by Julian Keys
Nearly a decade ago I wrote a little, gay male story called Fancy Man and the Black Lion’s Mark. It was my ultimate odd-couple story: interracial, intergenerational, a big man and a small man, an experienced participant and one new to the experience. Also, to add even more spice: top and bottom, Dom and sub. It wasn’t the opposing extremes, however, that formed the challenge. The real challenge was making this hook-up between a young, black, aggressive dominant and a white, elderly and very shy submissive probable. I wanted, most especially, to believe that the young man would want to do this.
So was born Mason, the Fancy Man. A leatherman who thrives on bringing sexual fantasies to life. And, being an actor, doing so in some very inventive ways. All Leo, my shy, elderly gent had to do was give Mason an erotic daydream unique enough, challenging enough, creative enough and there’d be no stopping him. That Mason would do this for Leo wouldn’t merely be probable, but inevitable.
That, in fact, is just what happened. Leo handed Mason a fantasy he couldn’t resist, and Fancy Man and the Black Lion’s Mark took off from there. I still consider it one of the my very best stories. What I’m perhaps most proud of is how tender, how romantic and how very true it turned out to be. This, in fact, became the heart of all my Fancy Man tales: the message that within our fantasies, our cherished myths and even our biases there is a core truth. One we can discover if we’re brave enough to explore them. One that will transform us and make us the best “us” we can be.
Bringing out this truth is Mason’s real talent. He instinctively sees it in those he helps, and aims to make them see it, too. In-between, of course, he also gets to engage in plenty of BDSM foreplay and sex; he is, after all, a leatherman. But all that is part and parcel of these stories. It’s not just any fantasies, cherished myths and biases that lead to revelations, but ones that involve an adventure through pain, pleasure and fear, chills and thrills, until, at last, we reach our core destination and find… ourselves.
And the Fancy Man isn’t immune to this either. Being the fantasy, creating pain, pleasure and fear, chills and thrills, can also lead to revelations. As Mason has discovered time and again, often to his surprise and chagrin.
Which brings me, at last, to Leather Wishes, ForbiddenFiction’s anthology of all the Fancy Man Tales to date. What can I say? From Fancy Man and the Black Lion’s Mark written so many years ago to A Fancy Man Holiday released just last week, I always wished there would be such an anthology. From what I’ve been told, readers of these stories have long wished for the same. Come to that, it’s been a wish of the long-suffering and amazing editors/artists/publishers at ForbiddenFiction. The faith they had in me and in these stories, the extraordinary efforts they put into making the Fancy Man tales the best they could be would have done Mason proud.
All of which means, I guess, that life has mirrored fiction: with this anthology, FFP has brought a long-held fantasy to life.
So, on behalf of myself, ForbiddenFiction and, of course, Mason, I’d like to offer the following leather wish: May this anthology be as much a dream come true for you as it is for all of us. Or even, perhaps, a gift come true for someone special. May you find great pleasure in reading these stories, and new pleasures in every re-reading. Most of all, may this anthology fulfill and exceed every expectation you might have for it.
Mason, who always goes above and beyond in bringing fantasies to life, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy reading all,