Not your everyday run-of-the-mill erotica, mind you. As Rounds describes it in the introduction to her book, Phantasies, which was published this past summer, she writes erotica partly to release sexual tension, but also with another purpose: "It serves to stroke the ego and confidence of a woman of size." Rounds, who asked that Unreal refer to her only by her pseudonym ("My children would be mortified," says she), proudly describes herself as "a fat woman" and writes erotica for big women and the men who love them.
"People wonder how big people can have sex," Rounds says. "Well, we can, trust me. We know how."
Of course, Unreal knows they know how, and we've got the hate mail to prove it. (Truth be told, we were permanently scarred by the Midwest Chub Club in what we like to refer to as the Big Beautiful Brouhaha of '05.)
Anyhoo, Rounds wasn't always so accepting of her size, but after she divorced her first husband she got involved in the BBW online-chat community, through which she began meeting men who preferred women of (significant) substance. She also realized how inexperienced she was. "I was 35 and I had never received oral sex," Rounds says. "It fascinated me, of course." Soon she was having cybersex, and it wasn't long before her newfound cyberlovers encouraged her to share her writing with the world.
Rounds' stories feature heroines with wide, round bottoms and dimpled knees, men with pot bellies, and explicit sex. Compared to what you can get out there, Rounds says her stuff's of the "vanilla variety," i.e. nothing really kinky. ("After that, they lose the ice cream reference," Rounds explains. "You move on to the golden shower.")
She hopes her stories will help larger women embrace their size. "I wish more big girls would think that way," Rounds says. "The truth is, our world is getting bigger. So there are more fat girls that need to be loved."
In their former lives, greyhounds Inky and Julie were racers. Inky's career, which lasted two years, never quite took off, but Julie raced for four years, competing in about 200 races and finishing in the money in about half.
When their racing days were over, they were taken in by a greyhound-rescue group and adopted by Lee A. Presser and Polly Ellerman, a retired couple who live in Manchester. Unreal met them at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, where the dogs were, as usual, looking noble and attracting lots of attention.
These days I and J live the good life: Their living room is filled with toys, they eat special high-protein dog food, and every few months they go on long road trips. Lee and Polly give all the trips names. The first, taken before Julie joined the family, was "Inky and the Subaru Go West": Inky visited the Clinton Library in Arkansas and rode through Tombstone, Arizona ("He met cowboys!" Lee says), and Las Vegas, where Lee took his picture on the strip.
Inky's next trip was "Inky and the Subaru Go to Gettysburg," during which he participated in an annual greyhound get-together at the famed battlefield, then traveled on to Washington, D.C., where he had his picture taken with Illinois Congressman John Shimkus.
Since Lee and Polly adopted Julie, there have been two more trips. The first, "Inky and Julie Go to the End of the Road," was an excursion through Canada, the high point of which occurred at a big fair in a town called Happy Valley, where Inky and Julie got to meet Miss Newfoundland & Labrador and Miss Teen Newfoundland & Labrador.
At this point, Unreal can't help wondering whether the dogs actually care about seeing, say, the Golden Gate Bridge (as they did on their most recent trip, "Westward Ho!").
Polly concedes that the dogs appear to prefer the rest stops.
Lee, however, insists Inky and Julie enjoy seeing the world.
"I see Inky and Julie looking out the window all the time," he says. "Sometimes they're just staring out the back."
Chip Rowe, a 39-year-old former American Journalism Review scribe, has been dispensing advice for twelve years in Playboy magazine's "The Playboy Advisor." His column is one of the "most popular text feature(s)" in the magazine, according to a press release for Rowe's new compendium, Dear Playboy Advisor. The book reprints 800 questions and answers from the column, covering everything from lube jobs to blowjobs.
Unreal: Would you rather take advice from a Negro Leaguer, a Mexican or a gay man?
"Playboy Advisor" Chip Rowe: It depends on the topic, I guess. Do they all take questions about sex? What's interesting is that besides Dan Savage, most all of the advice columnists on sex are women.
Finish this sentence: Playboy's Advisor is to Penthouse's Forum as the New York Times is to...
Weekly World News. We often get people who confuse the "Forum," which is, of course, largely concocted sexual fantasies, with the "Advisor," which is, as far as I can tell, all real situations. People do try to pull fast ones on me. One guy claimed he had a threesome with this mother/daughter personal-training team at his gym. He wanted to know if I'd ever heard of that before, and I said, "Yeah, I've heard of that fantasy. I've seen that porn movie."
What's the best way to convince someone who's in the closet to come out? Perhaps threatening to take away his Hello Kitty backpack?
A gay man? Because most of the letters I get along those lines are guys who have had things placed in their anuses by a partner and wonder if that makes them gay. For instance a dildo, or a finger. Our response is always, "Being gay makes you gay." If you're not dreaming about a guy, you're not gay. Homosexuality in women is a whole 'nother animal. They're still trying to pin it down, biologically. But with men, if you show them gay pornography, they're gay. It's very simple.
Are you attracted to breast implants?
No, not at all. And I say that strongly, because we often get letters from wives saying, "My husband wants me to get them, and can you recommend a surgeon?" We can't recommend a surgeon, because you shouldn't get it. I can tell you based on the letters we get from male readers, they do not like breast implants. We always discourage women from getting breast jobs. I talked to the photographer, and 60 to 70 percent [of wannabe models] are just rejected because they got bad boob jobs. For the same reason, I don't recommend penis enlargements.
Somebody Buy My Crap
Item: Big Men's Clothes
Price: $5 to $40
Location: University City
Issue: October 22
Unreal: Why are you selling a big man's clothes?
Rose: They belonged to my son-in-law. These clothes are from when he was "in shape" and weighed around 300 pounds. He was around 500 pounds when he passed away last December.
"Hypertensive heart disease" is what they called it. He was a big, lovable guy rough and tough and a big ol' cream puff.
How did he dress?
Very nice. These are what I call "uptown" clothes. Tom sold furniture to school districts and he dressed like a million-dollar salesman. He had custom-made sharkskin and pinstripe suits, size 48 and 50 shorts and pants and XXX-large golf shirts. Everything has the dry-clean tag in them. He sent everything to the cleaners.
Gotten many calls?
A few. I had a mother bring her eighteen-year-old boy over. I've never seen a kid so large! He couldn't fit in them. It was sad.
Will you sell the clothes to just anybody?
I think anyone this big could use some nice clothes. I imagine a guy who's down on his luck and needs a suit to go to church. But if someone offers me a couple hundred bucks for everything, I don't care who he is. Pretty soon I'm going to just donate them to the Goodwill.
From time to time Unreal trolls the St. Louis Post-Dispatch classified section's "Bargain Box." We cannot guarantee any item remains available for purchase at press time.