There is something about a work of erotica that engenders a curiosity that isn’t found in all genres of fiction. That curiousness comes down to two questions- how much sex is in this book, and how far does that sex go?
For most, that first dip into a recognisably erotic book will always be accompanied by that little nerved bunch of anticipation in the pit of the stomach, as the eyes and fingers stray over passages of written sexual fantasy. For many, as it was for me at the tender age of 16 when I snuck my parent’s copy of Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus (1979) off the bookshelf, it is the first time they’ve seen words they were almost too embarrassed to even think, written down.
As an incredibly shy introverted teenager, with few friends, and a frighteningly candy floss style hair-do, I found an escape in the words of Nin that I had never expected to find, and that I didn’t fully understand until I was a great deal older. Not that I didn’t comprehend what I was reading- of course I did. I was shy, but far from naïve. But I was in my thirty’s before I saw how important her writing was, and how the way it moved people wasn’t just satisfying in a solo pleasure kind of a way, but also empowering.
Her words came wrapped in emotion. There was an undercurrent of mental connections between her characters; and it was those personal echoes of inter-connecting cerebral desire that came back to me many years later when I began to pen erotica for myself.
In this day and age I am delighted to report that, for most readers at least, the storyline has become as important as the levels of kink to be found within its plot, and although there are notable (and obvious) exceptions, erotica is better written now that it has been for a very long time.
Since writing my first story, I’ve read a great deal of erotica- some purely for pleasure, and some for the purposes of review. Novels, short stories, novellas, and flash fiction collections, have all come my way. I have to confess though; I am a tough audience, especially now I know just how difficult it is to get out there into book world. A story that is badly edited, or doesn’t grab me in the first paragraph, is never going to cut it.
Every time I read anything, I learn more- sometimes what could be done to improve my own work- sometimes what to avoid like the plague! I do wonder however, what my work would be like now if I’d never crept into my parents study in my formative adolescent years and peeped into a copy of Delta of Venus – Ms Nin- I owe you one!
Happy reading everyone,