Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mommy Porn - Redux


From the desk of a writer who did NOT hang naked from a chandelier last night after doing tequila body shots with the defensive line of the New England Patriots. Sorry.

My last blog was a rant about the pervasively stinking odor many continue to attach to the genre of books known formally as Erotic Romance. NOT, as I pointed out at length, Mommy Porn.  However, after reading comments, browsing discussions and wandering through the social media, I've realized that it's time to administer a polite bitch-slap to the other side of the aisle.  No, not the Republicans, although God knows they need it sometimes... this bitch-slap goes out to some of my peers. Read on and see why I might well be about to piss off a few people.

We loudly denounce the title of "Mommy Porn". And there are many sound reasons already mentioned for doing so. But in the midst of our emphatic protests, what do we continually see? A number of erotic romance writers publicizing and promoting their work by offering up salacious details about their own sex lives. By thrusting naked penises into our Facebook feeds (over coffee? Puhleeze. I check FB in the morning. I prefer a spoon in my coffee, thanks.) and by rehashing every little slurp, squeak and squish they experienced last night in bed.

I know I write fiction. If I talk about having twenty-seven orgasms in a row, most folks will raise an eyebrow and give me the "oh really? Yeah, sure, Sahara's yucking it up again" look. Rightfully so.  But what do people think of the author who discusses the intimate details of her sex life? The writer who apparently modeled her hero after her man, a gentleman possessed of assets that might well incur envy from an Arabian Stallion? Or the author who complains about male pubic hair getting caught in her teeth? That little gem being presented after delivering an intimate description of the oral sex she gave her husband the night before.

These are not meant to be humorous anecdotes - at least if they were, here's a hint. Epic fail, guys. I'm a private person by nature, and I tend to believe that what happens in the bedroom should damn well stay there. That's just me. If it WAS just me, you wouldn't be reading this blog because I don't really care what the hell you do in bed. BUT...and here's the big one... let's think about this situation from a new perspective.

Suppose you've never read an erotic romance. Suppose you're curious and you happen across an author who promotes herself as an erotic romance author. You check out her blog, her Facebook page and her website. And what on earth do you find?  You find pages of descriptions of her sex life and more than a few photos of nude guys who bear little resemblance to anyone you've ever met. Excerpts from her work that feature endless f**king. Apparently she and her heroine have a lot in common.

So you, the naively curious reader, are now gathering an impression here, from this writer's on-line promotion of herself and her work. And what impression do you think that is? Yeah. Oh GOD. This woman writes nothing but sex. She has nothing but sex. She wants to teach me how to suck off my husband and show me penises that aren't anything like his. Urp!

Okay...you do the math. Doesn't that kinda sound like porn to you? Especially if you're like the majority of regular folks, and only have a slight passing acquaintance with actual porn...if that!

I thought back to Lora Leigh's Reader Appreciation Weekend in Pittsburgh last fall. There were a couple of "incidents" involving an obviously conservative group which was meeting at the same hotel. It's not an unusual situation and many of us have come across it one time or another.  In this case, a woman with two children wouldn't enter an elevator with some of the authors. Her words to her kids were something along the lines of "Don't look at those women. They write filth." [Hearsay. I wasn't there at the time, thank heavens.]

It was very nasty, rude and inexcusable. But let's step back and put this comment next to the points made above. Has this woman ONLY seen the sex-crazed postings? Has she accidentally found the comments about how one erotic romance author can come from just having her nipples gnawed? Or her neck bitten while she's getting it up the ass? (Fictional comments, folks. But not that far off ones I've read myself, sadly!)

I will never understand people with such biases, but I am coming to realize that there might just be some excuse for their opinions. And some of US are perhaps a little bit responsible for fostering that dreaded "Mommy Porn" label. Does this make me a Victorian prude? Maybe. <shrug> Call me whatever you like, but I will not surrender my privacy, the details of my sex life, or get into any kind of intimately sexual discussion online. If you've got a new way of making a guy come, good for you. But keep it in places that are restricted. Not just by a "click if you're over 18" but by password protection. These days, it's not that difficult.

We are, first and foremost, writers. I plot, I plan, I craft my characters and my story with every bit of skill I have. As do most of my peers in this industry. We're proud of what we produce. But at the end of the day, I am still just a writer. I'm not a Sex Goddess, an expert on the forty-three variations of navel nibbling, or a woman with an entourage of well-hung pool-boys ready to satisfy my every whim. (Whim number one? Wash my car, FFS.) See? An ordinary woman. Pretending I'm not doesn't get me anywhere I want to be. Writing the best book I can and having fun with promoting it does. I wish those writers who apparently want folks to believe they LIVE their work would just CUT IT OUT!!!!

Thank you!!  And truly, no offense intended. Just my two cents...

Sahara

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