Erotica writer Seelie Kay’s newest published short story collection starts innocently enough.
“Laura McClintock sighed as Carmen Marinaldo stalked toward the jury with the exquisite grace of a panther.” By sentence two, Kay hints a bit more at what her writing has to come: “The mass torts lawyer exuded power, sexual heat and passion. He held everyone in the courtroom in his thrall.”
Kay takes 13 pages to build to a graphic sex scene between the female law student and the male litigator—but not before the characters analyze merits in a class action case against a drug manufacturer, and discuss how their relationship might breach workplace sexual harassment policy.
Because how else would one write erotica for lawyers?
The scenario above kicks off Kay’s “Kinky Briefs, Too,” a collection of short stories about lawyers, judges and law students who end up in various states of undress after intense courtships, often in the courtroom.
The erotica publisher eXtasy Books Inc. published the second installment of Kinky Briefs as an e-book and in paperback in June after readers gave Kay positive feedback on her first short story collection about lawyers, “Kinky Briefs.”
Kay, a former lawyer and law firm staff member who does her own publicity, said that “Kinky Briefs, Thrice” will be published in September. She’s now working on “Kinky Briefs, Quatro.” Kay writes nearly every story from the female character’s perspective. The women range from law students to lawyers at large firms and even judges, all of whom find their suitors in an even wider range of men.
In “Kinky Briefs, Too,” the male love interests run law firms, but they also bartend or work as security guards. One is a Middle Eastern prince, who secures the rescue of a female litigator after she is mugged outside The Hague, Netherlands.
Kay often adds tinges of fantasy and romance about the practice of law itself. Some of the lawyers worry about cases, job prospects and the amount of hours they bill. All are accomplished and portrayed as being good at their chosen profession.
“Let’s face it, lawyers are quirky,” Kay said. “There’s such a broad range of personalities in the legal world. I’ve been lucky. I’ve met everybody from [late personal injury attorney] Melvin Belli to [former U.S. Supreme Court] Justice Potter Stewart,” the latter of whom is best remembered for his “I know it when I see it” categorization of obscenity.
In 15 pages or fewer, each of Kay’s stories develops the background of the female character and then describes her wanting something more, either professionally or personally. The stories often end with a passionate—and yes, X-rated—scene.
“Judging from what I’ve read lately, I feel like I’m way on the mild side. But I rate four flames” out of six by the publisher, Kay said. “Any time you’re bringing anything to it like handcuffs, it kicks you up a notch,” she added. Kay said she avoids writing about hard-core dominant-submissive relationships or sexual acts that include violence, because they can portray one character as relinquishing power to another.
In July, Kay published “The Garage Dweller,” a story about a lawyer and a police chief who work together—in more ways than one—after the lawyer finds a person living in her garage. The tale’s squatter aspect is based on Kay’s own bad experience with a trespasser in her home.
For the “Kinky Briefs” series, Kay has also drawn on own life experiences. She once practiced as a lawyer at a large firm in Milwaukee, and then began to work in legal marketing. (Seelie Kay is a pseudonym; the 60-year-old writer is indeed licensed under her maiden name, but has resigned from the bar in Wisconsin. She asked that we keep her real name anonymous to not draw attention to her family.)
About 15 years ago, Kay experienced sudden and paralyzing effects from multiple sclerosis. She struggled with the effects of the disease and was in recovery from surgeries for years.
“I spent five years walking around in a cloud,” she said. “One day I woke up and said, ‘I think I’ve had enough and it’s time to have a little fun.’”
During an evening with friends about a year or two ago, Kay mentioned that she wanted to try writing stories like the bestseller “50 Shades of Grey,” but about lawyers. “They said, ‘You’re never ever going to do that,’” Kay recalled. “I’m not known as a wild and crazy woman.”
Kay did research, speaking with people involved in various kink lifestyles. Then she wrote her first short story in the erotica genre. And don’t confuse this with porn, said Kay, noting that her stories all involve romance.
“I always wanted to do lawyer fiction, but I wanted to do something that’s a little more interesting,” Kay said. “I didn’t want to do something about trials, or a John Grisham-style book. I try to write with a little humor, and add a little spice to it.”
Once Kay had written 10 short stories, she tried to find a publisher. Offers came in, and she went with eXtasy in the fall of last year. Kay said she plans to continue writing so she can explore her characters more deeply, perhaps even basing new books around older characters.
Kay has become part of a growing online community of erotica writers, many of whom still make her blush when she reads their work, she said. Her reading audience, however, is still developing.
“Kinky Briefs, Too” currently cracks into the top 50,000 books under BDSM erotica on Amazon.com, but not by much. On Goodreads.com, an active social networking site for readers of all genres, she has received only three ratings, though they’re all five stars.
Lawyers, business people and even a grandmother have told Kay that they enjoyed her stories.
“She told me she didn’t know what to expect, but her son had said she should read it,” Kay said of the grandmother. “Then she giggled, then she laughed, then she blushed.”
So far, her online readers have agreed. One reviewer who gave her five stars on Amazon said that Kay’s books remind him of the former television show “Boston Legal.” Another reviewer applauded her understanding of the world of lawyers.
“Seelie, Wow!” wrote a third reviewer on Amazon. “This author knows how to turn up the heat. I will never look at law the same way again.”
Katelyn Polantz is based in Washington, D.C., and writes about government and the business of law. She can be reached at email@example.com. On Twitter: @kpolantz