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Welcome to the next interview!† I thought this was a good feature of Art's site and wanted to see it continue.† So I asked Lael Stalnaker if he would mind answering a few questions for us.† Okay so maybe there are more than a few, but he was a great sport and made it to the end.† Lael Stalnaker is one of our M/M writers who currently has 8 stories posted and has an average vote of 9.39.

Tell us about you:

Question: First tell us something about yourself, like name, age, and some other things we would like to know about you...Letís call it a short bio.

Lael Stalnaker:† My name really is Lael Stalnaker. I am 35, at least until November. I have been in a monogamous relationship with my husband for almost 12 years now. And yes, I am gay. We have two Siamese cats, Psyche and Athena. Or, the princess and the ho, as I fondly call them. We live in Riverside, California. I grew up here and in San Marcos, Texas. I am currently a HIV test counselor and educator for Riverside County. I was a live-in caregiver (nanny) for 8 years and was caregiver for an Alzheimerís patient for 3 years before going into HIV. For those curious, I am in fact negative and so is my husband.

Question: What are you wearing right now?

Lael Stalnaker:† *laughing hysterically* Just a pair of jogging pants, no undies. I tend to go nude on the weekends as much as possible. I pretty much hate clothes. I took out the trash, so I had to put Ďsomethingí on.

Question: Does your spouse or significant other know you write, and if so, what does he/she think?

Lael Stalnaker:† Yup, my husband knows I write. He is trying to get me to pursue paper publishing. So I guess you could say he is very supportive and positive about my writing. Though, he would definitely prefer not to be my proofreader!

Question: Is it difficult for you to keep your writing life separate from your professional life?

Lael Stalnaker:† Mostly, no, not really. I am a HIV test counselor, so I talk about sex most of my working day. I donít have any desire to use material from my conversations at work. And I certainly donít have any desire to use my writing as a preaching platform either. They are fantasies and as such the safest sex possible just by virtue of being written rather than actually doing what I write about.

Question: How did you come up with your ES nickname?

Lael Stalnaker:† Itís my real name. I decided years ago that I wasnít going to Ďhideí behind a pseudonym once I started posting my writing online. I donít find anything shameful or wrong with writing erotica. I have been Ďoutí as a gay man since I was 17, so that wasnít a reason for me to use one either. Nothing wrong with using one, but I just donít. I have posted exactly one story anonymously (at Nifty) in all of the time I have been writing and posting. I felt that was necessary because of an age issue with the story. It probably wasnít necessary and I was actually relating a dream I had had that was powerful but ultimately disturbing for me. The reason I wrote it at all was I was fascinated with the perspectives in the dream.

Question:† What brought you to EroticStories.com?† What made you want to stay and become a part of it?

Lael Stalnaker:† Nifty, where I started is a simple archive. It doesn't have voting, views, and a feedback system. I haven't found any other site that does as much as Art's. I also haven't looked in a long time. I am totally content and appreciate just what he has created. ES is like my second writing home and two homes are enough for this guy.

Question:† What is your favorite part of your body?† Why?

Lael Stalnaker:† Well duh!!! I may be gay, but I AM a guy. *grins* That would be my penis, of course. Hours and hours of fun. I've heard the jokes about if guys have breasts they'd never leave home... lies! They have the one toy that they truly want and would rather give up just about every other part of their body to keep. I am no different.

Question:† If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be and why?

Lael Stalnaker:† Depends. Do you mean physically or mentally or just plain one thing period.† Physically, I would get rid of the freakin' hereditary neuropathy. It has screwed up my sensory nerves among other things and that certainly causes some issues with sex. My sensitivity is shot, which means certain kinds of sex I can barely feel. Let's just say I will NEVER be premature... Mentally, I would love to get rid of my hang up about light during sex. Long story and not going to give the short version either. I just can't perform when there is light, whether it's sunlight or night with a lamp. My sexual self just about shuts down until it's dark. Yes, I know why, but I have not worked out how to change it. If I had to pick one of the two I listed, I think the mental thing matters more to me. There shouldn't be anything wrong with sex during the day or with light. I know it logically, but there ya go, brain override stalls me out. That would be the single thing I would most want changed.

