Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fourplay Fetish Feature: An Interview with Jon Zelig

Continuing our Fourplay Fetish Feature on his erotic domination, cuckolding, and age play erotica, Jon Zelig has graciously agreed to stop by for a chat about hus fantasies, fetishes, and fiction.

♥ Thank you so much for taking the time to join us, Jon - we are so very delighted to have you! For those readers who have yet to encounter your work, can you give us a brief introduction?

Hi Sally, Happy to be here; always grateful for both interest and readers who are willing to go into things in some depth—and frankly and openly.

As “me,” I’m an early-fifties, American man, with an academic background, and a few decades of writing experience across a broad variety of genres: scholarly work, journalism, business writing; fiction, poetry, the occasional unpublishable novel or unproduceable screenplay.

♥ You've been published for a year now, with stories grouped under four different names (or brands, if you will). Why the distinction?

The Papa Bear Zelig is “Jon” who mostly writes erotica that skews femdom, often with cuckolding and age play components; “Joy” does more maledom-oriented work, with age play an occasionally recurring theme.

More recently I’ve birthed “Bram” & “Zoë.”  He’s in the Paranormal Erotica sphere (sex & vampires); she’s a bit more in the direction of Fifty Shades of Grey (which I have still resisted reading—for reasons of potential “contamination”), a bit more softcore and romantic and also maledom.

“Branding” hits the nail on the head.

I’m not sure how successful this has been (my fast answer would be: not hugely), but the idea that “a man” writes femdom and “a woman” writes maledom—and that PNE is its own world, and that more “romance-inflected” work is different than hardcore, made some amount of sense to me.

Maybe.  Maybe not . . .

And my impulse toward an umbrella brand, “a family” of erotica writers, may have been the wrong way to go—perhaps it would have been better “to pretend to be” wholly unrelated people.

I thought “the family approach” would provide some synergy.

We’ll see: if I have to kill some family members . . . I have to kill some family members—erotica, and commerce, “ain’t beanbag.”

♥ With reader reviews so crucial to generating exposure, what are some of the weirdest or most wonderful reactions you’ve had from readers?

What does any-writer-of-anything want?

I want people to “get what I’m doing.”

They like it?  They don’t?  They think it works?  They think it fails?

Any of those are valid responses.  They can give me specific feedback about what I got right or what I got wrong?  Perfect: Bring it on!

What is exasperating—and bizarre!—on a regular basis, is people who are basically upset with the genre that they have supposedly made “an adult decision” to read.

If you chose to buy something titled “A Loss of Sexual Control: Cuck Desires & Wifely Needs,” it’s a somewhat odd response to begin ranting, in your review, about “how horribly degraded the husband was” or how “I’d just kill the bitch if she did that to me!”

I strive for “truth in labelling.”  It’s odd and irritating to me when people read something focused on cuckolding and get all up in arms in a review because—turns out—the book focuses on . . . cuckolding.

♥ You have what I feel is a highly original, emotionally charged approach to the idea of dominance and submission. If it’s not too personal of a question, where does lifestyle experience end and vicarious fantasy begin and end within your fiction?

Maybe an area in which my wife would be the person to give more credible testimony, but I would say that I live a fairly vanilla life, sex included.

Not much of anything in my marriage that’s at all secretive or hidden; not sneaking out to play with The Leather Boys & Girls.

Although I’m hiding behind four pen names publicly, I’m completely open at home.

But that mostly amounts to muttering obscene scenarios in my wife’s ear during . . . playtime—and trying to goad her into muttering a few back.

♥ What was it that first prompted you to begin writing? Did you always intend to publish, or was there a lightbulb sort of moment where you chose to take the leap?

We live in . . . strange times.

I’ve been publishing various kinds of work basically since high school, four decades or so back: nationally, quickly internationally, and for pay.

I’ve never felt that there was much “choice” involved in that (and, not to be pompous but, I suspect this is true “across the arts”).  I think people “leak words” because they have no other option: things build up; things spew out—no erotic analogy there at all.  Of course not!

Erotica . . .  That’s kind of its own world: as a matter of literature, as a matter of economics, as a matter of personal exposure.

You fold “sexy stuff” into your fiction?  Over the course of my life, that’s gone from risqué to something close to obligatory.

You produce work that’s—call it what it is—essentially “fetish focused”?

Well . . . we’re back to pen names.

At least small-scale, I probably began “playing around with” erotica in or not long after high school.  But there was really not much of anything “to do with it.”

What online publishing—and sales—platforms have done is to “open a channel” for work that mostly would have just been discovered in your bottom desk drawer after you died.

Daddy wrote WHAT?!

For whatever reason (and I would identify/reveal it if I could), a few years back I began producing—with no meaningful intention toward distribution or sales—much more focused, fetishistic, and “longer form” erotica than I had ever done in the past.

You build up inventory?

At some point . . . you begin moving toward at least exploring marketing.

Easy online publishing options?

Close to no capital cost?

The cloak of anonymity?

Zeligs are born!

♥ On that note, is there a personal fetish or a fantasy that you have yet to explore in your fiction?

It’s kind of a slippery slope—and, in some ways, we’re back to “the cloak of anonymity.”

For the most part, I neither flatter nor lacerate myself with the delusion that I am particularly unique—at least as a matter of what’s “in my head.”

On some level?  I feel like anyone who doesn’t have a “strange” and intricate tapestry of “perverted” fantasies in their head is more likely deranged than the vast majority of us who do.

But . . .

If you write—and then make public!—erotica, you’re going several steps beyond what the vast majority of people would or could do.  

So . . .

What might I do next?  I don’t know.

Not that I have a formula exactly but, trying to “game this out,” it seems to me there are a number of variables in play.

You read and write more extreme scenarios; that opens up . . . the next possibility, going further: What do you feel you can “let out of your head”?  What’s “just too messed up”?  And . . . “what do you think will sell”?

I have limits.  Not sure if this expresses it with sufficient precision, but: there is a level of pain and humiliation which—at least contemplating and sketching out—carries a strong erotic charge for me.

At some point—and I really strive not to be too judgy in this area—it’s just . . . too much.

Bottom line: I’m not sure how much more “extreme” I’m likely to get; and, given that, as an author of erotica, I’m pretty invisible, I haven’t much felt “held back.”

But . . . we’ll see.

♥ Finally, looking towards a brighter, more fantastic 2017, what can readers look forward to seeing from you next?

Writing things that are so personally charged, and doing it from “Behind the Wizard’s Curtain” is really tremendously liberating.  I get to do damn close to whatever I want to do—in this part of my life, anyway.

Mostly I remain interested in and drawn toward where my various alter-egos have been going for a while now: femdom first; maledom second; PNE as “an interesting alternative”; somewhat intrigued by FSOG-inflected “romance.”

That said?

Always interested in hearing what people would like to see next.  

♥ They do say variety is the spice of life, and I think a well-rounded author makes for a well-stocked library. Thanks again for taking the time to join us!

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