Today’s contributor Q&A is with erotica writer Gwen Masters, whose story in the book is called “Memphis.”
How did you come up with the idea for your story in Do Not Disturb?
Okay, so here’s confession time…when that story was first written, I was spending a lot of time in a certain hotel in Memphis with a certain man. After each of our encounters, I wrote a story for him. There were dozens of them by the time we were through, and “Memphis” was one of the first.
Were you inspired by any particular hotels?
I’ve always found hotels inspiring, because I see them as a blank canvas of sorts. The room is anonymous, the guy behind the desk will probably never remember your name, and hell — you don’t even have to use your real name if you pay in cash, do you? Behind those doors, anything is possible, and nobody has to know.
I also love the story of the room. You know there has to be a multitude of stories for that space. Everything about it begs for attention — who read the Bible in the drawer? Who left that note on the paper that you found under the bed? Those fingerprints on the window, up near the top…how did they get there? Even the last channel the television was on…I love the mystery of every little thing about the hotel room, and I like leaving a little something behind of my own. I’ve been known to write messages on postcards and slip them into drawers.
Is there a part of a hotel that you think is the sexiest?
You know those rooms at the very back of the hallway, where you turn a corner and find the vending machines and the ice? I’ve always found that so incredibly hot. Between the roar of the ice machine and the hum of all the other machines plugged in back there, you can’t hear each other speak. There are all sorts of little corners where you can work some sexual magic — and you could get caught! If you’ve never had sex beside that vibrating ice machine, you must put it on your to-do list.
What’s been your favorite hotel experience (x-rated or not)?
Waking up after a long night of making love, the windows open and the sunlight spilling over me — and he wasn’t there. But there was a tray filled with pastries, a glass of milk and a glass of orange juice, a long-stemmed rose and the paper, with a note telling me to read and eat and sleep in…that he would be back in a bit. There was something so sweet about knowing I had nowhere to be, no one would bother me, and my only duty in life at that moment was to read the paper and wait on my lover. It was a beautiful day.
What do you think a hotel needs to make it a “sexy hotel?”
A concierge who gives you that wink that says he knows what you’re up to and he didn’t see a thing, thank you very much. A certain “hush” that comes with opulence — the kind of muted sound that always reminds me of thick carpets, glistening chandeliers and complimentary martinis in the lobby.
Is there a specific hotel you’ve stayed in which you recommend, and/or a hotel you want to stay in, and why?
The Peabody Hotel in Memphis is simply stunning. The MGM Grand ranks up there, too.
What’s next for you?
On the writing side, I’m writing a few short stories for Black Lace anthologies. I’ve just started on another erotic novel, but I’m taking my time with it. I’m very busy with my freelance business right now.
On the hotel side, which one is next?
Very soon…Hotel California!
And here’s an excerpt from “Memphis” – read the rest in Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories.
What?” I was whispering and not sure why, as frozen as the ice chips the shrimp rested on. My eyes met his brown ones over his tilted wineglass, and he smiled at me.
“We’re hiding from what we already know.” He said it with absolute certainty.
I dropped my shrimp fork with a clatter of silver on china. Neither of us noticed.
Is that how it starts? How affairs begin? With a gesture or a word that suddenly turns an old friend into a lover, crying out above you in a rented bed somewhere on the edge of nowhere? Does it always drop out of the blue and explode, fragmenting your life? And then plant itself inside you and grow into beauty, into memories and smiles, building you into something stronger than you were?
For me, with my married lover, there’s a bounce in my step that everyone notices but can’t explain. It comes from pulling up beside a sports car parked outside of a hotel, in a town you’ve never visited before, and going through an open door with the DO NOT DISTURB sign already in place. It comes from there being no time for words before you’re rushed into a dimly lit room and surrounded by his arms, his voice, and his desire. You both collapse onto the bed that has become a refuge.
He’s married. I knew that as I walked out of the restaurant and slid into the passenger seat of his sports car. I heard her name in my head as he drove, one hand on the wheel and one hand on my thigh. I saw her in my head as the hotel room door closed behind us. I listened to her laughing with him as he pressed me back against that door and kissed me. I felt the guilt as I kissed him back, but I wanted him more than I wanted to heed the conscience that was shaking its head in shame.