I am very pleased to have the lovely Melina Greenport at my place today. She’s talking about the hot new Victorian anthology Amorous Congress (edited by F. Leonora Solomon), and sharing a steamy excerpt from her story “A Good Maid.”
Thanks for being here today, Melina! Can you tell me a little about your story and where you found your inspiration?
My story in the collection is called “A Good Maid”. It’s about Millie, a young woman who has recently been rescued from a workhouse in order to assist Dr. Thorpe, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of “female hysteria”.
What I’ve read about 19th century doctors inducing women’s orgasms has always stuck me as being rather absurd. Not to mention the tragic circumstance that these women were being completely misdiagnosed. That aside, in writing Millie’s story, I was able to explore what it might have been like to witness the practice.
Do you typically read Victorian fiction, and if so, do you have any favorite books or authors?
Other than the requisite Dickens back in high school, no, I can’t say I’m a fan. I read contemporary fiction and poetry.
Are there any erotic genres you haven’t dabbled in but would like to?
I might like to try out some sci-fi. During my first year writing erotica (which was just last year), I did as many of Marie Rebelle’s Wicked Wednesday [link: http://wickedwednesday.rebelsnotes.com] prompts as I could. So often, I would read a prompt and feel stumped, but I forced myself to produce. In that way, I wrote my first piece of erotic sci-fi flash fiction and it was surprisingly fun. If I were to tackle the genre seriously, I’d have a lot of reading to do to catch up
Tell us about your next project!
I’m working on too many projects! This fall, I’m finally developing a series of stories with my characters from a piece I wrote in 2015 called “On the Island of Mhowra”. It’s about three teenage girls who decide to take their own virginity together. The original story is told in first person plural—narrated by “we”. So the series will dive into each of the girls’ POV separately.
If you could live for a year in any time period, which would you choose?
I think I’d choose a future year. But not too far ahead—climate change is coming to get us!
Climate change is happening right here, because this excerpt is hot! Ready?
Now from where she stood watching Dr. Thorpe and his third patient of the morning, Millie let herself dream that she was the one on the table before him. That it was her reclining fully: dress on, drawers removed; that it was her skirt he lifted, giving her legs breadth enough for his presence. That it was her inner thigh he grazed with his palm before he began.
She had never been touched there herself, and aside from her newly kindled desire, she felt lucky to be chaste. Some girls at the workhouse hadn’t been so fortunate. Their unmentionable suffering was immensely different from what happened in Dr. Thorpe’s office, Millie was sure of that. He was considerate and his examining room was clean and as well-appointed as the finest of parlors—with emerald brocade draperies and gold framed landscapes. His patients were accepting of the prescribed method to cure their ills. Although occasionally they cried earthy syllables and gasped, the doctor assured Millie they were in no distress. In fact, he said the treatment was medically devised to provide overwhelming relief, however temporary.
Millie’s view of his hands was always obstructed by fabric, but she knew his oiled fingers rubbed the patients’ lushest skin. The shriveled parts of aged widows would swell into plump tenderness. The scarred parts of lonely mothers would open again to rhapsody. Under Dr. Thorpe’s hands, that part of every woman glistened and shined. Even the ones who cried, eventually beamed.
Especially the ones who cried.
Millie wanted to be one of those women. To buck and writhe under the near violent percussion of Dr. Thorpe’s hands. She wanted to be the center of that strange turbulence. Each procedure was a storm of fervent kneading, the eye of which, Millie could only imagine, was the patient’s bliss.
“… bring it here,” he said, without stopping. Millie’s thoughts had been looping around her gaze, immersed in the twitching of the doctor’s upper arms as he worked on Mrs. Higmore. She hadn’t heard his earlier words.
“Sir?” Millie said, suddenly nervous.
“The linen. Blot my forehead.”
Millie’s boots clopped on the wooden floor. Mrs. Higmore closed her eyes more tightly. Four steps across the room, and then Millie raised the white cloth towards his forehead. There was, indeed, sweat beading on his brow. He leaned towards her, all the while continuing to massage Mrs. Higmore’s doughy, violet skin. Millie smelled the sourness mixed with the musk of the oil as she blotted the doctor’s brow the way he’d ordered. Then she turned to go back to her spot.
“Stay here,” he commanded.
“The heat today,” his voice was hushed now, as if he meant to avoid further disturbing Mrs. Higmore, “is oppressive.”
Later, Millie would look back and wonder if that’s when everything changed. She had never stood next to him during the procedures before. Had never seen his fingers disappearing into a woman the way she did now. Those slippery, strong fingers jetting in and out, in and out. Millie caught her own breath accelerating.
She wondered if she ought to douse the fire to cool the room and alleviate his temperature, but she knew he liked it warm for the patients. She did as she was told, and remained next to him.
You’re ready to buy the book now, aren’t you? Did I mention I designed the cover?
Pick up a copy of Amorous Congress on Amazon.
About Melina Greenport:
Melina Greenport specializes in sexy vignettes designed to ignite your imagination. Her aim is to stimulate your literary aesthetic, honor your intelligence, and nourish your dreams. Her work appears in The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Vol.2, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Vol. 2, Amorous Congress: A Collection of New Victorian Erotica, and is forthcoming elsewhere.
Visit her at https://melinagreenport.com.