When I think of erotica…

by Ariel Dalziel

“You’d think there would be a point where I’d had enough sex, broken enough taboos, thrown out enough traditional values that nothing would faze me, but it just didn’t work that way. I was disappointed that it didn’t work that way; it seemed like if you had thrown all the conventional ideas of sex and relationships out the window, it would make you impervious to being embarrassed, or awkward, but it didn’t.” p67, Jason, Laurell K. Hamilton

This is so true, it hurts. In my view, its also one of the reasons to write erotica (beyond getting all hot and bothered). There are some sad souls out there (and I was one of them for many years) who are too embarrassed or awkward to talk to another person about what they might want to do. I turned to the safe remove of erotic fiction to explore those parts of myself I couldn’t talk about. Once I’d found enough evidence that I was not as alone as I’d felt, it became easier to talk with other people. Yet even now, with as many taboos I’ve broken and personal inhibitions I’ve discarded, I still encounter those situations that make me blush down to my nipples.

“Sometimes I thought I’d been pushed so far outside my comfort zone that I’d break, and other times I realized that comfort zones were more like prison bars; they protected you, but they also trapped you. I didn’t want to be trapped, not even by myself.” p43, Jason, Laurell K. Hamilton

And neither do I want to be trapped, by my own inhibitions, by others’ expectations or by traditional constraints on literary art.

I am fascinated by those moments in our lives when we make our elves vulnerable to others, when we connect with others; sometimes those we never expected to. As a writer, I want to seize those ‘what if’ moments that happen and turn them into full-fledged universes. Life should be spent in anticipation of the unexpected, the strange, the disturbing.

I’m never happier than when I’m writing a new story, exploring a new world whose only limits are my imagination. For my short fiction, I’m usually concentrating on a single emotion and the story is a way to describe it without boiling something so complex down to a single word. Love can be expressed in infinite ways, after all. Most of all I supposed I want to use my stories to convey the ways we all change each other, sometimes through the simplest and most basic interactions.

So I will leave you with one final quote, which I knew the truth of when I was nine.

“The way to know any writer, of course, is not to meet him in person but to read what he writes. Only in print is he most clear, most true, most honest. No matter what he might say in polite society, catering to convention, it is in his writing that we find the real man.” p93, A Gift of Wings, Richard Bach


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