Hello everyone! Today I am so pleased to welcome author Jessica Freely to the blog. Jessica is here as part of our GRL blog tour. She is sharing more about her experiences at RT as well as offering up a great giveaway of her book, True Nature. Please join me in giving Jessica a big welcome!
Jessica Straps It On
I was mulling over what to write for this blog post for a little while, hemming and hawing between a straightforward background tidbit, blurb and excerpt for my most recent release, or the post I really wanted to do, about how I strapped one of Anne Tenino‘s handcrafted penises on for the Saint’s and Sinners party at the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention last month and had a ball (so to speak.)
And then I went over to the #YesAllWomen Twitter thread and that got me thinking about how women are systematically disenfranchised from our sexuality by a culture that prioritizes the heterosexual male gaze and uses violence to control our behavior.
So I decided to write about getting my cock on.
The funny thing is, I wasn’t even sure I’d go to the dance, and I definitely wasn’t going to wear a costume. I’d brought Humphrey (that’s my cock’s name; there was a contest in my newsletter) to RT because Anne was going to be there, and my roommate had left her horns in the room. The whole thing just kind of… happened. I was a little nervous about going out in that getup. It felt pretty transgressive. I worried about people being offended and of not being able to pull it off.
But I did it anyway, and thankfully, my big, fuzzy orange cock and I were greeted with enthusiasm and delight wherever we went. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun at a dance in my life. My fellow RT attendees, mostly women, were grabbing it, dancing on it, and we were all laughing and having a good time.
The really interesting thing about the experience was how it affected my confidence. As you may have picked up, I tend to second-guess myself a fair amount. Sometimes I let concerns about people’s reactions silence me or push me to make the safer choice. But for that night, at that dance, in that outfit, I wasn’t worried. I danced with total strangers, started conversations with them, and generally felt free to go wherever I wanted and engage with whomever I wanted.
Without thinking about it, I had strapped on something else along with that hand-crocheted penis–male entitlement. Even though it was all play, an absurd pantomime of masculinity, there was still this sense, at least within the context of the event, that the world was at my disposal and I could move freely about without concern for permission.
And in a nutshell, that’s why I write m/m. I love picking up male sexual agency and playing with it. Adopting a point of view where pursuit of desire is the normative behavior frees me to express myself more fully as a woman without spending pages and pages justifying the character’s choices. I get to shed the pressures and expectations of the het male gaze. I’m the one doing the gazing, and I may do so, safely, to my heart’s content.
Jessica Freely writes male/male romance in a variety of sub-genres. Her most recent release, True Nature, is a paranormal romantic comedy about two park rangers who are also nature spirits in a tiny northern Michigan community where no one is quite what they seem. For all her latest news and more fun contests like the one that resulted in Humphrey’s name, sign up for her newsletter.
Jessica has brought a copy of True Nature to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, June 10th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
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- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.