In the last week, whilst I have been trying to increase/streamline/provide evidence of my web presence as a writer, I started worrying. Yes, the book we do not speak of has made erotica – and specifically BDSM flavoured erotica – more culturally acceptable as a genre, up to a point. We read these books in public and no one bats an eyelid, even though most of them know someone is getting something eye-smartingly painful done to them within those pages at any given time. And yet, when I link my extracts of works in progress, I feel resistance within myself. For this is dirty work, in anyone’s language. This is wet and sticky and I am very proud of my words, but there is still that kernel of doubt that I am going too far.
And it’s true. If I wrote about ferocious battles, you would expect blood and guts and gore, maybe swears. At any given point this week I can turn on my TV at 9pm and guarantee I will be confronted with violence for an hour or so on my TV screen. Maybe a rape or some consensual but ultimately damaging sex will feature, if they want to spice things up a bit. I can see men punching, stabbing and running over their fellow men, I can see women doing likewise (probably far less frequently, though they will generally be in line for the aforementioned consensual yet damaging shag).
I can see a comedy, usually with some light-hearted sexual inadequacy humour (she won’t do blow jobs unless she gets a piece of jewellery; he can’t find the clitoris so she’s sexually unsatisfied. There’s a gay and or lesbian couple having lots of sex but this is only hilarious because they are not heterosexual). Ha ha HA. Oh my aching sides.
Where was I? Right. Sex. Sex is humour and sex is violence and very rarely is sex about fulfilment, love, joy, excitement, experimentation or FUN. Now there’s an argument there about pornography and how it has no place on mainstream TV or in mainstream media full stop and I think that’s wrong but that’s for another time, I’ve already kind of gone wildly off topic. I just think I shouldn’t be ashamed of what I write. And at least I can put a sentence together.