The short version of why I write erotica probably isn’t very different than the reason most writers have. It’s a chance for me to channel my sexual imagination and challenge my creativity as a writer.
The story of how I got into writing erotica is a more interesting story. A love story, actually.
About 16 years ago, I became active on a Usenet bulletin board that had absolutely nothing to do about sex. Actually, it had more to do with a parenting issue I was dealing with involving one of my kids. At times, conversations on the board would go off-topic and into email correspondences. J was one of the few people whose banter I enjoyed. For weeks, I really didn’t know anything about him personally, and it really didn’t matter. He could have been unsightly and disgusting looking and living in his mother’s basement somewhere in a place like Podunk, Idaho. It really didn’t matter, but by his intelligence, confidence and articulate nature, it was highly doubtful.
However, like in many online discussion groups, there’s always a troll or two to stir the pot, and a few of them were, or thought they were, trashing J’s name by making frequent mentions that he posted “smut” elsewhere on the Internet.
Secretly, I was curious, so I did a search and found some of his stories.
“Smut” wasn’t the word for them. They were eloquently written and opened some sexual urges that had lay dormant in me for way too long. There wasn’t much left of my marriage at that time, especially in the intimacy department, which was never exciting or thrilling to begin with. It wasn’t me, but my ex who had no interest in connection or companionship, let alone sex. J’s stories got me thinking that writing erotica was something I could try to do to channel my unfulfilled sexual needs and keep up with my writing skills. Aside from doing some pro bono publicity work for a couple of non-profits, writing was something I rarely did once I had kids.
At first, I felt shy about asking him for guidance, but he gladly offered to be a mentor of sorts. In fact, he seemed to enjoy reading and critiquing my work. Our back and forth emails became a mixture of conversations and edits interspersed with laughs and subtle double entendres until one day he asked, “Are you flirting with me?”
I had to admit that I was. It took a while for me to write the one-word response, “Yes.”
He wrote back, and said, “We should talk.”
We had a long talk over the phone about ourselves – who we were, our ages, where we lived, our work, and our families. Our emails and phone calls began to have more substance as we both got to know each other as people and friends.
After some time, he asked, “Have you ever considered having an affair?”
No, but, several weeks after he posed that question, I was on a plane headed to the west coast to spend three days with a man I have never laid eyes on except for a single photograph along with dozens of phone calls and emails.
It turned out to be a blissful and idyllic weekend … wine tastings in Napa Valley, sailing in the San Francisco Bay, riding the wooden roller coaster and watching sea lions at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, and nights in B&B’s that were indulgent as the sex we had. It had the makings of a great movie. He called it a honeymoon of sorts. Actually, it was far better than the honeymoon I had with my ex. I joked that we spent half of the time naked, which we did almost to the hour.
Toward the end of that trip, I knew that I deserved better in my life, not with J, but a life without my then-husband.
I eventually divorced. We kept in touch for a number of years but we never got to see each other again. I was now a single mother, dating, and had a couple of pretty serious relationships. Life got in the way of our correspondences until earlier this year. One of my projects at work reminded me of him, and I just had to let him know about it and I was curious about what he was up to.
I would have been more than happy to reconnect as friends. Instead, we discovered that the romance that we shared and fondness we had for each other never faded away. Within a month and a half, he came out here to see me. That trip, and the several that have followed since, have been just as nice, if not better, than our single stolen weekend years ago.
I never finished that first story he helped me write, and he hadn’t written much in the time since we first met. But as our relationship developed, so did both of our loves of writing erotica, especially what we write about and for each other. It’s one of the many ways we stay connected in the weeks that we’re apart. It’s our way of preserving memories and proclaiming our love, lust and desire for each other. J often jokes that if anyone were to read the private stories that we write for each other that are based on the times we’ve spent together, they would never be believed – the places, the scenarios, and the rich and indulgent sex and lovemaking. What he’s written and recorded for me are the most precious gifts I have ever received, even more so than the very generous tangible gifts he’s given me and travels he’s taken me on. It’s not just because they’re something that comes from his heart, but because he’s such a truly gifted writer – much more than I.
As for the stories that I write for the public, they’re more about indulging in a pastime I have really come to enjoy. However, I leave him out of most of my work because I can’t think of putting him in danger or as a source of conflict, both which are necessary for good storytelling. Plus, I like to keep our private lives just that – private. Regardless, he’s always on my mind as my friend and teacher turned lover as I write.