When people ask me what I write, I usually just tell them I write erotica.
This could, I suppose, be misleading — depending on what the listener thinks erotica is. It might even turn some people off. However, although my erotica tends to be plot heavy and could often be categorized as something else, claiming it as erotica is the clearest way to let readers know that the people in my stories are almost always going to have sex.
I like writing about sex.
I also like writing about true and everlasting love, but the characters I write about tend to think that true and everlasting love doesn’t happen without a really steamy sex life, so the romance I write is erotic too.
I particularly like writing about women who like having sex (and men, but that rarely seems to be as much of a literary issue.)
This became an issue a few months ago when I started working on a series of erotic fairy tales with a kinky twist (a project I hope to soon be able to tell you about in more detail.) A lot of the obvious kinky interpretations of common fairy tales came with implications of force and lack of consent, but I wanted to write stories where the participants’ sexuality – no matter how “deviant” – came from a place of enthusiasm and joy.
For example, erotic retellings of Sleeping Beauty frequently open with what amounts to a rape – the prince having his way with Beauty’s unconscious body – but while I’ve read several incredibly hot versions of the story that I’ve loved, they weren’t what I wanted to write. I wanted to write sexy, kinky fairy tales with characters who were choosing to express their sexuality in edgy ways – not being forced. It might not always be easy for them to get what they desired, but I didn’t want anyone to read the stories and not be absolutely certain that the characters wanted to be there.
That’s probably because of my day job.
I’m a sex-positive sex educator. I spend most of my time encouraging people to make informed, and hopefully enthusiastic, choices about sexual expression. I don’t always stay true to those ideals in my fiction, and I have quite enjoyed reading many stories that don’t, but in this case I simply couldn’t help myself. I wanted everyone in my stories to be having a good old time.
Fortunately, the characters didn’t seem to mind.
Amusingly, my work caused a second problem while I was writing those stories. Do you have any idea how difficult it was to come up with fairy-tale appropriate lubricant?