I wrote Naked in the Sun after being issued a challenge from a friend: write an erotic story centering around a character with a disability. At that time, I’d been writing erotica seriously for about a year, but I hadn’t dared to touch that particular topic. I was involved with a disabled woman at the time, so it wasn’t that I lacked awareness, per se. However, it had the potential to go awry. As someone who had never experienced disability in my own body, I was going to have to be careful in writing about it. Even the most well-intentioned person falls prey to prejudices and ignorance. And once the words are published, your intent doesn’t matter. If your readers are hurt or offended by your portrayals, you’re accountable for the fallout.
I chose to make Daniel blind because, having known several visually-impaired people, I felt I could do a realistic portrayal without relying on caricature or stereotype. In addition, having Daniel recently become blind, rather than having been born blind, allowed me a great deal of room to play with the relationship dynamic between him and Andy. I had the opportunity to explore how each of them coped with the massive life change, and how the inner struggles affected the relationship just as much as the change itself.
I love writing stories that showcase vulnerability. That, to me, is what this story is really about. Not the disability itself, but the ways in which Daniel and Andy have to reconcile their own fears and anxieties. Their sexual coupling is so powerful to me because it’s a moment where, in a way, they can revel in that vulnerability. Maybe they’re in a secluded spot, but they’re still in a public area, naked, performing acts that would definitely get them arrested.
The sex scene in Naked in the Sun remains one of my favorites of all the pieces I’ve written, precisely because of the ways in which it allows me to explore vulnerability, change, and love. For me, sex is all about celebration. There’s an element of joy that runs through all of my scenes, even if there’s also tension, or even sadness. I love the ways in which sex can be a source of reconciliation and healing. I loved writing Naked in the Sun because of the ways in which it allowed my characters to truly revel in their vulnerability, taking it to the extreme, and through that experience, begin to find a new normal.
Anthologies which include this story: