Jan 012007

It’s a paradox, but what works for having sex often doesn’t work for writing about it. Sex is something you can do a lot before it gets old. When sex between two people dies, it’s almost always because of emotional issues rather than boredom with the actual sex. After years of getting blow jobs, I am always game for another one. Erotica, however — oh, my Goddess, can that get old fast. I will pluck out my eyes before I force myself to read another BDSM story set in a chateau.

Clichés abound in erotica, because clichés exist in our sex drives. I want to fuck a hot slave who wears only a collar and wrist restraints, but reading about same sex act holds no appeal for me. I want my wife to suck me off before I go to sleep, but I have no interest at all in reading about happy married vanilla sex. And yes, maybe I do want to fuck the cute delivery girl in exchange for free pizza, but how many of you would start giggling as soon as you realized a sex story was about that tired old cliché? What is good to masturbate to in your own mind in your bed becomes tired and pointless when you read it on a screen or page. That fantasy already exists in your mind, so why read it and masturbate to it when you can cut out the middle man and just masturbate to the idea yourself?

But as obvious as that is to me, I — and hundreds of other writers — keep churning out our versions of the same. Part of it is hubris; we feel that we can bring a unique angle to the story of the oversexed nurse. Some of it is the obsessive nature of writing; once an idea lodges in your brain, the only way to get it out is to type it out. Quite a few of us write these pre-existing ideas because they are safe: We just know readers love horny cheerleaders. Writers want to be loved, and pandering with safe concepts might give us the comments and attention we crave. Ultimately, though, this just makes it easy for readers to place us with the next writer to do a 10-part epic about a cruel dominant.

Erotica can be so much more than just a rehashing of the themes already inside us. It can be a cure for those suffering through the sexual apathy that occurs during times of stress and depression. It can inspire those who have given up on being sexually happy to demand more from their own lives. It can entertain, which is something I find terribly underrated in erotica. Good erotica should be a mental escape from the repressed and work-obsessed world we live in. Erotica should stimulate not only body parts but also our moods and the way we perceive the world.

We can’t change the world with erotica, but we can change people.

We won’t do any of those things unless we throw away the clichés, repeated words and concepts that the average reader has already been vaccinated against. We need new words for cocks and pussies. We need to get out of Victorian mansions filled with slaves and create new erotic playgrounds. We need to create new sexual archetypes to replace the tired sluts and studs of our past. There is a vast world of topics untapped out there, and it is time for us to go out there and eroticize it all.

This year, I promise not to settle when I write. This year, I promise to make stories that linger in my readers’ minds to the point that looking at a park bench will make them blush. I promise to work on stories that make you smile in a world that works so hard to make you stressed. I promise to take chances and make huge mistakes because I don’t go the safe way.

This year, I will bring the wonder.

  7 Responses to “2007 Manifesto”

  1. I’ve never thought much about the “cliche” aspect of erotica, but I think I see the point and agree. It makes me think about how hard it really is to write well. I have written a few things, but in retrospect, they are pretty poor. Oh well, one can’t do everything. I’ll settle for looking forward to quality stuff from you and other talented writers. Thanks and Happy New Year.

  2. hhtheh- I hope I haven’t discouraged anyone from writing. When it comes to writing, I feel it takes hundreds of stories just to figure out how to write. Keep writing no matter how you look at your own work because it can only get better.

  3. It’s a challenge I choose to accept as well. But on the other side of the coin, the eagerness to avoid cliche can also leads to things that are so far in left field that it’s hard to feel anything real in that situation. Asking readers to suspend that much disbelief can actually encourage them to also dismiss the true sensations that the writing would invoke.

    I welcome another year of friendship, mutual enticement and of course…your absolutely alluring words.

  4. You are absolutely correct. I struggle with the ‘erotic cliche’ issue everytime I sit in front of the keyboard, and to tell the truth I think it beats me most of the time. It is difficult to avoid. However, I try to write true stories, or as true as I can relate them and still protect those involved, and still keep it interesting.

  5. The cliche problem is a constant source of angst for me. In a short, short story, they’re very useful for coming to a common understanding with your reader very quickly, but it erodes the uniqueness of the voice and the narrative.

    With erotica, it’s even harder. Because basically we’re dealing with a few very well known acts. *grin* How to reinvent the way we see those, or engage with them? It is only the characters in the story that can make us see those acts through new eyes.

    I just found your blog, and am very happy I did. I love it!

  6. I embrace clichés for the simple purpose of licking pure absurdism; I’ve written more than one story based on a cliché just so I could put my brand of polish on what some might call a turd. If handled lightly, even they can shine.

  7. I noticed some web hits to this post and I was stunned to see new comments. You have all given me food for thought and I am glad you found something useful here :)

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