The first erotica I ever read was by Anaïs Nin. The writing was so beautiful that somehow it added to the kink factor, and there are images I remember still, thirty years later, as my erotic story “50s Waitress” is published in Cleis Press’ Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.
I’ve kept a diary for more than thirty years. I wrote down every book I read, every dream I had, every minor detail of every obsessive crush. As a writer, a published diarist, and a free spirit, it was Ms. Nin who made me imagine publishing my diaries someday, and pushed me further toward writing as a career. I wasn’t going to write erotica though: I was going to break other rules.
So I wrote novels and short stories and poetry, I wrote a novella that required a sex scene. Then I got “too busy” to write and figured I’d get published some day when it became my priority. And then came the embarrassing thing that changed my life. There was this campy television show that took place in Ancient Greece, with incredible production values, smart scripts, great acting, and at the center, this intense romantic relationship between the two main characters, Xena and Gabrielle. The show all-but admitted they were lovers, but the not admitting became really intense for the thousands of people (men and women, gay and straight) who saw a beautiful lesbian love on the screen that was denied fruition, or even definition. Finally there was a gorgeous, unstoppable female hero who was in love with a woman, but the creators of the show stopped just shy of showing that to the world. It was aggravating, but it kept the show on the air.
It also inspired an amazing amount of fan fiction, much of it erotic, just as the Internet was just coming into regular household use. Suddenly hundreds of people of all genders and inclinations were inspired to write these stories, to give the readers the “real” story they couldn’t see on TV. Millions of readers responded from around the world–straight and gay, men and women—it was a relationship so romantic it crossed gender and orientation lines with ease, and the desire to read these stories is what first inspired me to get online And being single, I lived vicariously through Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship, so I started writing again. And I wrote erotica. I tried to make it beautiful, and deep, and real, and hot as hell. My fan mail tells me I succeeded. It was an amazing thing to be part of, and new people still read my stories every day.
After the show ended, I focused on my other fiction, and I was sending out stories, looking for places to send stuff, and saw the deadline for Best Lesbian Erotica 2012. There’s really no higher honor for lesbian erotica, and I had a piece I’d been working on, so I sent it in. It was accepted and it is available to order from amazon.com at the link below.
Although I’m not primarily an erotica writer, I am good at it. It’s a strange thing to be good at, not respected in many circles. But when erotica is literary and hot at the same time, it’s a magical thing. To be able to instill emotion in the reader is a great feeling, but to be able to build sexual tension with my words, knowing in many cases that my writing will inspire them to give themselves great pleasure, is just the most fantastic thing. People all over the world excited by my words, by what excites me; my fantasies helping to produce literally millions of orgasms—what could be cooler than that?
The terrifying part is that I will be reading from my work at Best! Lesbian! Erotica! at Drunken! Careening! Writers! This Thursday December 15th at 7pm at KGB Bar in Manhattan. There will be drinks, fascinating conversations, copies of the book for sale and authors to autograph it. I’d love for all my nearest and dearest to be there, but the last thing anyone wants is to read erotica in front of, oh, anyone they know. So all you erotica fans who don’t know me better get on over to the Facebook page and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/185972454826811
And if by chance you want to read my erotic fanfiction: http://xenafiction.net/styles/athenaeum_deepblue/author_pages/xenaslittlebitch.html