“I will happily read everything he writes….. except perhaps erotic fiction” – Anonymous Family Friend
If you go to my about me page, you will see at the bottom that I intend to write erotic fiction in the near future. You will also see above that that I write literary stories along with parody and poetry. I’ll be honest, literary fiction is my first and most beloved interest. I wrote a novel that I intended to be highly literary. It turned out rather boring and poorly-written, and remains hidden from the public eye. I may one day manage to fix it, I did manage to get the first two chapters to an acceptable level.
So why erotic fiction? Well, why does anyone choose to work in the sex industry? They want the money and enjoy or at least don’t mind the sex. I am passionate about writing and sex, so why not merge the two?
Well, there is more than one reason to reconsider this path. It could harm my efforts as a writer of serious, literary fiction. For me this is the most important thing to consider. It’s hard to think of someone like J.R.R. Tolkien writing smut before Lord of The Rings. Then again, there are plenty of great writers that have highly sexual books – Nabokov, De Sade,Henry Miller, JG Ballard, to name a few. Of course, their books tended to offer a bit more than just sex, and I would feel a bit delusional and grandiose comparing myself to them. But sex is an important part of life, and therefore gets an important role in literature. And if publishers refuse my work solely on the grounds that I’m known for…mature writing, I can always publish serious stuff with a pen-name. Though I’d rather not, I enjoy writing in more than one genre. My failure of a novel had a few sex scenes in it anyway, so I can’t imagine it being too much of a disconnect to write both erotica and literary fiction.
Problem number two: Employment. Currently I have no job, and no desire to look for one. But times change. And I’m sure there are many corporate employers out there that would rather not hire me after reading some of my writing. Which is funny, because I list on my CV my experience boxing. Employers have no issue with the fact that I trained, got into the ring with and tried to repeatedly punch other people in the head and kidneys. That’s not quite a fair description of boxing, but it isn’t wrong either. Violence is just more acceptable than sex.
I am also a qualified football (soccer) coach, and used to coach children part-time and loved it, exhausting as it was. I’d like to do it again when I’m settled in the future, but I can imagine a few parents not being too happy about an erotic fiction writer coaching their children. I’d find it quite sad of course, I am qualified, have experience, have attended child-protection workshops, have first aid training,and don’t have a criminal record. If anyone out there is a threat to children, it’s more likely to be a guy who won’t admit his interest in sex – you know, maybe like one or two priests…
So why do it? Well, writing is a passion for me. However, I have to see it also a business. Sex sells. Erotica makes up a large chunk of sales on Amazon, the most popular self-publishing platform, and that’s even without including 50 Shades. When I was younger, my father would often tell me the story of the Moorish invasion of Spain. When they landed, their general ordered the ships burned. A few fires later and their options were victory or death. They won. I don’t think he told me that in hopes that one day I would write blog posts and short stories that could make me unemployable, but people don’t always take the message you want them too. Also, this isn’t quite that dramatic. There are still jobs I could get – for example I could pretend I was gay and work a sex chat line.
Part II will focus on the morality of erotic fiction, and whether this is something I would choose to do if I was already successful. See you next time.
Update – read part II here