There are times when it seems that in search of creating a moving story, I not only ignore the marketplace, I often write against it.
“Getting a Grip on Things” is a pornographic anti-pornography story, a crazy thing to try to write, as it likely was unsuitable for any publication. The harshest anti-pornography zealot would have agreed with the theme of the story, but would have been horrified by the execution, while Penthouse would have been perfectly confortable with its prose, but aghast at the story’s point. But that’s the way I needed to play with the reader’s mind in order to put over the premise, and so that’s the story that got written.
Luckily, editor Chris DeVito was looking to push the envelope with Proud Flesh, attempting to put together a magazine of dangerous visions, and so the story was published in the Fall 1994 issue.
Chris illustrated the story with a photo of Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara and a quote from J.G. Ballard: “I think we’re seeing a new kind of prudery. There isn’t as much pornographic material available to us as the modern communications landscape could, and should, provide—”I think there should be far more.”