With Alina X, it’s difficult to know where reality stops and imagination starts. Perhaps she’s only a university researcher with an overactive imagination and a risqué dress sense, but it’s not difficult to believe that she’s a sexual adventuress, or even that she has been impregnated by tentacled monsters from the deep and abducted by horny aliens from outer space. Were you to put Alina into the TARDIS, Dr Who would rapidly descend into X-rated hilarity.
She will quite happily spin tales over a glass of Darjeeling, and will exude sincerity regardless of the absurdity of her supposed adventures. I am often tempted to demand she put her money where her mouth is and lift her too-short skirt – and thus reveal what is – and isn’t – concealed beneath.
But I am, of course, cough cough, far too much of a gentleman to make any such request. Instead we sit there, sipping tea, the very picture of almost-respectability, talking quietly of erotic mischief and mischievous erotica.
We speak for a little while about synthie, Alina’s Sci-Fi novelette about a man who wakes up in the synthetic body of an androgyne sexbot. ‘In this case, I prefer to use “hermaphrodite” rather than “intersex” because I see the latter as a natural gender of the human body. The androgyne is a designed thing, outwardly female in all respects except for the cock and balls. And being a sexbot, it’s a fetish object, exaggerated in proportion with large breasts and eyes, a narrow waist, a long thick cock…’
She laughs at that. ‘To be honest, I don’t know that I’d find such a body attractive. It would probably be too weird for me, but that’s exactly the point of the story. Mike is given a body that is profoundly unnatural, and he has to live with it. The world of erotica is full of stories of men being transformed into beautiful nymphomaniac women or futanari with huge breasts and perfect bodies, and they all seem to adapt easily to their new identity and lifestyle.
‘With synthie, I wanted a plausible scientific basis for such a transformation, thus the futuristic setting, but more importantly I wanted to say: Hey, just because you stick a man in a woman’s body, doesn’t mean he’s going to be at all comfortable with being a woman. Transgender people often face this issue, feeling like their body doesn’t reflect who they truly are. In synthie, Mike is, and always has been, a man. However, there are facets of his personality that are more traditionally seen as feminine, and being in a woman’s body gives him the freedom to explore these.’
One of the reviews she got (At least it tries…) was less than sympathetic. ‘I’m thrilled to get reviews, especially unsolicited reviews, and that one makes some interesting and intelligent points – even if author and reader seem to be on different wavelengths. I don’t mean that as a criticism, except perhaps that I need to be clearer about my intentions when writing.’
‘Tell me about the sequel,’ I suggest.
‘I never intended there to be a sequel, but I sat down one day and wrote about seven thousand words of almost pure erotica. I had this idea for Mike to be seduced by Vanity into becoming a prostitute – for sexual kicks. But then I stopped, looked at it, and realised that I had no wish to finish it, let alone publish it. Despite the erotic content, synthie is Science Fiction, not erotica with a Sci-Fi window dressing. I needed to write a real story for Mike, so I took him planetside and introduced an alien intelligence. Some of the original erotica was used in the final version, and, who knows, maybe the rest will get recycled if there’s ever a third in the synthie series.’
The sequel, synthie recalibrated, is a 10,000-word short story bundled with two other erotic futanari tales. ‘As futanari tales go, synthie is a strange story, not only because it seeks to take the subject seriously when most futanari tales require absolute suspension of disbelief, but also because the futanari in synthie is assertively male.
‘With Last Summer, I set out to write a more traditional piece of futanari erotica, in which a girl gains a cock through magical means and proceeds to have lots of sex. Except I’m never good at following rules, and the story turned into a romance with a girl with a dominant side. My favourite story of the three is The Princess and the Succubus, which is also the shortest. It’s a sweet little fantasy and quite romantic, and not really erotic at all.’
Alina and I share an interest in succubi. She even has fake business cards that say:
Author & Succubus
‘You had a story about a succubus in The Magic Corset,’ I say. ‘It was rather dark. All of those stories were rather disturbing, I thought.’
‘The common theme there is that humans are helpless in the face of supernatural forces – which is not to say they don’t enjoy the loss of control. The succubus in Be Careful What You Wish For is put in the position of a victim, but she is always in control.’
By this time the tea is finished and we are both checking the time on our phones. ‘So,’ I say. ‘Anything else in the pipeline?’
‘Not really, although I’d like to turn the tale of Barb and Arianthe into something bigger…’