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JOATSTER INTERVIEW

I don't think anyone would accuse Joatster of bombarding us with stories. He's been with ES for the past ten years, during which time he has published just eight stories. So the first question has to be - Why so few?

It is that whole darn having to work for a living thing. I'd have more time for writing the odd erotic story if I weren't busy grubbing for the mortgage money. As an information systems consultant, a significant part of my job is writing and the rest of it is staring at computer screens. At the end of the day, I'd just as soon not have to look at the one-eyed brain sucker any longer. I tend to write when things get slow at work. I can't believe it has been ten years, though. Man, someone needs to slow the calendar down.

Q. Okay, so who is Joatster - is there anything you'd like to tell us about yourself?

The name Joatster is a play on the old term Jack-of-All-Trades. I do a bit of everything. I'm an active sports coach, I build furniture and do fine woodwork (at least I think it is fine), I run adventure races, do martial arts, spend weekends rock climbing and camping, plus I'm actively working on earning my dirty old man credentials. I'm single now (please support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation so others don't have to lose the light of their life), but have plenty of friends, companions, and lovers. I'm a pretty busy guy.

Q. How and when did you begin writing erotic stories?

I started writing when I got a bit frustrated that a couple of really good stories came close to what I wanted to read, but just missed the mark. I dove in and discovered that fiction was a lot different than what I normally write. I also came to appreciate the hard work of other writers much more.

Q. Have you published anywhere other than ES.com?

I've had my "straight" writing published in a number of magazines and professional journals and I have a book (nonfiction) coming out this year - but that doesn't really count here, does it? I usually publish my dirty stuff here on ES first and then publish on Literotica and Storiesonline after a week or so. It is interesting that I get much more hate mail from Literotica than the other venues.

Q. What is it about writing erotica that you most enjoy?

Finishing the dang story. Writing fiction is frustrating. I'll have a story that needs to get out, but I can't ever seem to get the words to quite match the story that seems to be hiding in my head. I'm always relieved to reach the end.

Q. Almost all of your stories are in the Slut Wife section. What is it that you like about this category?

I like the taboo of breaking out of the societal rules. The marriage bonds represent some pretty strong social standards, at least on the surface, and I like stories about bending and breaking those rules.

Q. How much of yourself do you include in your stories?

Way too much in a couple of them. Having Faith, Teacher Experience, and Affair I Remember are mostly true life experiences for me that have been dramatized and cleaned up a bit. I also made some changes to protect names and reputations. Several scenes in DADT are based on experiences I've had. I got to be "John" for a couple for a while.

Q. Is there anything that happens in your stories that you would really like to try in "real life", but haven't yet been able to?

Not really. I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to satisfy a lot of my twisted little kinks over the years.

Q. Does your partner or any of your friends know that you write?

I've only revealed myself to two couples, each of whom have been playmates. The first time was after a very long night of sexual debauchery at a certain adult motel and meeting place in Colorado. I ended up spending most of the evening hooked up with an incredibly attractive lady and her generous husband. We partied with each other and a number of other people.

At one point we went to a room that must have had a dozen people on the beds and floor. Whew! At the end of the night (around 4:00 am) it was just that couple and I left. As I was leaving I mentioned ES and my stories there. Believe it or not, it turned out that they both had stories published on ES! The lovely Shadypony is even hotter and more beautiful than her pictures. She is wickedly naughty and a really nice lady. Roadhouse is definitely one lucky dude.

Q. What, if any, difficulties do you face when writing - erotic writing difficulties and general writing difficulties?

I've limited myself to first person writing for erotica. That is because the times I've tried to write with another point of view it has turned into a nightmare of rewriting. My other problem is finishing stories. It seems to me that life goes on after the end of a story.

That makes it hard to tell where to stop. I think that is why some of my tales seem to just peter out, so to speak. I'm really curious about the writing processes of other authors. I've been tempted to take a writing class at the local college just to get a handle on the mechanics of the process. I can just see the first day of class now. Teacher -"Stand up and tell us why your are here." Me - "Uhh - I wanna write better smut." Oh yeah, that'll go over well.