Question:† Boxers vs. Briefs? / Panties vs. Thong?

Lael Stalnaker:† Bikini briefs. Boxers bug the hell out of me. They bunch up, don't give any support and are useless for erection control at times and places you would rather not have people notice.

Writing Habits:

Question: What do you like the most about writing erotic stories?

Lael Stalnaker:† The physical response I get as I write. When I get aroused, I know I am on the right track. The very act of writing becomes something almost erotic because of that reaction. I love putting detail to the stories. I know there is a school of writing that says leave it to the readerís imagination, but that isnít what I am doing. I am showing the reader what is in my head, the exact scene and details. The more detail I can put in, the clearer the image becomes.

Question: How long have you been writing now?† How did it all get started and what made you write your first story?††

Lael Stalnaker:† I have been writing erotica since 2000. I was bored one night and just wrote down a page. My husband happened to read it and encouraged me to continue. That led to me doing a short story. I gave him a special thank you for his birthday 3 months later. (see below under sex habits)

I have actually been writing since about the 2nd grade. Some of my stories won a regional contest and got read on the radio. Poetry started for me in the 5th grade. I have been writing poetry most of my life. Usually free form, though occasionally more traditional types. I ventured into erotic poetry only a few years ago. You wonít find any of those on ES since they never get enough votes to stay on, though I have always been pleased with the votes they do get.

Question: What categories are most of your stories in?† What kind would you never write?

Lael Stalnaker:† Most of my stuff on ES is in the sci-fi/fantasy section. There are other categories I have posted in though. At Nifty, I tend to write young adult (teen with teen) and sci-fi/fantasy.

I will never write purely sub/dom material. ďAnd Other Duties AssignedĒ is the closest I have ever come and is pretty tame. I donít think I can write about something that doesnít personally turn me on. I do like to experiment different structures or themes not usually considered erotic.

Question: Which of your stories is your personal favorite, the one you enjoyed writing the most, and/or the one holds the best memories or feelings for you?

Lael Stalnaker:† ďDeputyís DilemmaĒ is pretty much my all time favorite short story that I have finished. Writing it was a blast and it is based on two real people. I did it pretty much on a dare/request from one of the nurses I worked with at the jail. She was never able to look at that deputy again without giggling after she read it. Naturally, if that deputy ever reads it, youíll see my obituary not long after. Still, I think it is extremely hot, though utterly unrealistic.

The other story that I love is ďBirthday PlansĒ. It was one of those stories that just flowed out of my head and I couldnít stop writing until it was done. I love the characters and might even return to them at some point.

Question: Do you write from fantasy or true stories?†

Lael Stalnaker:† Mostly fantasy. I have done a couple of stories from my past, almost journal-like, but I donít think they are good enough to put on ES. They were written very early in my writing career and I really donít desire to redo them.

Question: Are the characters in your story based on real people, did you make them up, or are they a combination of both?

Lael Stalnaker:† After my first couple of stories, they are mostly made up. Then again, there is a touch of my experiences and people I have seen in nearly all of my writing.

Question: Are you anything like your characters you write in real life?

Lael Stalnaker:† All of them. I think bits of us make it into all of our characters. After all, they are the product of our minds and imaginations. Therefore they are us, one way or another.

Question: How long does it take for you to write a complete story? How does the process go?

Lael Stalnaker:† For a one-shot short story, anywhere from 9 hours to a couple of weeks. I have pretty much stalled out on the chapters for my book, which has been ongoing for 6 years now.

The process. Hmm, that is not something I have ever really thought about before. I get an idea, usually a scene in my head. The characters then sort of take on a life as I ponder how they got to the scene. Then the story develops as I write. The trouble is, sometimes a new idea, utterly unrelated, will sometimes pop up in the middle of what I am writing. I hate losing ideas, so I end up stopping and making sure to get enough details down to get back to it later. Then I go back to the original story. If I am lucky, no new ideas happen. I do most of my writing between 10pm and 4am. If I get caught up, I may write for a solid 9 or 10 hours.

