Xcite tell me Sex, Art, and Aromatherapy will be free on iTunes Bookstore between 27th May – 9th June.
It’s a short story – one of my gentler pieces of erotica, and about 6000 words – about a woman who’s already experienced in BDSM and fetish, but she falls into conversation with an older man in an art gallery, who also seems experienced in that world. He tells her stories about how, in his youth, BDSM was simply one part of a wider and more spiritual quest. She sets off on a journey with him to discover some enlightenment.
The label says the picture is called ‘Untitled No. 41 (1989)’, by Joshua Cesario.
Ruby consults her mobile phone. The display should tell her the time, but it’s blank. The battery’s died.
A few other people are in the gallery. One is an older man, sitting on the leatherette bench in the middle of the space. He’s looking at the same picture.
‘Excuse me,’ she whispers. ‘What’s the time?’
He looks at his watch, casually. ‘A couple of minutes after three. Are you in a hurry?’
She’s not. Though she was planning on buying some shoes and chocolate on the way home.
‘You’ve been looking at the picture for a while,’ the man observes. ‘Do you know much about it?’
‘Why? Are you the artist?’
He chuckles. ‘Much as I’d like to, I don’t paint. I’m an aromatherapist.’ Figures: for the first time, Ruby notices a faint scent of rosewater in the air. ‘But I did know him, for a time. I first met him at a party. This was maybe twenty years ago.’
‘Oh?’ Ruby’s interested, but not yet hooked.
‘You’ve no doubt worked out that despite being abstract, the picture’s about sex. Specifically, about sex and bondage. It was… How shall I put this? It was that kind of party. Fetishistic. Orgiastic.’
Ruby does a mental doubletake, remembering that this fifty-something man with greying hair must have been young once. The kind of things she’s done, while fresh and interesting to her when she experienced them, have been done before…
‘I remember he’d tied up a young lady – she was a lady actually, though I don’t recall her exact title – and there was a certain amount of sex involved along with the painting. But that’s another story. This painting, I remember him explaining the details in a drunken conversation. It was a memorial to a particular woman he’d been having an affair with, to their idea of love.’
Of course the large canvas was about sex. Otherwise, why the pile of clothes in one corner and the shoes at the end of what, presumably, is a naked body? And what picture isn’t about sex, anyway, in some coded form? But the story coded into this picture suddenly captures her imagination and she wants to know more.
This link to iTunes should take you to the US iTunes store directly. If you need another store, just search for author ‘Fulani’ and title ‘Sex, Art and Aromatherapy’.
Depending on which store you’re viewing you’ll either see the cover image at the head of this post or the one on the ‘Our Publications’ page (also see left) – when it first went onto iTunes they weren’t keen on covers depicting bondage.
So have fun. For free, until 9th June.