Q. How about in more general terms - how do you feel about the "outside world"'s perception of erotic writing?

You know, that just isn't something that seems to come up in general conversation. "Have you seen the latest story from Just Plain Bob?" isn't something I would ever expect to hear from a friend or coworker. I kind of like the underground nature of most erotic writing. That, coupled with the anonymity of the authors, gives us a pretty good view of what is really going on in people's minds. We are all a good bit kinkier than we ever let our public selves show.

Q. One thing that I love about ES is that you very quickly build up a community of fans, who enjoy writing to and hearing from their favorite authors. Do you have any favorite topics that have surfaced in these "conversations"?

I suspect that the female authors, particularly those with sexy bio pics have more interaction with readers than us schlubs. Mostly I get short notes that fall into three or four categories. I get one liners that say "Great work!" which I sincerely appreciate. I also get a lot of "What happens next?" which I think goes back to my problems finding the end of my stories. Sometimes I get the "You should have had her do xyz and then he would zyx her pulsing abc..." notes that tie back to someone's personal kink. I try to encourage those people to write their own tales. I also get a fair amount of vitriolic hate mail.

Q. How do you feel when you receive negative comments or very low votes from readers?

I try to pay attention to negative comments that are of substance. I've had a few people really provide useful feedback in a negative comment. However, there are a lot of generic "...and then they all got AIDS and died and you should too" or "die blasphemer, die" type of comments. I just consider the source and delete those.

The ones that really confuse me are the people that are enraged by the subject matter, but still read it. This seems particularly tied to the hot wife/cheating wife stories. I can't grasp why someone that objects to that subject area so strongly would bother to read those stories, but they do. Then they write me about what an unmanly wimp the guy is for not beating his wife (or worse) for her indiscretion.

I have long suspected these notes come from men whose wife did cheat on them and they feel emasculated by it. They want all the naughty wife stories to be some kind of revenge fantasy they wish they could have acted out. I just don't get reading something you know is not your kind of thing. I don't like poetry much, so I don't read it. It isn't hard to avoid the things that squick you. Just change the channel.

Q. What kind of stories would you never write?

I don't know that there isn't anything I would 'never' write. Never say never and all. But I for sure wouldn't publish a lot of stuff. I have a few stories that had to get out of my head stashed on an encrypted disk, but they aren't ever going to see the light of day. At least...they won't show up here on ES and they won't show up under the name Joatster.

Q. And do you read, and respond to, other writers on the site? Who are your favorites?

Other than the wonderful and sexy Shadypony and her hubby, Roadhouse, I've not connected much with any other authors here.

I read a huge variety of stories on the site and really enjoy most of them. I'm astounded at the production of Just Plain Bob. There must be a whole team of writers that use that name. I've really enjoyed some of the stories by KK, BobFR, Raingirl, and Jennifer O'Donnell just to name a few. Over on Erogeschichten (the German version of ES) I like Tinchen and Vicky Sperm's work. I may take a swing at writing a story for over there one of these days. My German is a bit rusty and the effort would be a good way to get it back in working order.

I got hooked on internet erotica back in the bad old days of dial up BBSs, then I reveled in the golden age of the internet erotic story - the news groups. Both alt.sex.stories and alt.sex.stories.moderated were fantastic places for exploring and reading in the early days of the internet. Many of those classics are still available on the text repository for alt.sex.stories. Authors such as Drifter (A New Lifestyle), J. Boswell (Winning Amanda Through Intimidation), Alcibade (Husband, Wife), Phil Phantom (Anything he wrote was pretty wild), Warthog (Penny's Safety Net), and Hunter Jackson (The Fourth Ring) stand out to me as unequaled by more current writers.

Q. Do you remember the first pornography you ever saw?

First Grade - Playboy. First bit of hardcore porn - freshman yr. in HS - a German sex magazine. I was dumbfounded that people could do those things. First erotic stories - I didn't miss an issue of Penthouse all through HS. I loved reading the Forum and Call Me Madam as much or more than looking at the pictures. Ahh, the heady days of discovering and exploring the extent of my twisted psyche...

