I had a week to kill before my winter quarter began and I was hankering to write something interactive. Fortunately, catacalypto made this thing called Space Fucking Jam. Sounded like an opportunity to make some space smut. Encyclopedia Fuckme and the Case of the Vanishing Entrée (IFDB), by Anna Anthropy, is one of my favorite Twine stories and a big influence on Captain Connie’s Ejactor Seat (IFDB).
I began with word vomit in search of a concept that mostly produced sex puns:
floating blow job
Or silly position names:
reverse moon landing
missionary to Mars
I eventually devised a game of “strip hangman” that you would play with the captain. Guess a correct letter, she takes off a piece of her space suit. Guess incorrectly, you take off part of yours. Get naked first and she jettisons you into deep space. Get her naked first and proceed to the next round.
This sequence was to be the first of three (because I always dream too big). The second would have been a lot like the completed game. The third would have been full-on interactive sexy time with the captain. I also wanted to implement selectable junk (penis/vagina) for the player. It dawned on me after about a day that I couldn’t do all of that or even most of it. The hangman game alone would have been a pain to implement (for me, anyway) and the third section was a half-idea at best.
I scaled it way down. Trapped the reader in a chair. Settled on a female POV (albeit a blank slate). More on that later.
I wrote several drafts of the story’s full text in MS Word before opening Twine, which I haven’t done since the first thing I made in Twine. After half a dozen games, I’ve concluded that I don’t actually see story structure in Twine’s node map, just nodes. And I did decide that this project would really be more story than game. The only significant branching leads to failures which can easily be avoided and just as easily undone. I wanted readers to feel trapped.
Once the text was in Twine, I did another rewrite. I may gripe about the node map, but I love writing for Twine. In particular, I enjoy the natural emphasis that links give to words, sort of like bold letters in a comic book. Once the story was more or less structurally in the can, two challenges ate up most of my time: verbiage and point of view.
Some things that are pleasurable in real life look atrocious in print. Anything involving the word “scrotum,” for example. I didn’t fare much better with “labia” in this story, and the minute I typed “the front wall of your vagina,” I immediately deleted it. It didn’t read. I also overused certain phrases, especially “her fingers inside you,” which probably appeared four times in the first draft. I eased up on detailed descriptions and put my faith in readers to fill in the blanks with their own dirty imaginations. The story also turned out funnier that I had planned, but of course sex is funny. Squishy sounds. Fumbled dirty-talk Broken furniture. I let it happen.
This story has a lot to do with how it’s hero’s vagina feels, and since I don’t have one, imposter syndrome kicked in a little bit. I didn’t want readers to feel the male author leering over their shoulders at his own lesbian porn, and I tried to “edit myself out” wherever I could. There were some obvious cuts, like a line about “a barber spreading hot shaving cream on your neck” which nevertheless made it to the third draft. There were subtler things, too, turns of phrase that I worried felt like lesbian porn for straight dudes. I also wonder if my pseudonym (“Roxy Moskowitz”) is more disingenuous than fun because it obscures my maleness. Maybe I’m overthinking. Maybe not.
I tried to avoid sex scene clichés but must confess that some toe-curling and back-arching made it in anyway. Forgive me.
In hindsight, some real branching would have been appropriate at the end. The story may be a submissive fantasy, but it’s also about a captive overcoming her captor, and end-altering choices (deciding Connie’s fate, perhaps) might have made the shift in power more compelling. I might revise the end and re-release. Thanks, HanonO, for planting the seed.
Ultimately, what was supposed to be a quick and dirty project turned out to be a pretty deep dive, and I’m happy with the result.
You can read Captain Connie’s Ejactor Seat on itch.io. It’s free, so you don’t even have to blow your wad! But seriously: I hope you people like sex games as much as you like sex jokes. Don’t send me home high and dry.