Erotica Post Roundup Feb. 20, 2017

I actually posted some stories last week! In case you missed them, here’s a quick recap:

  • Monkey Mind (Meditation, masturbation, and an elusive orgasm)
  • Show Me (A naughty game of show-the-butthole in a grocery store)
  • College Try (Watching porn is a prelude to a threesome)
  • Consolation Prize (Cheering up a friend by letting him watch her have sex)

I also revived a long-abandoned story called On the Beach, which started as a request from my writing buddy Besos de Cuero and subsequently took on a life of its own. You can start from the beginning if you’re interested:

Or pick up with the latest episodes:

Chapters eleven and twelve are coming up soon, as well as some other short stories that I dragged out of the vault.

I also wrote a non-erotic post about the Metropolitan Museum as a source for public domain artwork — great for bloggers!

Finally, you can find a nice list of the erotic stories that I’ve posted on this blog, if you want more (ahem) reading material. Thanks for spending time with my writing (as well as all of the great feedback) and keep those kitten purring!

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First Sexy Books

My first experiences of sex were in the pages of books. I was an avid reader growing up and one day it dawned on me that not only could I find adventure and romance in books but there was sex too!

As a pubescent girl I read Erich Maria Remarque’s A Time to Love and a Time to Die. I’d checked it out from the library at my mother’s request. There was a love scene in it, and I clearly recall reading those pages over and over again. I was quite young, maybe twelve, and I was absolutely fascinated.

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I was also an avid reader of fantasy, and I read a collection of fantasy stories that included a story by Tam Lin. There was sex in the story. It wasn’t terribly explicit, but it was far sexier than anything I’d read up to that point. The line that sticks with me was “his strongest desire met her most secret spot – and entered”, or something similar. The language of 1980’s romance: cheesy, tasteful, and no ‘cocks’ or ‘cunts’ to be seen on the page. Despite the general lack of horny nouns, I hovered over that line intensely. I’d already discovered the joys of masturbation with a rabbit’s foot (I will tell you that story later if you care to hear it) and I definitely remember using these early sexual stories to get myself off.

In retrospect, I probably wasn’t very subtle about what I was doing with these books. I remember my mother questioning me about them at one point and I blushed from top to toe. She told me that I should only read books that made me “feel good”, which I thought implied that reading about sex should make me feel bad. Except that those books did make me feel good. Very good. They still do.

A few years later, I signed up for the Doubleday Book Club, which gave me access to my first non-fiction sex books. If you’re not familiar, these book clubs offered you several free hardcover books, and then you had to buy a certain number within a year. You also had to make sure to return the order form each month or they would send you that month’s pick automatically. Well, there was no age verification on the order form so I ordered the steamiest books in the catalog. Here are three that I remember the best:

  • The Joy of Sex. I loved the tastefully explicit sketches in this classic sexual manual.
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From the 1991 edition of The New Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort. This was the edition I remember, and I know all of these pictures as well as if I’d drawn them myself.
  • The Ultimate Sex Book by Anne Hooper had nude photos of attractive couples with no visible penetration. In any case it was a whole lotta sex at the time, very exciting.
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The Ultimate Sex Book by Anne Hooper.
  • My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday. This book shaped my sexual fantasies literally from the moment I started reading it to today. It introduced me to the idea that I could fantasize about anything and it was okay to have those thoughts. This helped free me from the idea that I should be ashamed of sex fantasy, and taught me that all of my fantasies were “appropriate” for a girl.
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This book taught me that it was okay to think dirty thoughts…

All of these books were smuggled into my house in a benign Doubleday Book Club box. I was able to get it up to my room without parental intervention. I was probably fifteen and this was before we had the internet. My smut books were my lifeline. They helped shape my fantasies and I learned a ton about the sexual experience, especially from the sexual instruction titles. I was already sexually active at that age, doing everything with my boyfriend except for penetration, and access to the books made me feel confident and knowledgeable.

What was your first sexy book?

Open Library

While researching a blog post I needed to be able to access content from inside of a book. It’s not at my local library (and that’s also a pain, I needed it for five minutes). I used to have a copy but mine was donated long ago in one of the Great Book Purges that happen periodically around here. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable downloading an illegal copy (although they were available). Google Books didn’t seem to have the look-inside-the-book feature enabled.

Introducing Open Library. This project primary aims at cataloging books, but it also operates as a digital library. You can check out books and read them online, or download them with Adobe Digital Editions. So I was able to sign up, check out the book I needed, and find the necessary passages in about five minutes. Exactly what I needed!

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Erotic Fiction Age Gate

Sex Libris. One of the funnier books in my collection.

I post stories on Wattpad. I mention in my bio that I write erotica and publish it on my blog. Recently I had a young woman message me that she wanted to read my blog. She admitted that she was fourteen.

I felt conflicted. When I was fourteen I was definitely reading stuff that was as “adult” as the stories on my blog. But it seemed really wrong for me to point her to my explicit writings. (Frankly, the story she’s reading on Wattpad isn’t too much less mature than anything I post on my blog, just maybe less blunt). I hemmed and hawed, and then got busy and forgot. Today I responded and said this:

I’m really not so sure about giving you a link to the blog b/c of your age. I think it’s okay for you to be intrigued and want to read smutty things (I did when I was your age) but I’m not sure I’m comfortable pointing them out to you.

