The premise of this story is that a man, Mark, who has been divorced for five years, receives an email from his narcissistic ex-wife asking that he consider re-marrying her. That she is now married to someone else is no obstacle. She is bored with her current husband and will happily divorce him if Mark will take her back.
Instead of blowing her off, Mark decides to have some fun. He creates two email accounts, one in her name and one in her husband’s. He uses these to put words in her mouth, making her promise to perform a variety of sexual acts for her husband; and to elicit the husband’s reactions.
He emails the wife directly to force her to fulfil those promises by telling her, first that he will not consider re-marrying her unless he proves that she can be a good wife to her current husband; and second, that her husband will abandon her if she disappoints him.
Using his power as “the man in the middle”, he greatly enhances their sex life. In the end, the ex-wife has become sufficiently satisfied with her current marriage that she drops the idea of remarrying Mark. He hands off his role as facilitator to a simple computer program that continues to feed suggestions to the wife and husband through the fake email accounts.
This should have been a much better story than it was.
The premise was good. I like the idea that an unforgiving ex-husband could, by remote control, use his ex-wife’s current husband as a proxy to use and degrade her. And I really like the idea that she is masochistic enough to enjoy being used and degraded. In that way, she’s my kind of woman.
Incidentally, the concept of “a man in the middle” comes from a method of attacking encrypted computer communications. A program that spoofs the communications link in both directions is inserted into a network. Even the strongest public key encryption can be compromised by a man-in-the-middle attack. It amused me to demonstrate the concept in a porn story.
I also like the characters in this story. The ex-wife is based on a real person. People who are that neurotic really exist. The woman that I know is just as narcissistic, manipulative, and masochistic as I describe. And she really did get in touch with her ex-husband after five years and expect him to come running back to her because she was so desirable, even though she had kept him virtually celibate for most of their three-and-a half-year marriage.
Furthermore, I can attest that men who are as dull and unimaginative as her husband are a dime a dozen. Some men wouldn’t know what to do if a woman put a paddle in his hand, bent over a table, and raised her skirt unless she also included written instructions.
So, in this story, I put those two characters together. And I gave him written instructions.
The reason that the story was not very good was that I did not write it well. At any level. The grammar was weak, the writing lacked wit, the point of view was inconsistent, and the final resolution dull.
I think that part of the problem was that I was too close to the subject matter. I was in a hurry to just get it down on paper and get it over with. For exactly that reason, I’m unlikely to ever go back and fix it.
I did experiment a little with this story. I included no dialogue whatsoever. I didn’t even include the emails, only provided a description of them. It was an interesting exercise, but did not make for a good story.
As well, I tried to write a pornographic story that had no explicit descriptions of sexual acts. I included only descriptions of instructions and the reactions of the characters afterward. The actual sex was twice removed from the story.
I think that would have worked if I had written it better. Porn requires a lot of sex but I’m not sure it requires so much explicit description. By now, I’m getting tired of writing yet another description of the same old lusty scenes and I suspect that most of my readers are getting tired of reading them. I know that when I read porn, I skip over a lot of the anatomical and biological descriptions if they last more than a couple of sentences.
If I were to re-write this story, I would write it as an epistolary narrative. It would be nothing but the emails themselves and would include no other prose. The trick would be to ensure that there was a lot of description in the emails, but I think that could be done easily enough.
It should be written as a knee-slapping, side-splitting comedy. If I were as good as Shakespeare and not so personally involved with the characters, I might be able to pull it off.
Sadly, I have to admit that I’m no Shakespeare. To paraphrase Dirty Harry, “A writer’s got to know her limitations.”