The Dirty Little Read-through goes on—the third story in Dirty Little Numbers comes to us from Mia Hopkins.
"Jim muttered something about eternal damnation, but he did it anyway." — Mia Hopkins
What I like most about this fictional confession is that it's not a confession in the sense of regret. Throughout, the narrator sounds like she knows what she wants and she's not ashamed of anything. Glancing up to the title after reading the story, I get an image of her smirking as she says those words. Maybe the memory of hot sex that she describes in this story has created some problems for her, but I don't think she'd trade it.
I like the idea of a knowing woman who's not out to apologize confessing a dirty secret to Dr. Kinsey who, by the accounts I've read, wasn't out to judge. That's a delightful reversal of the idea of confession.
I go to confession once a year on Good Friday, and I only confess the things I'm truly sorry for. That means I don't often talk about sex, and I also don't stay in the confessional very long. That's not to say that I'm perfect, but I've spent too much of my life apologizing for who I am and everything I do, feel, and think. These days, I try to keep my apologizing to a minimum, and to only do it when it's really necessary.
But church isn't the only place I feel expected to confess. When I got divorced several years ago, I encountered a lot of people who wanted me to analyze for them how my marriage had gone wrong, or why I wasn't willing to work on things any more. It's one thing to learn from mistakes, and another to enact a shame performance, and too many times conversations veered to that latter side of the line.
Erotica has a long tradition of another kind of confession—a sly, sometimes funny revelation of forbidden acts. Books of erotic confessions are sold not to warn people off but to titillate them, and I think this is a needed corrective for the other kind of confession, the one that's all about shame. Hopkins' story is a classic entry in this venerable tradition. The narrator does outrageous things with an ear of corn, cops to a problem that it sounds sort of nice to have, and doesn't say she's sorry for any of it. More power to her!
If you'd like to read the story instead of my philosophizing about it, check out the fantastic Go Deeper Press—Dirty Little Numbers and other sex-positive erotic books are on sale there.