At the beginning of most erotica ebooks and blogs there’s usually a disclaimer that says “Adults only 18+” or something. I have it in my books, too. It’s a holdover from porn, I think, a CYA disclaimer. I’m actually not sure why it started showing up in ebooks. I’ve checked in many mainstream-published erotica titles and there’s no “age gate” disclaimer. Because it’s silly. Also, any kid can walk into a Barnes & Noble and buy straight up erotica stories, or explicit romance, and no employee will stop them. There are no age checks on books, except for a handful of porny magazines (sales of which are usually governed by community standards). This includes the art books, and some of those photo books are very explicit.

I’m not so sure that we erotica authors should be perpetuating this 18+ book myth. Also, I think it’s good for young men and women to explore sex from the safety of a book. They’re going to explore it anyway and nobody ever got pregnant from a Maya Banks novel.

I don’t have an 18+ disclaimer on my blog. I do have an adult content warning. I obviously want people to know what my blog is about. I mention mature readers in the content warning, although I’m not sure what this means. I’m not sure that I’m really mature yet myself. 😉

I’m also super opposed to efforts to limit access to “objectionable” books from teens. I think this is a clear path to censorship and it’s dumb to think that teens are all innocent and we’re somehow protecting them. Sometimes school administrators have warped ideas of what’s appropriate.

When I was fourteen I was having daily naked oral sex sessions (both ways) with my boyfriend. I didn’t drink or smoke pot but most of my friends did. I went out of my way to find and read sexually explicit books and I was already writing sexy stories. These stories resonated with my experience of the world. I was already vibrating with an interest in sex, and stories about sex seemed to make sense to me. They let me explore what I was feeling without fear of pregnancy, STDs or being raped. They helped me learn who I was and figure out what the fuck all these hormone-driven feelings were all about.

I also managed to smuggle a copy of My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday into my bedroom at about this age. Holy shit did that book wake me up to my sexual fantasies! I really credit it with helping me sort myself out as a teen, and that book isn’t holding much back. In fact, the fantasy I posted the other night was inspired by a fantasy from that book. I guess what I’m saying is that erotic books were an important part of my teen experience and helped me immensely as I grew into my sexuality.

Because of that experience, I want teens to have access to explicit writing and the internet is a great place to get it. But when asked directly by a seemingly interested young person I felt very reluctant to provide access. I don’t know if this is right or wrong, I just know how I feel.

What do you think? Is erotic writing okay for teenagers?

UPDATE 10/14/2016:

A couple of responses from Twitter…

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Post Roundup: February 16, 2016

I haven’t posted much since the last roundup, but there were a few stories and musings if you missed them the first time:

And here are a few of my favorites that go further back:

If you’d like more of my smutty writing, I’ve got a whole page here:

3.5 Tips for the Neurotic Erotic Writer

1. Embrace Imperfection

I hate it when things aren’t perfect. It really bugs me. I like consistency and order, but writing erotica foils me at every turn. The words aren’t ever quite as good as I mean them to be. I tend to obsess about little things that don’t make a bit of difference in the end. What I’ve learned is that I need to ignore the little imperfections and focus on the big picture. A good story is more important than the perfect turn of phrase. A good character means more than pages of the best descriptions. Awesome dialogue moves the story further than the most spectacular detail. Publishing is never going to be a seamless process.

I have to keep reminding myself that everything that people do is an organic process, and perfection is found in the embrace of imperfection.

2. Enjoy the Silence

Writing is about silence. I’m referring to that still feeling after you’ve published a new story and the reviews, comments and stars never show up. As the author, I get very attached to my stories, but I constantly have to appreciate that I’m competing for the attention to readers with a lot of big players. Facebook and Twitter, TV and Netflix, games, movies, fantastic authors, having sex… There are so many things that my readers could find to do rather than read my imperfect smut.

The silence has taught me to pay attention to where my desire is drawn when I’m in the process of writing and posting. What I’ve noticed is that when I’m writing, I’m extremely happy. I’m lost in my story and at peace with the whole world. Everything seems perfect. When I’m refreshing the browser waiting for views, stars or retweets I feel needy, clingy and manic. I don’t like that feeling at all. So this tells me that I should focus more on writing and less on socializing. Tess Mackenzie might be on to something by not accepting comments on Lust Hurts.

I guess the lesson here is to focus on process more than output or acclaim.

3. Just Do It

It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when I start doing instead of thinking. When I get stuck, nothing solves this faster than simply pushing forward. When the writing feels like shit, just keep going. When the character’s not quite right, head’s down we’re movin’ on! And miraculously, progress is made. The scene that seemed impossible yesterday is suddenly clear. The chapter that was sticky is smooth in the next draft.

I’m a solver. I like to figure things out. This good quality can be a huge source of paralysis for me, and the only cure I’ve found is to jump in and just do it.

3.5 Masturbate

Ha. I’m not kidding. Masturbation.

I think we underestimate the power of masturbation as a therapeutic force. As an erotic writer, I actually masturbate less when I’m writing than in the normal course of things. It’s kind of like an exquisite form of edge play with myself. Also, there’s some incentive to keep the tension high. I find that I write better when I’m, um, horny than when I’m feeling relaxed and satisfied (I’m more likely to watch TV when I’m freshly unraveled). But I’ve noticed something else: masturbation helps me break writer’s block.

Next time you feel stuck, give yourself a quick orgasm (or talk someone into helping you). After the good stuff, force yourself to go back to writing again. Strangely, this trick seems especially successful in the middle of a sex scene. It’s like I come back to the story with a clear head and better judgment. I’m sure this trick isn’t reserved for writing erotica, but it seems especially well suited to our domain.