Eighteen months after they were last available, I’ve finally gotten round to reissuing my erotic short stories onto Kindle. The gap was caused partly by having a whole shit heap of Life getting on top of me and having to catch up with myself, but also because publishing erotica causes an instant reaction in a lot of people and I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with it again.
So many people, on realising that I write erotica, assume that I’m a full on kinky perv-monkey. I might be, I might not – I’m certainly not telling YOU, you nosey bastard. The point is that it isn’t relevant.
The Stephen King comment references an article I wrote a few years ago when I first started out as Indigo Moore. What I said then still stands – no one assumes that a crime writer practises various methods of corpse disposal before writing about it, so why the common misconception that all erotica writers must all be at it like leather-clad, orgiastic rabbits? It’s pretty much a prerequisite of being a fiction writer to have a good imagination – why should those who write erotica be any different?
The other problem I’ve occasionally encountered is having my writing politicised. Actually this is something that affects a lot of erotica writers – it’s not personal to me. If we don’t make our characters used condoms (and I generally don’t, because it’s fantasy, and who really wants to be bothered with that faff when they’re reading a ten page bit of wank-fodder anyway?) then we’re encouraging unsafe sex. If we’re not completely clear about consent at all times in our stories then we’re glamourising abuse. If we dare to put even the mildest kink practises into stories without getting the details exactly right then we’re letting down sexual minorities, or something. It’s a fucking minefield (literally).
So I want to put this out here right now – my short stories are exactly that. Short. They mostly have minimum plot and maximum sex, because pardon me for stating the obvious, but if I was going to spend a quid on a smut download I’d want as much bang for my buck as I could possibly get.
In contrast, I’m currently rewriting one of my old short stories as a novella (the one about the journalist who gets tangled up with her rock star crush, for those who may already know it in its original form), and because there is a lot more room to breathe in the longer format there is also space for plenty of plot. And they will be practising safe sex, because it is an Actual Story and therefore deserves to be treated much more as reality.
Sometimes stories are just stories, and at other times they are in-depth and full of Meaning. That doesn’t necessarily make either one better than the other – they each have their place. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some research. Ahem.