Monday, March 17, 2014

Yeah, I Write Erotic Romance, and I'm Proud of It

I have to learn not to take umbrage. I get it a lot. The sly winks. The horrified looks. The gasps. The queries about how does it feel to write smut/dirty books/trash?

I love writing sex scenes. Yeah, I do. Maybe because I like sex so much. <shrug> Does it really matter why?

But there’s something you have to know. I do not write smut/dirty books/ trash. I write stories about people struggling with the same issues they struggle with in non-erotic romance. It’s just that I add in the very real component of their lives that makes some of you uncomfortable.

In Streetwalker (by Sizzler Editions), my protag Carrie carries around some heavy stuff. (Gee, get why I named her that?) She is a victim who refuses to be one, still, she is affected by past events and lives the life she does because of it. Streetwalker is, at heart, is a story of redemption, recovery and renewal. But if you didn’t get past the first page where she is servicing a John, you might not know that.

So why did I write Streetwalker? To the horrified, the offended, the appalled, here’s an open letter:

Dear Reader (who might be a friend, relative, or unknown to me):

I write stuff you probably don’t like. Even secretly. Because there are some of you who ACT appalled, but you really do kinda like to read explicit sex scenes. You just don’t want others to know that.

Okay by me. I’m a live and let live kind of reading person. But don’t go all hypocritical on me. That I have do have a problem with. If you can’t admit to others you are fascinated by LGBT sex, or BDSM, or even explicit old-fashioned traditional sex, at least don’t go mouthing off about how awful it is that I write it.

I do. End of story. And your opinion doesn’t faze me.

But for others of you, those who are truly horrified, offended, and appalled, let me be an apologist for the erotic romance genre. Not all of it. Just mine.

I’m a farm girl. Sex happens. In fact, it must happen if the farm is to be successful. Spring time! Yay! Frolicking! Summer time! Yay! Babies! That’s how it works.

The beauty of sex among humans however is the emotional component. Because, see, I try to tell a story about the people having hot, explicit sex. And some of them are wounded, some are psychotic, some are insecure, some are just lusty souls reveling in all the good feelings from good sex. But that is true in other stories too. We authors create a panoply of characters to play off one another in various story premises.

I wondered what would happen to a girl sexually abused who only saw herself as breasts and a vagina. How would she create her adult self? Could she ever begin to recover from the horrors she faced and develop self-esteem based on accomplishments and intelligence?

And what happens when you put her with an erudite, sophisticated, professional man who lost it all when he couldn’t keep it zipped? How he reinvented his life revealed his own wounds.

I wondered if they could help one another heal. And that’s why I wrote my book. You may still hate the way I told my story, but I hope you can agree that the story premise is a timeless one.

Angelica French (who uses 3 pen names for different genres, not out of embarrassment)


  1. Go for it, I always say. If we write only to please, and to please everyone, we aren't making characters that will live and breathe on their own.

    1. Exactly, Exploding Mary! When I don't write good characters struggling with issues THEN I might be writing trash/smut/dirty books! Thanks so much for stopping in to comment.

    2. Very well said! I'm not embarrassed to read erotica, and I've been trying to overcome the "who's going to see this" in my own writing. Thanks for the wonderful post!

    3. Thanks so much, ghostmmnc, for reading and commenting. I am so sick of family and writing friends dissing my work. "Stick with your other genres and drop this one," they advise. As to your self-consciousness, have you thought of trying a psuedonym? It can give you as much or as little anonymity as you want depending on who you tell/announce to. There are plenty of discerning readers who want a good tale with a little tail!

  2. I find it sad that some authors are ridiculed or not taken seriously if they write explicit erotic content into their books. I happen to be someone who enjoys read books that are labeled as "erotica". I'm not in anyway embarrassed by it, either. Why do people find it acceptable to read explicitly violent content in novels, but when it comes to sex, it's automatically viewed as smut? Of course, there are going to be books that are appear to be porn with a light storyline written as page filler, (and I still see nothing wrong with that) but the majority of what I read is a strong storyline that just happens to give more explicit details to the love scenes. Sometimes this can be very important to a story being told, and sometimes, it's just more entertaining.
    Either way, it doesn't make the author a bad person.

    1. You got it just right and said it so eloquently, Lisa. It saddens me that gratuitous violence is more acceptable than explicit sex. After all, which one is more fun? Thanks so much for adding your thoughts. I'm glad you stopped by and I hope you'll be back. I deal with far-ranging stuff here.