amongst books

amongst books

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a response to We Deviants, We Happy Deviants by Remittance Girl

as a writer of erotica, I very much appreciated this recent ERWA blog entry from Remittance Girl, particularly this closing excerpt:

"Like pathos, like nostalgia, like joy, terror or sadness, eroticism is a way-station, not a terminus.  However, unlike those other human experiences, our culture has not found ways to explore its depths or heights comfortably or unflinchingly. We turn its subjects into objects and depersonalize them because the spectacle of the real experience is thrilling, utterly intimate, and overwhelming. 

But our challenge, as writers of the erotic, is to take that on. Not to flinch, not to look away, not to cheat by reducing the acts or the characters we write to caricatures or myths, or take refuge in the more socially acceptable sanctuary of romantic love.  And that's why, unless our culture changes radically, we will always be transgressors in the literary world when we pursue the task of writing the erotic."

BUT…I have a confession…
I masturbate while reading erotic fiction or smut, as I like to call it.  I take out a book or my Kindle & one of several vibrators, (usually the Hitachi Magic Wand, but lately my vibe of choice has been a smaller bullet vibe with a tighter clit coverage,) & I wank. sometimes the story is the worst written thing I've ever read, but it appeals to my particular fantasy of the moment & it's rare that I can find well-written stories that deal with some of my darkest most unspeakable fantasies.

a lot of erotica writers seem to have an issue with causing physical arousal in the reader. is it because mainstream literary critics mock such a goal? is it because erotica should have a loftier goal to satisfy snobs? I don't give a rat's ass. I like turning people on, either in person or from the distance of a story of mine on line or in print.
does that mean that the prose has to be poorly developed with wooden characters & riddled with clichés? nope. it can still be a good piece of writing, can still contain all of the elements of a well-written story, but it must also be able to help me achieve an orgasm. if the imagery or transgressive nature of the fiction is particularly effective, it will result in arousal again, it will cause me to return to the sexiness of the image in my mind & revisit the image & the story with vibrator in hand.

I do have a destination in mind with smut & that's a climax.
And so I will even read crappy sex fiction to get there. Yep, the kind full of bad clichés, excruciatingly poor grammar, pendulum swinging head hopping, poor language use etc. because when I'm in need of a wank, I'm thinking with my little head.

I'd prefer reading lush, beautiful stories with excellent writing & in the long run, they are more effective because they stay in my head longer; however, sometimes you just need the instant gratification of a potato chip. & whether you're the potato chip maker or the eater, there's no shame in that. there's no harm in trying to make a better chip either.


Remittance Girl said...

And that's what porn is for - and it does a great job 'getting you there'. That's what it promises, and that's what it does. But that's not erotic fiction. That's porn.

Amanda Earl said...

thanks, RG. this is where we disagree. i think the term "pornography" is a laden label which implies a judgement. i believe if something is called erotic fiction there's nothing wrong with it having an element or arousal. i don't see why it has to be labeled as pornography because it causes arousal. to me, if erotica doesn't create arousal of some form at least in the writer, i don't really understand why it's classified as erotic. why not just classify it as mainstream literature? from what i have observed, you have this need to elevate erotic fiction. i have no problem with that, but i don't think it needs to be. i think getting someone off, whether physically or arousing their senses cerebrally, emotionally etc, are all fine goals. none of which is any higher than the other. just different.