Tuesday, 31 May 2011

So how'd you get into writing erotica?

Way back when, I was going to college and working as a security guard (a lousy one) on a midnight shift. I was at a truck rental outfit and found a bunch of porn novels. In the back of one was a "can you write this" ad, and I thought, hell, who couldn't. So I sent away a chapter on a floppy disk, and next thing I knew I was writing 3 novellas a month for an outfit which sold them by mail order and in Times Square adult book stores. It wasn't a living, but the extra cash was sure nice.

The internet kind of killed that business. For a while, I wrote short stories for any magazine that would buy them, including Penthouse. Yes, sorry to disillusion you, but those letters to Penthouse aren't real. I should know. I wrote a number of them. I discovered some adult book publishers still in operation in the UK. Oddly, or maybe not given the UKs history of corporal punishment in schools, they were all into BDSM in one form or another. I sold novels to Virgin (Nexus), Olympia Press, Silver Moon, and Chimera. Then they all sort of dried up and I wound up selling my first ebooks through BDSMbooks.com. All the while holding down real jobs, of course, to supplement my income. Or maybe it was the other way around. Until lately, my jobs earned more than my writing but with erotica/porn going more mainstream and being sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other sites, with generous returns (70% at Amazon) that has reversed and I now earn considerably more from writing than from my job. Let the good times roll, and continue. :-)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Why women read erotica

Most of the people who buy erotic pictures and videos are men. Most of the people who buy erotic novels are women. Men are very visual, while women seem to have the need to incorporate more emotion into their stories, if not romance, then at least, the psychology of what the people involved are thinking and feeling. A female friend said to me the other day "I don't get why any woman would want to read that stuff. I can HAVE sex if I want to. I don't need to read about it." Which is good for her, of course, but not all women are so lucky. What I said to her was that while I don't know her sexual fantasies, many, if not most people have sexual fantasies which they have no hope of ever bringing to life. Whether it's an orgy, or having sex with a room full of bikers, or being a slave to a handsome Arab or Spanish man, or woman, most people lead rather mundane lives. They have active fantasies, but they know that, due to their own fears, their families, the pressures of society and it's taboos, they will never really get to carry them out. If you're a relatively conservative woman married to the same sort of guy, leading very vanilla lives, you're just not going to be involved in a wild sexual incident where you, for example, become a temporary stripper and perform lap dances  and have sex with strangers. Nor would you want to. Not really. Any more than you want to be raped. But the fantasy is not the reality, and a lot of women like to indulge these fantasies vicariously through the female characters in erotic novels.

The book I'm finishing now features a woman who works in a high pressure job in a bank, and just chucks it all, trades in her car for a Harley Davidson, and rides away, winding up in a biker bar as a semi-unwilling stripper having sex with people right out in the open in the bar. My previous book was of a woman who gets a contract to catalog and sort the books in a wealthy man's new castle, and of course, winds up in a BDSM relationship with him. Before that, was a woman just about to turn 30, realizing she'd done nothing exciting in her life. She goes to Rio, and winds up in a BDSM relationship with a handsome Spanish millionaire. Before that was a young woman who wound up in a torrid BDSM affair with her aunt's new husband. And before that was a young archeology student who gets lost in Africa, and enslaved by an Ethiopian tribe. These are all fantasies which women would probably not want to experience in in reality. But in the safer realm of written fiction, anything goes.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Why is BDSM popular?

BDSM is about domination, submission, about men being big, conquering men and women being, well, obedient sexual playthings. Of course, men today aren't allowed to be big conquering men, and women most assuredly aren't allowed, at least by our culture, to be submissive and obedient anything. But some men fantasize about just taking a woman and having her do their sexual bidding, and some women fantasize about being dominated, being overcome, being forced.  That's why people buy my books. We're locked into cultural practices, both men and women, which don't allow us to live the kinds of thoughts and fantasies which regularly occur to us, and so my books are fantasies wherein people get to imagine themselves in much more detail, experiencing the kind of 'forbidden' sexual behavior they're not allowed to really do in reality. Now some will say, oh of course we can! Well, maybe. I think many couples play around with pretend bondage, a little light spanking. But going beyond that requires both partners be into the same sort of fantasy, and that's more rare than you might expect given how reluctant people are to confess such thoughts. Women, in particular, are unlikely to tell a date or new boyfriend about deep, dark thoughts of being a submissive sex slave. Even men might find their girlfriend shrinking in alarm if they confessed such a fantasy. So it often goes unfulfilled. Well, that's what books are for, to vicariously enjoy the kind of outrageous things we daren't do in life.