Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sensitive Smut

A new blog! Thanks, Candace and Annabel, for inviting me along.

If writers are strange creatures (and I think we are), erotica writers are stranger still. Anyone who writes fiction extracts inward experiences and lays them out in patterns, exposing their own innards in the process. Writing erotica means exposing particularly raunchy layers of the cerebellum. It means bringing out stuff that’s been collecting in folds and crevices, its tantalizing glimmers well hidden. We shake it out, examine it, find its truth. Tuck away the truly tawdry bits. And then see if what remains might make a good story.

I’ve always been surprised by the detailed level of kink that seems to be shared across the bdsm spectrum. So many themes, desires, roles, beliefs, attitudes, practices and gear are common enough that they become iconic. When cartoonists want to make bdsm jokes, out come the whips, the corsets and black leather. Check out a kinky equipment store and that’s actually a good percentage of what they sell. Oddly enough, there’s a bdsm mainstream – a nice St. Andrew’s cross whipping at a safe, sane and consensual play party.

But there are a million ramifications to bdsm. Diversity abounds. Cultures vary. And there’s a lot that is intensely personal. So readers who enter the writer’s imagination may find themselves in a very strange place indeed. Will it fit with their own inner lurkings? Will it take them somewhere new, somewhere they want to go? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

For myself, turning that material outward for the first time was an interesting experience. Not only was I confessing to weird kinks, but finding that some readers didn’t get off on them! Oh, no! That great leap from silence to blatant shared sexuality was riskier than I’d thought.

But I’ve also found readers who are with me for all or at least part of the journey, readers who dwell for a while in the world I’ve created, and let me mess with the furniture in their heads. A strange and wonderful form of communication, in a world where telepathy is in short supply.

3 comments:

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