Guest Blogger: Alison Tyler
You remember Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man? Well, I was going to be the illustrated woman. Oh, yes. I was. From the moment I first walked into a tattoo parlor, I was addicted. There’s an intensity once you make the decision to let someone write on you. Permanently. I got my first tattoo early, and then I slowly started to add the designs.
At some point in my journey I came up with the brainiac decision to get inked for every book I sold. (No, not individual copies. But every time I signed a contract I planned to celebrate with fresh ink.) I had no idea (obviously) that I was going to be even remotely capable of selling books. I thought I might sign for one here, one there. Based on how many rejections I received for my shorts, I believed book deals would be a long time coming…
When I got to Blue Sky Sideways, I stopped. I could not decide how to commemorate that particular title. A window? A cloud? A swath of blue. A sill. The word “sideways” in cobalt written, you know, sideways…
Being tattooed is important to me. I wrote about one inking session in Dark Secret Love, my new meta-novel.
On Sunday night, his last night in town, Connor took me up to the Sunset Strip Tattoo parlor and explained to the man behind the counter exactly what he wanted. As if he were the proprietor, Connor led me to the back room and lowered my jeans, and I dropped my chin to my chest, mortified, not only because Connor was baring my ass to strangers but because I sported bruises from when his silver buckle had caught my skin, magenta stripes from his belt, those fine thin welts from his crop. On a fair space of skin on my right hip (had Connor intentionally left that patch alone?), the tattoo artist transferred the cherries that Connor had chosen for me. Connor held my hands in his, and I looked into his eyes and stayed totally still. This was not my first tattoo, but it was the first one given to me.
“I can tell she’s a naughty girl,” the man said casually, as we got ready to leave. “But keep that bandage on for at least two hours, and then rub lotion in.”
We fucked one last time on Lois’s bed that night. We fucked until dawn, when Connor took off the bandage and touched me so softly, so tenderly, that it made me shake more powerfully than anything else we’d done. I’d taken pain for him. I’d been marked for him. I’d done everything I set out to do.
Even now, when I drive by tattoo parlors, I have the urge to pull in. To roll up a sleeve. To lower my jeans. I crave that sensation. The connection of the ink traveling past the surface layers. The point of the pen and the tip of my soul.
Alison Tyler is the author of more than twenty-five erotic novels, most recently Dark Secret Love and the upcoming sequel: The Delicious Torment. She has edited 50 anthologies from Cleis Press and written several novellas, including Those Girls for Go Deeper Press. Visit her at alisontyler.blogspot.com 24/7 and she’s a total insomniac.