A live reading of St. Louis erotica started down an appropriately dirty path Friday night when author Jade Melisande took the stage at Shameless Grounds coffee shop to share a story about hiking au naturel at Castlewood Park.
"I leaned over to tie my hiking boots, making sure to bend far enough that my panties-less butt was exposed as he rounded the end of the car and came up behind me," began Melisande. "'Molly,'" he said again, grabbing my skirt and tugging it down over my bare ass. He could be so very tight-laced. But his hand lingered there a moment and I glanced over to see that look that he got when he was thinking about sex."
Melisande's romp in the woods is one of ten stories in the new anthology Show Me that aims to showcase -- and promote -- sex in the Midwest.
"There tends to be this notion that for a good sexy time, you have to go to New York City, or Los Angeles or San Francisco," says Johnny Murdoc, a co-founder of Sex Positive St. Louis, which published the book. "As someone who has had virtually all of the sex of my life in St. Louis, it seems crazy that people don't understand, it happens everywhere. For all of us who are dedicated to increasing the dialog around sex in the city, it just seemed natural to want to tell stories about it."
Murdoc read Friday night from his work in Show Me, a story about two traveling musicians who use their hands for everything but driving during a road trip from St. Louis to Chicago.
As the authors shared their stories, audience members inside Shameless Grounds cuddled on couches and playfully touched each other. Kendra Holliday, another contributor to Show Me who read Friday night, says she hopes the book will build up the sex-positive community in St. Louis and help spawn more local erotica -- and perhaps even a second volume of the anthology.