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Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I write about sex

I look harmless. Everyone who ‘knows’ me thinks I’m a good girl. When I showed my sister my tattoo, she said, “Is that real?”  So if my family or high school friends ask me what I write about, the last thing they expect to hear is trashy romance novels.
I grew up in a very conservative and fundamental family and community. My mom dragged me to church every Sunday, I went to youth group twice a week, and in high school I was known as a holy roller.  I wasn’t taught sex was bad. I wasn’t taught about sex at all. I had to learn on my own and that wasn’t always a pleasant experience.
My mom tried to protect me from all the ‘bad things’ in the world. She wouldn’t let me listen to rock and roll, and she got music banned from school buses. She wouldn’t let me eat sugared cereals. She wouldn’t let me watch R-rated movies. So when I went to college—500 miles away from home—I lived on Lucky Charms. It was the best food in the cafeteria.  My MP3 is loaded with classic rock: Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC (Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar on Me, oooo naughty), and all the stuff I wasn’t allowed to listen to in high school. I’ve seen more X-rated movies than I can remember.
I write about sex because it was denied to me when I was growing up. I wasn’t allowed to experience innocent adolescent exploration.  I didn’t have a playful, joyful sexual awakening.  Mine was filled with guilt and shame, and I had no one to talk to so I found refuge in romance books.
(/rant) If you want to protect your daughter from something, expose her to it, carefully and with guidance. Let her learn why you think it’s bad and then give her the tools to decide for herself if it really is bad.  My mom and my church never told me why I had to wait until marriage. They just told me what to believe, and I was too shy to ask questions. (/end rant)
I write about sex because I believe sex was created for us to enjoy. I didn’t learn how to enjoy it until I was in my 30s, so there’s a lot of pent-up pleasure inside of me eager for release.  But mostly I write about sex because it’s a lot of fun, and I’m good at it. Sex is a pleasure I was denied for far too long.  I no longer have guilt about pleasure, but that’s a subject for another day.

7 comments:

  1. Nice, I like your page and what you have to say. Now I need to read some of your chapters here. I am thinking about writing some sex/erotica, but can't decide, lol. Probably because I think, "What will my friends, co-workers, family and everyone else think of me?"

    You go girl and good luck with your writing.

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  2. @Jacque My friends and family would think I'm going straight to hell. That's why I use a pen name. I'm sure they'll find out someday, but for now I have a secret life.

    Good luck to you, too!

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  3. I wrote a novel about a serial killer who is a cannibalistic necrophiliac, from the first person perspective. Trust me when I say that I understand what you mean, and then some. I also understand that the world I created was fiction, and that people can write about things without it meaning they have or want to do those things. It is a release, writing horrific things, the same way that writing a really good sex scene is a release. It is all about fantasy, about escapism.

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  4. I'm terrified my parents will read this book and disown me.

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  5. @Spooky Sean I understand escapism. I saw a good quote on a bumper sticker: "Reality is for people who lack imagination." Imagination is my escape from reality, from judgment, and sometimes from plain old boredom. Writers choose to share their imagination with others and risk being judged for it, but if we don't share, we're not happy. I'm not anyway. I need an audience. My audience understands and that's why I write.

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  6. Okay, phew. I always jump "out of genre" as it were, you know, to talk to other kinds of writers, because I like all writers of any kind of genre. However, there is always that risk that someone might, I don't know, not get it, think I'm some kind of freak or something. I'm not, I'm incredibly, boringly normal.
    One of my favorite writers, Clive Barker, has a quote I enjoy.
    "Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work."
    I'm in a stable relationship with a woman I love, and I'm in a good place. I think that's the only way I was able to write this kind of a book. I think that if I wasn't in such a stable place, it would have been a little too much too take. There is a lot of really graphic stuff in it, and admittedly, I don't even know if I should cut some of it out, or what. I mean, I'm keeping a copy as is right now, just for me, but I don't know if I'll have to edit it down a whole lot or not. Who knows, I may just get annoyed, and self publish. I'll keep you posted, and look forward to reading some of your work.

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  7. Alice Cooper once said, "People think I'm a dark scary guy obsessed with death. I'm really a normal happy guy obsessed with cannibalism." You gotta watch out for those boring, normal people. ;)

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