Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Problem With Writing Erotica

This is the very HOT cover for my next short story - an erotic vignette about two people trapped in an elevator when the power goes out. It's quite steamy and explicit. So here's my problem: Do I offer a copy to my family? Do I tell my more conservative friends about it? Or do I only promote it among those I know are okay reading explicit materials?
Sure - I could have written it under a pseudonym, but my first two erotic stories, Desert of Desire and Kissing Cousins were released under my name, so why bother now? Would it behoove me to change that mid-stream?
Personally, I know many people who write erotic romance and I don't think any less of them. Only with family and close friends, it's like revealing something that should remain unknown, almost like opening your own bedroom door.
What do you think? Are you comfortable with reading love scenes written by someone close to you, or is that just too much information?


Cole said...

This is such an interesting subject to me, mainly because I've thought about it sooooo often! I don't have any issue with reading hot scenes and thinking highly of the person who writes it if I like it. I go and buy more books and not once have I ever thought... 'Man, if I met her I could never look her in the eye.' But family and such...? For some reason I'm not comfortable... maybe its the thought of them wondering... does she do that? and that? or how about that? Obviously a part of me logically says... 'Smile and let them wonder.' Problem is I'm finding out I'm a chicken. =) I'm writing under my real name and I do hope that someday I will be published and I truly will have this issue to deal with. =) Love the cover!


Lara Dien said...

Great cover -- who did it?

Obviously, I went the pen name route, although partly that was for marketing reasons. However, having a pen name means that I (the person everyone knows) is one step removed from the writer. One friend of mine (non-writer) who read an early draft of Fortuneteller at my request (I wanted a reader's input), said it was a little weird for her, knowing I'd written it.

Basically, I don't mind letting people know what I write -- they can think what they want. If they want to read it, they can ask me for the name/pen name. Honestly, I'd rather NOT know if my mom reads it, but other than that? (shrug)

And I probably wouldn't read anything my mom wrote -- but that's just me. Having read a couple of your stories, as well as some others (like Terry), it doesn't bother me -- but, I'm reading not only as a reader, but as a writer -- I don't automatically assume you've got some deeply held fantasy written out on the page, because I know better. Well, at least I know it's not necessarily the case LOL.


Dara Edmondson said...

Cole - LOL about the Smile and let them wonder! My mom has read some of my hotter stuff, but I must believe she hasn't shared it with my father.
I love the cover, too - thanks.
Lara - I told my kids they couldn't read my work until they are 30! But I hope they never read a sex scene I wrote. I totally couldn't handle reading something like that my mother wrote. Thankfully, my mom isn't a writer!

Terry Odell said...

I haven't written anything labeled 'erotica' but my sex scenes are certainly explicit. And it's funny -- when I tell people I've written 6 books, they say, "under what name?" as if it's understood I'd use a pen name. They ask before I tell them I write romance, too.

The lady at the post office bought my first short story, "Words" which is hardly erotica -- just a sensual vignette, with a 'love' theme, not 'sex' at all. When I came in the next time she said, "Well, I won't be thinking of your the same way ever again." But she's a great fan and has bought all my books and short stories.

As far as my sex scenes go, I have no problems with my family reading them. I don't think my dad or son do, simply because they regard the works as 'girly books', but my mother and daughters do. The sex bothers my daughters (who are both married) because they say I'm not supposed to know that stuff.

I think if I wrote true erotica, which I don't think I can, I might use a pen name, but I'd think about it. I've spent a lot of time trying to build name recognition. I don't think I could do it again. And I don't have the kind of job where I have to live a 'secret' life.

Macy O'Neal said...

OMG! What a hot cover!

Katie Reus said...

I'm definitely comfortable reading them from people I know, but maybe that's b/c I'm a writer or maybe it's just b/c I remove myself from thinking about the author specifically. I know that when I first started writing I was a little nervous about having my sex scenes critiqued, but I quickly got over it when my friends and CP's asked for more :) That being said, if I ever do publish true erotica, it will probably be under a pen name, but mainly for my mom's sake b/c I know it would bother her (seriously) :)

btw, LOVE the cover!!

Karl said...

Because of my "day job," which is in a conservative business in a conservative part of the state, I don't really want to explain it to co-workers and staff. If I'm ever "outed," I can give a long spiel about America's sexual dysfunction, no thanks to those bondage-and-buckle lovin' Puritans who founded the country and the bathroom trolls of the Christian Right. If conservative Christian politicians can behave badly, I should at least be able to write about it in explicit terms without their hypocritical censure.