Awesome erotica for awesome adults only
There was a time when calling someone a smut peddler was an insult. Nowadays I see people proudly proclaiming their smut peddling skills and other people actively seeking out smut.
I think that’s a good thing.
Although, I do have to take a bit of offense at the idea that smut is somehow less important than so-called “main-stream” works. It’s as if a story that’s either about sex or contains sex takes less effort to create than a book or a story without sex. Sure, a good sexy story should cause different sensations running down your body than, say, a good horror story, but that doesn’t mean the sex story was easier to put together.
I started writing erotica, or smut, or porn, or whatever you choose to call it, early last year. I found it fun. It was an interesting departure from writing regular fiction and some people really enjoyed it. I think that’s a great thing. You should enjoy your smut. I know. I know. Total bfo.
Late last year I fell in with a small writing group that expanded quickly to a much larger writing group. I’ve posted a few times (especially this week) about Kinklectic and their various wheelings and dealings. I think I’m the only man in the group, but I may be wrong about that. If I am wrong, please accept my apologies. At any rate, I’m working with a group of very talented women who are bending the rules about what constitutes a good story and reading their work and listening to them has been a great mind-expanding experience. It’s almost like interning with the pros.
Getting a chance to work with them has kind of expanded my thinking about what constitutes good erotica and taught me to, hopefully at least, write better. Sure, it’s still technically smut, but I like to think I’m putting out better quality smut.
Which leads me to this article. It’s about one of the earlier guys writing erotica way back when you couldn’t just load it up on your Kindle and get turned on while riding the bus to work. Most of the work this guy turned out had covers like you see above and, even in this enlightened day and age, you’d probably get some strange looks reading it. Soldier of Fortune magazine is okay, consenting adults getting tied up and having a good time is apparently not okay. Unless its 50 Shades. And even then you’d still get some raised eyebrows from people who seriously need to learn to mind their own business.
John Cleve, one of Andrew Offutt’s many aliases, wrote a lot of stories about light bondage and sex (they’re not on Kindle, I already checked) on a typewriter at a time when he still had to submit them to a publisher and people could only buy them from the back rooms of sex shops. Now you can write something up, publish it on Amazon, and reach a huge audience.
Well, other people. Not necessarily me, but that will change.
As a culture, then, I think it’s safe to assume we’ve progressed a bit in removing some of our Puritanical hangups and replacing them with healthier ideas that sex can and should be fun stuff. And I think it’s incredibly cool that a talented group of erotica authors are driving it.
The one and only problem I had with the article about John Cleve is something I tend to see fairly frequently when the mainstream press covers erotic authors, especially those that dabble in BDSM, is these articles always have that little section in them that tries to say – however quietly – that there was something wrong with the author. It’s almost as if people can’t quite grasp how anyone would want to actually, you know, write this stuff.
They’re more than happy to buy it, though. And they’re quite content to curl up under the covers and read our naughty thoughts about spankings and sex with vampires and cages and Mrs. Claus’s secret dominant side. They’ll never admit how their fingers work magic when they’re all alone and the action in the story gets intense.
I say we’re not writing erotica because there’s something wrong with us. I say we’re writing erotica because there’s something right with us. We’ve seen through the lie that sex is sinful and something to be ashamed of; we’ve seen the truth that sex should be fun and crazy and exciting and if furniture gets broken in the process, well, that’s just something that happens sometimes.
I say erotica isn’t easy to write, leastwise not any easier than any other kind of fiction. There’s a talented group of people out there working their butts off to come up with some clever stories. There was a time when science fiction was considered a lesser genre and now it’s considered literary. Whether or not erotica will ever reach that level will only be determined by history, but it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibilities.
The erotica field may be largely women writing sexy stories for other women, but I’ve found them educational and inclusive. There aren’t a whole heck of a lot of male erotica authors out there, but I like to think there will be more at some point and I seriously hope they’re as inclusive as the women have been.
So, consider this a shout-out to everyone who writes erotica of all forms and those people will readily admit to enjoying reading it. Thank you all. You’ve been wonderfully fun teachers.
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