Erotica and Erotic-Romance Writers
(A brief introduction)
Erotica-Romance has been a huge market for the last fifteen years. The popularity of kindle and other e-book readers has made it possible for people to enjoy these stories wherever they go. They can read whatever they want, wherever they want, without the stigma of being seen reading a “smutty” book or the embarrassment of buying one.
Erotica-Romance writers are usually women writing under a pen name or nom-de-plume. Many of these women also write “mainstream” literature under a different name and keep the two separate. Many write in other genres, maybe even children’s books, and can’t afford to have their names linked with the erotic genre. Some people do it to protect their careers, like teachers, etc. Some are just too embarrassed to let anyone know they write erotica.
A number of men assume a female pen name when writing Erotica and Erotic-Romance. The general theory being if a woman writes erotica and erotic-romance stories it is sexy, hot and romantic. If a man writes the same story, it is sordid porn and nobody will read it. There are a few exceptions and some brave men have quite a following in this market.
It is easy to assume that these female erotica writers are young and hot looking oversexed women who routinely wear sexy clothes and carry blindfolds or hand cuffs in their purses. The truth of the matter is that many of these are average women who have husbands and children, a job, a passion for writing and dozens of other normal social activities. They vary in age from mid-teens to late sixties and have vivid imaginations plus a strong desire for storytelling.
Erotic writing is tied to many genres like erotic horror, paranormal-erotica, fantasy erotica, literary erotica and erotic romance, just to name a few genres. These stories often have complex story lines and visually stunning scenes of intimacy. The demands for this kind of writing hone a writer’s skills and challenge their creativity. Originality and excellent writing is required these days. Sex alone will not carry a story and make it stand out in this crowded market.
Some story aspects are routinely frowned on by publishers and the general public because they are considered distasteful. Some examples are stories that involve rape and sex acts with animals (bestiality) or children in addition to masochism. Some publishers require authors to portray the use of condoms and safe sex in their manuscripts.
Sex is part of being human and plays an important role in our daily lives. We are titillated by it and curious. Well written erotica makes us feel something deep within ourselves. Something we can relate too, something we want and something we innately need to complete us and make us feel alive.
In my opinion good erotica does not use clichés and fancy names for body parts. It does not use impossible positions and commercial sex advertising jargon. Good erotica takes the natural attraction between people and allows the reader to experience it like they were there. The reader should feel the tension and the excitement as the story unfolds. The scenes should feel real, not always perfect. All your senses should be brought into play not just touch. The reader should use their imagination, influenced by the writer’s words, to bring them to the brink of excitement. You don’t just read good erotica, you feel it.
David Woolfall, Editorial Photographer and author of Kinky Books: Female Erotica Writers:
David Woolfall researched and interviewed many erotica writers and wrote an article on the subject states that, “In the past couple of decades the industry has “moved from being driven by men writing under female pseudonyms to a dominance by women authors.”
He goes on to say:
“Although many women are more open about their interest in reading and writing erotic fiction now than ever before, Woolfall said some stigma remains. Two of the women Woolfall photographed asked to have their faces obscured: One hadn’t told her father about her career, and the other said she wanted to hide her identity to protect her family.
One of the authors, Kay Jaybee, said when she discovered her love of writing erotic fiction, she wasn’t sure how people would react. “I was wary of being assumed to be a slut. Sadly, many people can't separate the art from the subject matter – but if I wrote murder mysteries, no one would assume I went round shooting people,” she wrote in the Independent. “So I largely write in secret and take a salacious pleasure from sitting in my favorite coffee shop, notebook in hand, writing down words I'd never ever say, about things I'd never do. Everyone just assumes I'm either studying, or planning a shopping list.”
Though the writers came to fiction for different reasons and write different genres within the erotica realm, Woolfall said many of the women he photographed are like Jaybee: essentially conservative, shy people quick to emphasize that their stories and characters are not based on their own lives or desires.
I interact daily with a lot of writers, many of whom write erotica and erotic-romance among other things. Never have any of these people shown me a side of them that would cause me to lose respect for them as people or artists. I hope this short piece broadens your understanding of erotica in general and erotica writer in particular.
Joe P. Attanasio
P.S. Any comments can be left here or on my Facebook page in the post that directed you here.