I am constantly surprised when people say I write erotica! It continues to amaze me because I thought I was just writing about real life! I mean isn’t sex a part of real life?
So when I get labelled like this, it makes me wonder… Why is it so screwy to write about our sex lives?
As you probably know, I wrote a book called “Good Pussy Bad Pussy – Rachel’s Tale” in which I attempt to follow the beautiful and naive Rachel in her dangerous endeavor to be free, follow her heart and satisfy her pussy – all at the same time! When I was writing the book, I considered it to be literary fiction. And I still do.
However…after the book came out, I discovered something really interesting! I realized that many people were, and are, calling the book “erotica” or “erotic fiction” or “xxx-rated fiction”. And I found out that this is how many, or maybe most, people frame this book and the work I am doing. Which I find really interesting – mainly because as I said, I didn’t think of any of these things when I was actually writing “Good Pussy Bad Pussy”. I didn’t have any of these labels in my head. I just thought I was writing a book about a woman who was exploring life and relationships and her sexuality. And I was doing it because I find the subject fascinating and also because I feel that our sexuality is just a normal part of our everyday lives. So I didn’t put what I was writing into any special category.
But then I discovered that other people do – and I thought “What’s going on here? Why all the labels? As far as I am concerned, my book is literary fiction!”
Then something more happened: As part of my marketing plan to promote the book when it came out, I hired a tweet service to tweet about the book every day. Quite a few people responded to the tweets by saying “Good Pussy Bad Pussy” was the best book title ever! But then the tweet service suddenly said they’d been the victim of a vicious cyber attack on their site because of the book title and refused to tweet the book title anymore. And I thought “Wow! This is really amazing. Censorship of my book on social media because of the title!” And then I realized I should be proud because I had joined the illustrious group of writers like Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence whose groundbreaking works of literature had been banned!
So how did this matter end? Today the tweet service will only tweet about the book using an abbreviated title “GPBP – Rachel’s Tale”. When I told a friend that “Good Pussy Bad Pussy” had been censored to #GPBP, he said “I’m proud of you. It really takes some doing nowadays to have a work of literature censored.”
So what’s all the hullabaloo about anyway? When you think about it, not only is sex completely normal and natural, sex and our sexuality is probably the strongest human drive of all. So as far as I’m concerned, the real question is not whether or not what I write is so-called “erotica” but why we categorize and separate sex like we do from the rest of our lives? I recently read that Timothy Clark, curator at the British Museum Shunga exhibition, said in an interview about the museum’s latest exhibition of Japanese erotic art: “The division between art and obscene pornography is a Western concept. There was no sense in Japan that sex or sexual pleasure was sinful.” Now isn’t that interesting? Interesting to notice that not everyone in the world has the same belief systems about sex as so many of us have here in the West.
And yes, we certainly have a lot more sexual and artistic freedom here in the West than ever before. No doubt about that. And we should be eternally grateful for that. But obviously… we still have a long way to go…