My love of erotic fiction was not something I ever thought I'd have to look at like a grownup...
My love of erotic fiction was not something I ever thought I’d have to look at like a grownup. I gravitated to them because I got tired of romances with the perpetual perfect ‘first time’ scene – always hers, never his, in which everything goes off perfectly – no matter if they like each other, hate each other, or if the hero is an utter asshat. There was never any confusion, hesitation, uncomfortable silences, silly undressing moments, (which as a teenager I could never have imagined a courtly man taking tights off not looking silly), just perfect sexual bliss that always gets blasted away by some stupid misunderstanding that ends up lasting six more chapters. Then the misunderstanding would be resolved, turn out to be someone else’s fault, (usually some other woman – who always was written as being less pure than our heroine), and then have another magical sexual encounter in which the heroine has overcome any inhibitions or self-consciousness and we are sure they will bonk happily together forever. That got old, very fast.
I wanted to read stories where people actually knew what the parts were and what they did and actually enjoyed that. I liked having a hero work to prove he was a decent lover, not because the heroine had no basis for comparison. I wanted a heroine to choose a hero by more than happenstance and sticky situations. I liked reading stories in which sex didn’t prove true love, so the happy ending wasn’t always guaranteed.
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, that was expecting a maturity that the books available were not providing. I wanted something that dealt with relationship more realistically, something more honest, that could still be hot and fun. It took a lot of hunting and searching in those pre-internet days. There was a lot of trash to wade through before finding an Erica Jong, Pauline Reage or Anais Nin. (Want to make your smut accessible, throw poetry on it!!) It did get easier, and in the nineties there was an explosion of erotic writing for couples and women. Lots of excellent writers appeared, Susie Bright, Alison Tyler, Violet Blue, Amarantha Knight, and lots of others – who all apparently went overlooked by anyone writing about 50 Shades of Grey in the last two years. (Women want to read hot fiction, that’s new and unprecedented! Because we all know that Story of O was only read by men in trench coats and Forever Amber was only read by people with a love of English Restoration history. Yeah, keep telling yourselves that.)
Be that as it may…as I’ve gotten older, it is harder to find stories with heroines of my age group. Yes, I can still relate to a woman in her twenties going on a personal exploration, but I just DON’T WANT TO. I get really tired of the Must Find True Love before I’m 26 motif in real life, much less in my fiction. This can be just as hard an uphill slog as doing battle with the Cult of the Perfect Virgin, a dragon that still remains unslain.
Now I know I’m not alone. Many exceptional romance writers are writing books with older and more experienced heroines now, I’m happy to say. (Though the heroes end up with more traumatic baggage for being older – not sure why that is…) Erotica is moving more slowly, mostly because of the exaggerated importance of body image perception. But I’m sorry, Alexander Skarsgaard is going to be fifty as well someday, just like the rest of us, and I know with reasonable certainty, I’m still going to think he’s hot.
I’m going to write about erotica for grownup women, with heroines you’ll enjoy and stories that will keep your interest. Join me here at HotFlashDaily.com.