When I get stuck, I switch the type of writing that I am doing. When stuck on my short stories, I go to poetry, then to my novel, then back to poetry, then short stories. This keeps me from getting depressed about writerís block. It keeps me writing and that is what is important to me.

Question: How do you come up with your story titles?

Lael Stalnaker:† Usually from a phrase within the story itself. Others come from the theme or an event in the story. Titles are a total pain in the butt. I am still not happy with some of them, but I canít think of a better one, even years later.

Question: What is the hardest part of writing a story?

Lael Stalnaker:† Knowing when the story is really finished. Itís not always easy to know when that is. Settings are another area that I find difficult. I am great with characters and their interactions, dialogue and such, but settings can really be an issue for me. Still, I think I am getting better at it.

Question: Have you ever done research for a part of a story you didnít have any knowledge about or maybe for a sex scene?

Lael Stalnaker:† Yes. The most recent was for a sci-fi story. I needed to research Ďnanitesí, which in the engineering world are referred to as Ďnano robotsí. These are molecule-sized machines. They were part of the story plot and I wanted it to be technically accurate. The story did well, but not enough views for it to stay. I need to finish it, since it was a multi-part story. *note to self* I may try reposting once it is totally complete.

I have never actually researched anything sexual for a story. Unless you count all of the stories I read as researchÖ

Question: Do you have any secret stories you donít want to publish for the public?† Do you publish your stories on other sites besides EroticStories.com and if so, why?† Have you ever been published on paper?

Lael Stalnaker:† Nope. I have stories that are not on ES. I do my best to abide by Artís rules. That knocks out some of my better stories since they are teen-related coming of age stuff. I did modify one of my stories so I could post it here. The others would lose too much from changing them to qualify, so I didnít with those. I have no issue with Artís rules for posting, by the way. I actually like the high moral ground he has chosen. Still, it does limit things.

I have stories at the Nifty Erotic Archive. They were the first site I ever submitted to and therefore hold a special place in my heart. ES and Nifty are the only places I post my stories, other than my own site (when I have one). I love the feedback system for ES and I love the range of acceptable stories at Nifty. Between the two, I am content.

I havenít had the balls to try and get paper published yet. My husband keeps encouraging me to go that route, but I just havenít had the time so far to try and find the markets for gay erotica.

Question: When you receive negative comments do you just ignore them, build from them, or let it put a negative image over the story itself, and let it hinder your writing?

Lael Stalnaker:† Depends on the type of negative comment. If someone is just being an asshole, delete and ignore is the order of the day. If I can see some legitimacy to their comment, I will certainly consider their suggestion/complaint. I may not act on it, but I will definitely look at it. No one is ever going to hinder my writing. There is no way to please everyone at the same time. So, I donít ever think that a comment will make me give up on a story unless I specifically ask for input for that purpose.

Reading Habits:

Question: Do you also enjoy reading erotic stories?† Which categories do you enjoy the most?† Do you like true stories or fantasies?

Lael Stalnaker:† I like reading. Considering the fact that I have two large bookcases with the majority of the books on them being sci-fi and fantasyÖ Oddly, it doesnít really translate into my preferences for reading erotica. It does come out in what I write though. The ES categories I tend to look at are: one-on-one, first time and romantic (all mm, of course). I will rarely read outside of the mm categories (friendsí material and sometimes the bi section when I do). I always look at poetry when it comes in since I also write poetry, but it is a vicious audience, especially in the mm section. People just donít read it, or if they do, they donít vote.

Question: Do you vote on other author's stories? How do you decide what score to give when you do?

