I’ve had some interesting conversations recently, many with people who weren’t previously aware that I write erotica. The response was overwhelmingly positive. People tend to be curious and kind of tickled. Plus, there are almost always questions.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Do you do that at home?
Don’t know – depends on what “that” is.
How hard is it to write?
As hard as anything else. Writing, regardless of what you write, takes a lot of work.
I like reading erotica because it’s about things I could never do. Do you write erotica so you can experience those things without feeling guilty for actually doing them?
I’ve only gotten that last question once, but it tripped me up. It was not asked in malice. In fact, the woman was very respectful. Her background dictated that sex, for reasons other than procreation, is a sin, and sins earn you guilt. That’s a fairly common belief so, rather than take offense, her question made me think.
I’m prone to many emotions, but guilt is not one of them. Love? Yes. Regret? Absolutely. I have a boxful of regrets that I am, nevertheless, grateful to have. Guilt, (at least in the traditional sense), plays little to no part in my emotional landscape.
For me, guilt hangs on an externally imposed moral framework – one that, in many ways, I don’t subscribe to. This is not to say that I’m amoral. Far from it. My moral compass is a weighty little thing – it’s just calibrated to my own standards rather than a governing body’s. I don’t believe pleasure is inherently wrong anymore than I believe it’s shameful to occasionally listen to Copacabana by Barry Manilow, (judge away, people. Judge away).
Many of my pleasures are quite mundane – reading, catnaps and drinking tea. Others are not. I love sex, and I love writing about it. That said, I also respect my responsibilities – to my characters, and my readers and the people with whom I have relationships in real life. That’s where my moral compass points – to responsibility, rather than guilt.
So, no, I don’t worry about guilt in the traditional sense, nor do I write erotica as a means of avoiding guilt while indulging my sexual interests. That said, if other people feel that erotica is an acceptable means of experimentation, I am thrilled. I am thrilled, because everyone’s moral compass is wired a little differently, and pleasure to some, is guilt to others. Though the woman’s question broke my heart a little, I am happy to be one of the people writing windows into forbidden rooms.