have seen the show have come up to me afterwards and told me all kinds of personal stories. It’s been very touching, in fact.
One of the key parts of this show is talking about my sexuality as a teenager. That was really scary for me at first, believe it or not. Here I was, someone who was used to writing and doing readings of my stories about people taking it up the ass from outer space aliens, yet talking about where I was sexually at that time, I just blushed and couldn’t do!
I was a teenager in the late 1960’s/early 70’s in Santa Barbara, which was an epicenter of Free Love Hippiedom. It was not unusual, for example, for me to see people openly having sex on the nearby beach. And I was doing free love things with hippie guys. I had a thing for vain California hippies — that hair and the way they never wore anything beneath their jeans! But I was only going to third base, so to speak, with all these guys. I was technically a virgin. Probably the oldest virgin at 16 in Free Love Santa Barbara! In other words, I was a ferocious free love cocktease!
I was very infatuated with a bad boy hippie art student. He was the one guy I really wanted to go “all the way” with and yet I was certain he would break my heart. He had other women and it wasn’t that I felt monogamy was morally right, it was just that I knew I couldn’t handle it, not with him. Plus we were basically incompatible since he was a country boy and I’m a city girl. I knew he would want to live on the land which was the absolute last thing I ever wanted to do.
Of course, the fact that he was a bad boy and we were incompatible on a living together level was precisely was turned me on about him, combined with the fact that he was very sweet and patient with me (no doubt because he was going off afterwards and having sex with other women!). But he took me to beautiful movies and talked to me about his art and brought over records of all kinds of music. I wanted to be an artist at that point in my life, but I wasn’t really doing art and he was.
I didn’t go all the way with him, yet when I did lose my virginity, I went all the way with other guys I didn’t care about. Go figure that one! Not that I would ever condemn empty sex!
When I was writing my show, it was a powder keg getting into that because I regretted never having had that experience with that guy. Yet I knew I had to talk about it in my show. If you don’t get at the truth of things, you may as well be talking to yourself, you know?
The interesting thing is that section is one that women really relate to in my show. I just performed it and a bunch of women afterwards wanted to talk to me afterwards about their own early experiences with guys, and with bad boys.
It’s very different, though, talking about my own sexuality at that time as compared to writing erotica. The characters in my erotica stories are not really me, they’re women I would love to be!
5. What are you working on now?
I’m focusing on performance. I’m very proud of “Bad Role Models.” People I trust tell me it’s the best thing I’ve done. So I’m devoting myself to getting better and better at performing it, and I’m giving myself a year to tour it around the country. No other writing at all — just performing and touring. It’s a funny stretch for me because I’ve always been a writing junkie. I’ve never before NOT been in the middle of a couple of different writing projects. In many ways, writing is what has held me together. It’s been like a drug. But “Bad Role Models” is something special, and I want to give it all my attention for the next year. Which isn’t to say I’m not playing with ideas and sketching things out! I’m reading, making notes, and gabbing about plans. I’m just not letting myself turn any of it into anything concrete until I feel I’m really done with Bad Role Models.
6. What three things must you have on your desk while you are writing?
Well, not “on my desk” literally, but …
Music is the most important thing. I always listen to music that fits the story, either music that the character I’m writing about would listen to or, in the case of my one person show, music I was listening to at the time I’m writing about. When I was sixteen it was the late 1960’s and I was really into The Moody Blues. I still love them! It was amazing how listening to their song “Nights in White Satin” completely propelled me back to the person I was at that time.
When I wrote the story “The Dominatrix Has a Career Crisis” in “Deep Inside,” I listened to a lot of heavy metal, because that’s what the main character would listen to. When I wrote the title story “Deep Inside” — which is about two women who make magical dildos — I listened to a lot of bossa nova, the kind of seductive Brazilian music that makes you lose your inhibitions. It really helps me get inside these imaginary worlds and characters.
There’s also always a wine glass on the desk. I do like to drink white wine as I write, I admit it. I suspect that saying this will assure me of getting indignant emails from readers saying I’m promoting alcoholism! But I gotta be truthful. I’m about 25 percent Irish, and that 25 percent 100 percent loves to hang out at bars and talk and drink. I’m sure that will also get me emails from readers saying I’m stereotyping Irish writers. But I have a lot of Irish writer friends and one thing that distinguishes them from the American writers I know is that the Irish are extroverts, and their poetry and prose comes out of the expansiveness and storytelling they naturally do at pubs and bars. Many of the American literary writers I’ve met or known are introverts and the way they drink and write is very different.
The third thing I absolutely need with me when I write is my terrycloth bathrobe. This is probably the least sexy thing that any writer will say to you, Erzabet, but I need to be in my tattered old bathrobe to write.
7. Favorite ice cream flavor?
I’m not an ice cream person generally. I know! What kind of a woman am I? But I do love the wasabi ice cream at the Japanese ice cream boutique near us in Greenwich Village. It’s weird but it’s great. I have about three spoonfuls of it, get a little high on the flavor and fat, and then throw the rest away.
8. What type of character is your favorite to write about?
I love conflicted characters, ones that challenge my sympathies, ones that make me have to stretch my ability to understand their motivations.
9. Plotter or pantster?
I’m a plotzer. I let myself go crazy. I start out with some things on my mind, some ambitions for what I want to do, some characters I want to explore, and I just go nuts with it. Luckily I’m married to a man who’s very sympathetic to my imagination and who’s wonderful with structure. He goes through what I give him, detects the implicit narrative DNA in it, and helps me devise a story that will support and convey what I’m doing. It’s very organic. I’d kill him if it weren’t! Then I go back to work, and when I do my later drafts I’m a gnawer. I go by my intuitions about what I think the truth of the story needs, and I simply will not stop until I feel the story is complete. I’m pretty headstrong in that way. My husband sometimes think I go too far. But I always tell him that “too far” is where things start to get interesting.
The big difference between doing one-person shows and writing for the page, I’ve found, is that you develop theater through doing performances of it. You can’t sit in your room and polish the writing, the way you can with a short story or novel. With theatrical creations you simply don’t know what you really have until you take it on the road and do it in front of different audiences. Performing the show early on is where the “polishing” stage takes place.
10. What are some books that have influenced you as a writer?
I’ve been influenced by everything from philosophy to horror to cooking. If I have to narrow it down off the top, here are ten favorites:
1) The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman
2) Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
3) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
4) The Story of O by Pauline Reage
5) Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
6) Candy by Terry Southern
7) Psycho by Robert Bloch
8) Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
9) Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child (who I once had the honor of spending a week with, cooking and interviewing her)
10) Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
Thank you Polly for being on the blog today! My copy of Deep Inside is on my nightstand and ready to roll!