Dark Side of the Moon is my story about anal sex with an astronaut or, more specifically, about a couple in a failing marriage who try it *that* way for the first time. This story was inspired by, Astronaut, one of my favourite songs by the incredible Amanda Fucking Palmer. In the song is a line, “I want to touch the back of your right arm”. It’s a wonderfully concise, poignant expression of the pain of missing someone you love, when ordinary physical contact, those touches so integral to a relationship you hardly notice them at the time, has gone from your life. In AFP’s song, the astronaut’s remoteness seemed to me to function as a metaphor for the unbreachable distance that opens up in a struggling relationship. So I ran with that idea in my story.
Dark Side of the Moon has a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled it was selected for inclusion in Maxim Jakubowski’s Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 11.
I could see in his eyes that he had, and that he liked it. I’d touched no such thing and knew I’d never be able to fathom where he’d been and what he’d seen. Over time, a distance grew between us until Jackson, sitting next to me on the sofa, watching TV in his replica spacesuit, seemed further off from me than he had been when he was many thousands of miles away, hopping around on that big disc of cheese.
Locally, he was a hero. When he wore his spacesuit to the supermarket, kids followed him, asking how you go to the bathroom in space and whether he had any moon rock at home. But after a while, even they saw my spacesick Jackson as just an ordinary weirdo, the sort of washed-up dreamer you get in any small town. He must have looked the loneliest of souls, wandering around the freezer section with his empty wire basket, fish sticks and ice cream reflecting in his visor.
He rarely bought proper food unless I reminded him it was good to eat. Our garage was full of astronaut food, bulk-bought online, and with the help of Mike Herman from number 10, Jackson installed a roll-off-roof shed in our back yard and called it his observatory. While I slept, he shut himself away in there, gazing at the cosmos through an enormous telescope he’d nicknamed “Bettina”.
I wasn’t happy about this, obviously. Jackson might have touched the night, but he hadn’t touched me in months.
Dark Side of the Moon by Kristina Lloyd
Pegged by Alison Tyler
Night at the Rodeo by Jax Baynard
Power Play by Sophia Valenti
Sneaking in the Back Door by Sommer Marsden
“[F]ive beautiful, intelligently written stories…Dark Side of the Moon takes the concept of a lifelong partnership drifted apart and treats it with sensitivity, intelligence, and lots and lots of heart. Fans of hot sex scenes don’t fret though because where sweet and melancholy reign early on in the tale, the lack of steamy anally inspired sexiness is made up for by the end, I promise!”
“Character driven. Yes, not something you’d expect to read in a review about anal sex but yes, these are all very well-written stories that draw you in.”
“I’d like to give an example of the clever, delicious, funny, perfect writing Kristina Lloyd uses in Dark Side of the Moon but in the end, there are just too many to choose from. It’s a gorgeous story, funny and poignant, and full of domestic intimacy.”
Cover by Metal Taboo
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