Lael Stalnaker:† Yes, I do vote on stories. Generally, I'll vote, though comments are less common from me. Comments usually come from me when I give a really high score or a low score. I try to explain to authors what caused me to score it the way I did. Scoring for me involves several things. The technical aspect (spelling, grammar, punctuation), the story aspect (characterization, plot, setting, time period, does it fit the category), the emotional content (exactly what it says), descriptive quality (can I 'see' the scene), erotic content (did it turn me on), originality (how tired is the idea or is it fresh and new) and length (does the story need pruning, lengthening or is it just right for what it is). Generally, these are worth a point each. If an aspect is in particularly bad shape or is stunning in its perfection, it is worth plus or minus 2 points. I would have to say that the average vote I have given is in the 7.5 range. Ironically, this probably about where I would have to put myself if voting on my own material.

Question: Do you have a favorite author on ES?† What makes them your favorite?

Lael Stalnaker:† Nope. I prefer stories over authors. Not every story, even by a good writer, is going to be something I like. Topics make a difference, as do the characters. I have a few stories I love and have read more than once. But I am not going to name them.

Question:† When you read a story do you...

A. Touch yourself and come around the same time one of the characters do?
Lael Stalnaker:† Sometimes. Not often though. Never with a story I am reading for the first time.

B. Touch yourself but wait for the end to come?
Lael Stalnaker:† Nope.

C. Touch yourself but wait until after you finish the story to come, such as after going to bed?
Lael Stalnaker: Has happened.

D. Not touch yourself until you are finished and then continue thinking about the story and come?
Lael Stalnaker:† This is probably the most frequent.

E. Any other variation you may do? (Please tell us what it is)
Lael Stalnaker:† Read several stories. Then watch a movie, which is usually when I will actually cum.

Sex Habits:

Question: Do you enjoy the visual side of erotica, as in porn movies or pictures? If so, any favorites?

Lael Stalnaker:† Yup, love movies and photography. Also like drawings and computer generated artwork. I love Joe Phillips and his Joe Boys. The detail he puts into his artwork is absolutely stunning. I always notice something new in the pictures each time I look at them. I like black and white erotic photos. Especially those that are more artistically centered. Uses of light fascinate me.

Movies, well, umÖ Raw Luck is my current favorite, though not politically correct given my job. I donít mind condoms in movies, but I am not terribly stuck on them being there either. Given the HIV rate among porn actors, I feel a certain guilt about it. Still, I like the particular actors in it and so far, all they do is raw, that I have been able to find anyway.

Question: †Do you remember the first pornography you ever saw?† Tell us about it?

Lael Stalnaker:† Yup... it was an old French flick, gay of course, about a boarding school. Hell, I have no idea when it was filmed, but I saw a copy of it back in '89. Can't remember the title either. I do remember this hot scene where the school chef fucks the hell of a 'student' he catches pilfering his pantry. That image is still pretty clear for me even now. I remember a couple of other scenes too, but that one is the clearest. Made me want to get a huge oak table and let my buns get toasted by the oven.

Question: Have you ever done erotic photography? If not, would you like to be photographed or not?

Lael Stalnaker:† Nope. Have never had any photos done of me. My Speedo wearing days are long past and I feel if I am not up to standard for wearing one, I certainly am NOT going to pose in the nude. Imagine the cost of replacing broken lenses.

Question:† What do you wear to bed?

Lael Stalnaker:† Not a thing. Well, other than a grin and an erection. I hate clothes, remember? I may not be nude beach material, but I donít think that matters in my own home. And my husband has gotten used to it.

Question: Do your sex life and writing have any correlation with each other??

Lael Stalnaker:† Sometimes. Once, for my husbandís birthday, I recreated a scene/setting from one of my stories for him. It was actually from the first story I had ever written. It took me about a week to get all the stuff gathered together. It was fun making about 16 pillows in silks, satins and other sensual materials. My best friend helped by doing all the actual sewing. I took mosquito netting, used a spray on glue and put ultra-violet blue micro glitter all over it. This got hung over our California king-size bed. The pillows made this awesome nest on the bed, with my satin bedspread under it all, not that you could see it with all those pillows. Tea candles all around the room made the netting sparkle. I put a mini fountain on the headboard. I also hid a bowl of frozen grapes among the pillows. I leave the rest to your imagination.