Q. What's the kinkiest thing you have ever done?

That is a tough one. Kinkiness is in the eye of the beholder, or as I said in one of my stories "It is only kinky the first time you try it." I kind of see kinkiness as leaping into something taboo that you didn't realize you might get off on it until you find yourself doing it. What is kinky to me might be normal boring stuff for someone else. Also, what is normal for me today might just have been the height of depraved kink to me at 19.

I'd say that my first full sexual experience rated pretty high on the kinky scale for me. It probably hits most people as seriously twisted. I chronicled that experience in my story Teacher Experience. It is dramatized some (and I had to add a couple of years to my age to meet the rules), but it is about 80% true. My HS English teacher certainly taught me a lot more than most of her students.

Q. Do you have any fantasies that you would like to fulfill?

Hmmm...I ticked a few off the list last February at a place called the Power Exchange in Vegas. Pretty wicked experience there. But I'd have to say that while there are still plenty of experiences I look forward to, there isn't any one thing right now that has captured my imagination that I just have to do. I'm living a pretty good life.

Q. What is a major turn on for you during sex?

Seeing my partner's excitement and pleasure. Tasting my partner. Exploring my partner's body. Making the connection that makes sex something far more than simple friction on skin.

Q. How about a major turn off?

Mercenary sex. Revenge sex. Bored sex. Yuck - I'd rather masturbate.

Q. How do you feel about same sex relationships, both personally and as a writer?

I imagine is difficult to write about MM sex without potentially squicking out a whole bunch of people. The double standard of FF sex being just fine seems to be firmly in place in erotica, though. Personally, I don't care who is doing what with whom for the most part. As long as it isn't being forced on someone, especially someone too young to understand what is going on, whatever floats your boat and flies your kite is fine with me. Just don't wave it in my face - or at least remove it from my face if I ask you to.

Q. Do you explore feelings, positive and negative in your stories?

I try to explore some of them. One thing I've tried to communicate is the rush of extreme feelings, extreme conflicting feelings, that can wash over someone when they make that leap into "kink" as I defined it above. For me, the enormously powerful feelings of betrayal, lust, hurt, pure horny, excitement, and confusion that hit me when my love admitted an affair to me were a revelation (That is told in the mostly true story Affair I Remember that is posted somewhere on the net, but doesn't seem to be on ES for some reason). I would have to say this answer probably ties back to your question of why most of my stories seem to fall into the slut wife categories.

Q. How long does it take for you to write a story? Could you talk us through the process?

It is funny, some of my stories pop right out fully formed in a day or two. All I have to do is catch them in the word processor and then clean up with a little editing. Other times, though, the idea of the story is compelling to me, but the details are elusive and hard to chase down. My story Her Secret Past is an example of that. It is taking me forever, years actually, to catch all the right pieces and get them into presentable form. I must have done over a dozen different versions of that darn thing and I still haven't found the real story line that is hiding in there.

Q. Right now, your most popular story is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Do you agree that this is your best story? And why do you think it struck such a chord?

DADT is certainly my highest rated story. The question I asked myself that got that ball rolling was related to dominance in relationships. I wondered what would happen in a committed relationship when both partners realized they needed someone to take charge sexually. How could a couple find an accommodation for that need without giving up their "normal" life?

I can't say I know why it is more highly rated than other stories. My guess is that it didn't catch the attention of a few of those people that will rate a story poorly because they don't like the subject matter regardless of the quality of writing. I have always liked Secret Slut Wife and Changes more than DADT. I've had a lot of requests for more of DADT. I've been kicking around the idea of a five-years-later type of revisit. If I ever find the finish to Her Secret Past I may do that.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of this interview and your fans? Now is your chance...

Fans - that is kind of funny to think about. I hope people have enjoyed what I wrote and posted up here, but it doesn't seem to me that I've really rung the bell in terms of quality that would attract a fan base.

The only thing that I really have is to recommend that people rate stories on the quality of writing and presentation, not on how much the subject matter excites or provokes them. Be nice to the writers - they work hard and the good ones expose a bit of their souls in their work.

Please read Joatster's stories!

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