The Morning After

The first rays of sunlight entered the room.

Beside him, resting on her pillow, covers pulled all the way up over her shoulders and chin, her relaxed face was half visible under a mass of hair, now tousled and knotted.

He remembered her calling from the bath tub, late in the evening. ‘Close the curtains and come in here.’ In his haste, he must have been careless. The rising orange sun shone through a gap. In a short while it would reach her face.

Quietly he slipped from the bed. His skin felt the chill of morning air. Stiff and sore, but everything in one piece. He pulled the curtain shut without making a sound, diminishing the sunbeam until it was gone.

Another problem presented itself.

She had taken him into her bath the previous night. But whether that permission extended into the morning after… it was not something he wanted to find out by getting his assumptions wrong. So, should he risk leaving the room for a piss?

Best to slip out and return quickly. She would find him next to her under the covers once she woke up. Which was clearly where she expected to find him, as she hadn’t thrown him out the previous night.

No shoes. Too much delay. His shirt lay where she had dropped it. No need for that either. He fished up the trousers under pieces of her scattered underwear. Wincing as he slid the fabric over his thighs, he paused and shuffled through the shadowy room over to the full length mirror. Placing himself with his back to the looking-glass, he peered over his shoulder.

He must have gasped out aloud. Either that, or it had been the solid clunk of his belt buckle hitting the floor.

Movement. A rustling noise from the bed.

‘What on earth..’

He forced himself to turn his head back and face her.

Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she took him in for a moment, reached over and picked up her wrist watch.

‘It’s half past five.’

She dropped the watch on the bedside table again. Raised on one elbow, she regarded him as he stood, trousers pooled around his ankles, in front of the mirror.

‘Not my preferred time to wake up. Any particular reason?’

Copyright (C) Ranai Pahav 2009

***


Author’s note:

This vignette was written in two different versions. The version above is the one I prefer. I also wrote another version where I changed the ending.

The idea for the two versions was inspired by a question Orlando Curioso asked on his blog: What are individual turn-offs which can throw people out of the mood when reading erotic fiction?

If you would like to read the entire discussion, with all the other examples of personal turn-offs people provided, you can email Orlando a request to read his private blog, In Scarlet Ink. His address is: gosohadito at gmail dot com.

My example was ‘Accidental status drop via verbal humiliation’.

This is how I described it:

‘I get thrown out of the mood if a supposedly powerful character (powerful as in fiction with hierarchical social systems and such) starts hurling out verbal humiliation.

Not sure whether it’s more because verbal insults are just not a kink of mine, or more because it seems so incongruous. The status of a supposedly powerful character drops through the floor in my perception when they start going on about ‘You filthy vermin slime’. Tirades seem to me the resort of those who are powerless to do something.’

And:

‘Suspension of disbelief comes easily to me if a story is not realistic, but convincing in itself. I also like imaginary settings that differ from our reality, or take place in the past. As long as the author puts thought into the creation’s inner logic, and the characters think and act in a way that fits into their experience of this particular world or time. I enjoy erotic interaction well integrated into the setting and plot.

So I’d say, I like my porn fiction not necessarily realistic, just consistent.

As I kink so heavily on nonconsensual power differences, if a story has one of these as a theme, I don’t like stuff that accidentally undermines it. I don’t need powerful characters to be invulnerable, far from it, or status to be necessarily immutable. I just like characters to interact in a way consistent with their intended status, as it comes into existence via social interaction in the first place.

An example of accidental status drop via verbal humiliation:
(Too long for a comment, so I wrote the story over there.)
The Morning After
https://ranai.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/the-morning-after

Consensual BDSM stories are a different genre. In these, I probably don’t care for verbal humiliation just because it’s not my kink. If it shows up, if I like the story as a whole, I don’t mind.’

Below is the version of ‘The Morning After’ which I wrote to show how this status drop can occur.

***

The Morning After. Status Drop Version

The first rays of sunlight entered the room.

Beside him, resting on her pillow, covers pulled all the way up over her shoulders and chin, her relaxed face was half visible under a mass of hair, now tousled and knotted.

He remembered her calling from the bath tub, late in the evening. ‘Close the curtains and come in here.’ In his haste, he must have been careless. The rising orange sun shone through a gap. In a short while it would reach her face.

Quietly he slipped from the bed. His skin felt the chill of morning air. Stiff and sore, but everything in one piece. He pulled the curtain shut without making a sound, diminishing the sunbeam until it was gone.

Another problem presented itself.

She had taken him into her bath the previous night. But whether that permission extended into the morning after… it was not something he wanted to find out by getting his assumptions wrong. So, should he risk leaving the room for a piss?

Best to slip out and return quickly. She would find him next to her under the covers once she woke up. Which was clearly where she expected to find him, as she hadn’t thrown him out the previous night.

No shoes. Too much delay. His shirt lay where she had dropped it. No need for that either. He fished up the trousers under pieces of her scattered underwear. Wincing as he slid the fabric over his thighs, he paused and shuffled through the shadowy room over to the full length mirror. Placing himself with his back to the looking-glass, he peered over his shoulder.

He must have gasped out aloud. Either that, or it had been the solid clunk of his belt buckle hitting the floor.

Movement. A rustling noise from the bed.

‘What on earth..’

He forced himself to turn his head back and face her.

Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she regarded him, raised on one elbow.

‘Can’t you get up without making a noise? You clumsy idiot.’

***


Author’s note:

Fffwwwmmmpppp. There she goes.

That’s why my perspective on verbal humiliation in erotic fiction is: Use with caution. Depending on context, it can backfire on the speaking character in unintended ways.

In general, my personal preference is for powerful characters speaking politely. When someone who speaks with politeness is instantly obeyed, fictional power difference can manifest itself in ways I like and find erotic.

***

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