Question: How would you rate your willingness to try new things in bed?

Lael Stalnaker:† I am pretty open to new things. I draw the line at sub/dom sex play. It has no appeal for me and is actually an excellent way to hit my off switch. Other than that, am willing to try nearly everything else at least a couple of times to see where it leads.

Question: Whatís the kinkiest thing you have done in your life?

Lael Stalnaker:† Actually, a difficult question, since everyone is going to have their own idea of what kinky is. I guess for me, so far, shaving. I only recently decided to pretty much shave off all of the pubic hair on and around my groin. Certainly was interesting the first time I had sex after I did it.

Question: Do you have any fantasies that you would like to fulfil?

Lael Stalnaker:† Does doing it with certain porn stars count? *laughing*

Question: What is your opinion about sex toys? Do you have any toys yourself and if so, do you like to use them?

Lael Stalnaker:† Sex toys are awesome, especially for solo work. It takes some trust with a partner though. Yes, I have toys and yes I like to use them. Theyíre great for when my husband isnít in the mood or if he is gone. I have found I really like my vibrator and Iíll tear the hand off of anyone that tries to take it away from me.

Question: What do you think about solo sex?

Lael Stalnaker:† Awesome! With a partner is always good and I will never give it up. On the other hand, I know exactly what I want, how I want it and for how long without having to give myself directions or talk it out. So, solo is just dandy in my book. Besides, no worries about being in the mood, having time, headaches and all the other considerations needed with a partner.

Question: What is your favorite position?

Lael Stalnaker:† If I am getting fucked, I prefer to be on top. More control and I think there is deeper penetration. Plus, I love cumming all over his chest. If I am doing the fucking, doggy. I love being able to grab onto his hips and pull him back onto my cock. Even better if I get to do both in one night.

Question: Do you believe in one-night stands?

Lael Stalnaker:† Sometimes, but mostly no for many years now. I certainly am not going to condemn the practice of it by others. I actually told my husband I wasnít interested in a one-night stand the night we met. Difficult decision by the way, since we were making out in his car at the time. 12 years later, weíre still together.

Question: What makes someone sexy to you?

Lael Stalnaker:† Hmm, well... a combination of things. Hair is the biggest turn on for me, then physical build in general, eyes, the way a guy moves, especially athletes. Attitude also factors in, such as confidence without arrogance, humor without malice, sweetness without falsehood. A guy that is very tactile has a part in it too. I love wandering hands... A guy that can laugh at my bitchiest mood and yet manages to keep me from going nuclear. And patience, god that can be hot. Holy shit! I just described my husband!

Question: What is a major turn on for you during sex?

Lael Stalnaker:† I totally love sucking on peopleís fingers and dragging my teeth along their skin. Not biting, more of a grazing effect. Especially on the fingernails. Another big one is a guy that takes the time to learn and use my erogenous zones. Yup, men have them too. When a guy can suck on a specific area (an inch below my left collar bone, centered) and make my back arch, I know I am turned on. Another thing that really does it for me is doing me fast and hard. That is a sure fire way for someone to cause a wet spot on the wall over my head.

Question: What is a major turn off for you during sex?

Lael Stalnaker:† DependsÖ cussing or trying any kind of dominant talk on me in the middle of sex is one of the surest ways for me to call a halt to the proceedings. I am not anyoneís bitch or cum-hole. Try to degrade me and Iíll likely just get pissed instead of turned on. I donít find anything sexy or arousing about that aspect of sexual play. I also wonít say that stuff for/to someone either. Great for other people if they want it, just not for or by me.

My only other Ďissueí is cum in my mouth. Ick! The texture is just wrong! Too much like a mouth full of snot. The taste isnít necessarily bad, but I just canít reconcile myself to the texture.

Question: Sextalk. Do you like or dislike talking during sex?

