This is going to be one of those posts where I’m going to say some things, and some comments are gonna use “rude language”, so you know what that means: you wanna read, enjoy yourself. If not, best to back out now–or, if you like, Amanda LaPergola made some really cool Valentine’s Day cards over at The Mary Sue. Check them out: maybe you can use them next year. I highly recommend the Starfire card.
That said, onward.
Driving home from The Undisclosed Location was pretty nice yesterday. Good weather, the traffic wasn’t that bad, and I had some tunes to keep me occupied. I got home, decompressed a bit, then went up to the computer.
One of the things I wanted to check on was something that’s been in the planning for a while: an interview I was going to do this weekend for an internet radio station. It was planned for Sunday; notice I used the word “planned”. That’s because once I logged in and started checking things, I found a message. Rather than give you a short version said message, I’ll just cut and paste the sucker:
Raymond you seem like a nice person but I can’t interview you on your book. Because it is porn and I have a lot of kids listening and emailing me questions. Sorry , take care !
Now, I’ll say, I’m a bit confused. One, I thought we were going to discuss my story Kuntilanak, which you can still buy. (Yes, it’s a blog whore; I do that, you know.) Now, that’s a horror story that takes place on the island of Bali, so if that’s what they’re talking about, I’m even more confused.
Here’s something you should know about me: I write in a lot of different genres. I write horror, as you see above. I write a bit of fantasy, which was pretty much what my NaNo Novel was. I write science fiction, which is what my first work in progress novel, Transporting, is. And, lastly, I write erotica. which is the genre of my soon-to-be published story.
Sometimes I mash things up. My NaNo Novel, Her Demonic Majesty, is pretty much fantasy/science fiction. My latest story, Couples Dance, is erotic horror, or horrific erotica, if you are of that mind. It doesn’t matter: I start putting words into the computer, and a story comes out, and I strive to make it the best I can, even if it’s, by some accounts, pretty strange.
There’s one thing I don’t write, however:
I. Don’t. Write. Porn.
I’ve had this slam thrown my way a couple of times, and I’ve seen it shot in the direction of some other writers I know who are in the erotica business. It appears that if you write stories about people involved in relationships that involve sex that doesn’t involve procreation, one where those involved appear to enjoy what they’re doing–hell, even having fun while they’re getting their freak out–then it’s wrong, then it’s dirty . . . then it’s porn.
Ah, hem. Porn? Sit down for a moment while I school your ass.
Dan Fielding, the Assistant D. A. from Night Court, long ago established the criteria between erotica and porn. As stated when asked his opinion about an adult movie, “It isn’t any good: it’s got a story.” Not to elaborate, but porn is about getting off. It’s about getting two, or more, people together, getting it on, and getting the money shot. You don’t need to worry about characterization: like in Logjammin’, when the hunky blond repairman with his open shirt is standing at the door, and said door is opened by Asia Carrera, you know Asia isn’t getting her cable fixed in the next ten minutes, Jeffery.
When you’re looking for porn, titles are easy: Spank Happy Coeds 6; Big Bountiful Bucks 12; Horny Housewives of Moaning County. Or, just for fun, they’ll play on the classics, just to keep it interesting. You know, like Saving Ryan’s Privates, or ET: The Extra Testicle, or one of my favorites, On Golden Blond.
The end result is still the same, however: something simple to give you the necessary titillation to make said “story” a worthwhile addition to your spank bank.
If I was really writing porn, I’d be doing my damnest to get it out there on the porn market . . . except I don’t think you really “write” porn, not these days. I knew a guy who used to edit porn tapes, and he said scripts were never used, just outlines. I mean, really: do you need a script direction to tell the director that in this next shot Bunny is going to get a facial in close up? No, I’m guessing porn scripts are a lot like giving direction to Robin Williams: you just say, “There’s fucking here,” thrown in some names, and go with the flow.
Erotica is way, way different. It’s an art form, and there are characters, there is a plot, there is a story. In erotica there are going to be sexual situations–notice I didn’t say “sex”. Like any genre there are numerous sub-genres, and you could easily be writing a story about someone who is training a submissive, and while what both dom and sub go through is a sexual situation, and can make for a very interesting story, there may not be any “sex” in the whole story–at least not in what some people would consider the traditional sense.
Let’s face it: people are hung up on sex. A lot of people can’t get over the idea that sex is suppose to be fun. You can use your imagination and share with others. You can try things that don’t involve laying in bed and doing the ol’ Missionary Bump and Pump so the “happy” couple can fertilize an ovum. Erotica can be about exploration, it can be about discovery–it can even be about finding out that you’re not the person you thought you were, you’re really someone else, and your sexual awakening has set you upon another path.
Oh, sure: it can be about getting off. Not going to lie. But said getting off is usually done not only in the context of story, but in the context of the characters gaining something from the experience. With porn, when it’s all over, all the characters have usually gained are sore genitals. In erotica, you find out that you may love someone, or hate them, or you want to be with them, but only to control or be controlled. You may find out that after twenty years of marriage to the same person, what you really needed to spice up your relationship was to invite the bisexual neighbor over more often.
It’s all about the story. And, yes: some stories will be better than others. Some will titillate more than others, or describe the sexual situations better, or even convey a sense of sensuality in terms that are far more interesting. Hey, it’s like that in every genre. On one hand you have Hunter S. Thompson, on the other Glen Beck. Their books discuss politics and current affairs, but one was a master of storytelling, and the other is a scumbag who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him on the balls. Writers be writers, and some times you get the bad with the good.
I know a few writers of erotica. They are female and male; single and married; straight and gay. They all love to write, and they love what they do as much as any writer can enjoy sitting down before a story and tearing out their guts with the intention of entertaining other people.
And not one of them writes porn.
They create stories.
I’m not ashamed of what I write. My name is on my stories, and if one of those stories should start out with a husband walking into the bedroom and finding his wife hard at work masturbating with a dildo, and he decides to join in the fun, then hell yeah, I’m still putting my name on it because I wrote it, and I liked writing it, and I want you to like reading it. In fact, you’ve just seen the opening scene to Couples Dance. Hope I didn’t give too much away . . .
Just know: there is more to that story than just getting one’s freak on. But you have to read it to find out what is happening–and if you think you can’t enjoy it because you can’t get past the idea of what happens in the first scene, pity to you, my friend. You’re missing out on what I think is a very good story.
Like I said to myself last night, it’s not my problem that I’m not getting interviewed: it’s your problem that you’re not getting the chance to have a charming, witty, intelligent, and a little crazy, writer on your broadcast.
Your loss, my friend. It’ll never be mine.