Lael Stalnaker:† Not a big fan of it. Still, it mostly from being a live-in caregiver for over 8 yearsÖ just wouldnít do to be loud or noisy during sex with kids in the house, especially since they arenít mine. So, I got trained to be quiet. Now I am to the point where the most I can ever manage is an involuntary squeak during sex. *laughing as I reread what I wrote* Yup, a squeak. Dirty talk and such have never really done much for me even before that time in my life. *shrug*

Question: In bed or on the kitchen table?

Lael Stalnaker:† The bed these days. In my younger years, anywhere would do. Now I am a creature of comfort with a body that doesnít always cooperate. Having a neurological issue makes it kind of difficult for sex in some of the more adventuresome places. Positioning is all!

Question: What is your favorite or most memorable moment in bed?

Lael Stalnaker:† The first time with my first love. It was not, however, the first time I had sex. Anyway, that night with Chris was awesome. It all started with some wrestling on my satin bedspread. We both kept sliding off of the end of my bed. We were laughing so hard and would just keep getting back on and continued the wrestling around. We both had these intense hard-ons that we kept grinding together through our clothes. That went on for nearly an hour. Then my roommate pounded on my door saying she wanted to go to sleep and to knock it the hell off with the noise. We dragged my bedspread into the living room and shut the hall door. That put 2 doors between her and us. Back to wrestling we went. It evolved into stripping each other at the same time we wrestled. That took a while until we were both naked. Also no planning on my part at least. It was all spontaneous. Once we were naked, the foreplay began and went on and on and on. We did nearly everything that can be done with just our bodies, including the main event, twice each. It was almost 7am when we finally collapsed and snuggled. Considering we started wrestling at about 10pm the night before... well, not likely I am going to ever forget a 9 hour marathon session. He is the only lover I ever had that could completely wear me out. We did make it back to my room before my roomy got up for work, thankfully.

And Last but not least...

Question:† You are in the Top 10 of the "Top 100 best scoring authors with more than 5 stories online, and an average vote higher than 9.0".† How does that feel?

Lael Stalnaker:† It's cool and very flattering. I think it also puts pressure on to try and make sure that anything I post be the best I can make it. Well, if I want to stay up there anyway. It certainly makes me more conscious of the whole voting process. I admit to having as much of an ego as the next person. The humbling aspect of it is that I am not on the "Top 100 favourite authors" list that runs right next to it. So, just because you score well in the voting aspect, doesn't mean that mean that your stories appeal to a lot of people. It seems that very few people have made it onto both lists. I congratulate those that are on both. Would you believe that I had no idea either list existed for months after Art added them? I generally look at stories through the New Stories link and rarely go to the author list page.† I was utterly floored the first time I saw the lists after they had been added. I certainly wasn't expecting to see my name there, much less as high as it was.

Another humbling aspect is this: the last two stories I posted got good votes but not enough views to make it to the Archives. *laughing* I think maybe my preferred writing category, 'Sci-fi/fantasy', is just not generally a popular one in the first place. Oh well, the muse strikes where it will and I certainly am not going to complain about the manner of delivery!

Question: Do you notice any differences between the "younger" writers on here, and between the "older writers" of this site?

Lael Stalnaker:† I donít really see any Ďdifferenceí between newer and older writers. I generally enjoy the browsing. Wait, just occurred to me. The older writers tend to write longer stories. That is about it, and it is neither good nor bad. Perhaps just a matter of experience with writing. Not that I really think my opinion on any of this matters all that much. *laughing*

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

Lael Stalnaker:† Vote on what you read. If you like a story and donít vote, that story may disappear from lack of votes. I hate looking for a story for a second read and then realizing it passed the 30 days and got removed due to not enough votes/views.

You can read Lael's stories here.

I want to thank Lael for taking the time to answer these questions for us.† Please be sure to send him a message to let him know what you thought.

If you have a question you would like to see in a future interview please send it my way and it just might make it into the next one.

Thanks!

PleasureKitten

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