The first time I read erotica was in 1993 at the age of 20. I was a university exchange student in Austria and had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe both during and after the school semester. During a three week backpacking trip through Germany, Belgium, France, and Spain, I became numb to the beauty in the architecture, to the amazement in the art museums, and even to the scenery. I grabbed a book titled “Women on Top” by Nancy Friday, and in 1993 it had over 500 pages full of fantasy in which I was enraptured.
I remember one day during a Venice train layover, I walked out of the station and sat on the edge of a small bridge with a tiramisu gelato in one hand and “Women on Top” in the other. I was so absorbed by the book that when I was ‘disturbed’ from my fantasy reading, I swore I heard the Italian gentleman say ” Do you want to F#@k?” In my dramatic and hot tempered 20 year old way, my eyes glared at him and I shouted “Go AWAY!”. It was only hours later that I wondered what he actually said, did he really say that? !? It would be just too odd for a man to walk up to a woman reading on a crowded bridge in the middle of the day and say such a thing, even in Italy it was unusual. I just laughed at myself and realized it had to be that my head was so far stuck in the erotic gutter that I couldn’t even understand what others were saying. To this date over 18 years later, I have never been so entranced by an erotic book than on that bridge in 1993.
Erotic literature has been around for centuries, the first to be popularized was the, Decameron (1353) by the Italian Giovanni Boccaccio . The Decameron featured misbehaving monks and the seduction of nuns. “Even five centuries after publication copies were seized and destroyed by the authorities in the USA and the UK. For instance between 1954 and 1958 eight orders for destruction of the book were made by English magistrates.“
Despite the “Decameron’s” banning, it did not stop the creative flow of erotic writing. The real ‘juice’ of early erotica does not only come from the taboo nature of the writing and publishing such work, but by the authors themselves. Author Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini wrote “The Tale of Two Lovers” in 1444 that included full erotic imagery, after which he became the pope. Yes Pope Pius II was a pornographer!
Today ‘sex’ is the most googled word on the internet. Pornography is viewed 28,258 times per second with 70% men and 30% female watchers. EVery second $3,075 are spent on porn. This is a billion dollar industry!
Nancy Friday’s “Women on Top” was first published in 1991 and today it still ranks as Amazon’s #37 book under the ‘Love and Romance’ section. Current best sellers in erotica at Borders Book Store’s are “Sweet Possession” and “Total Abandonment”, Amazon.com lists “Hot and Steamy- Sizzling Sex Stories” and “Hunted”.
Angela Knight, Kresley Cole, Lora Leigh, and Sherrilyn Kenyon are known as top in their fields in erotic writing and their sales continue to boom. According to the Erotic Reader, “More women want more fiction about what’s going on between the sheets….”
What does it take to be an erotic writer?
These days, some would say that it only takes the ability to send a text message or instant message. Although the start can be viewed as easy, one must have an open mind, expansive vocabulary, a positive view of sexuality, and creativity.
The creative mind can at times feel stifled by life and relationships.
Does one feel inclined to write erotica on a day after a conflict with their spouse, having a belly ache, looking at a pile of laundry? It seems that to write, one must also be relaxed, empowered, and somewhat aroused. Erotic author Kiki Rockstar states “If you are not being turned on by your work, neither will the reader”.
To fuel their creativity, where does an erotic writer go to gain inspiration?
Watch a movie, think of a person, read a poem or a story. This Haiku alone may be enough to fill pages with a desirous narrative.
her seven button
❧ Jeffrey Winke
One of the main sexual concerns women report is lack of desire or interest in sex. Statistic prove that reading erotica or watching some pornography can increase sexual desire in women. We also know a seemingly guaranteed way to boost libido is through a new sexual partner, yet this is counterproductive to relationship success. The fantasies of being with another individual can spark our physical and creative juices. When you want something you can’t have or know you won’t have, it fuels the curiosity of the unknown….which as we all know is better imagined than the reality of what would be. Erotica can take us to places we would never go or even want to, yet the transportation to that fantasy place, can give us such pleasure and inspiration.
Therefore, I formulize the essential component for writing erotica is….a muse!
Muses can take a myriad of forms: art, books, poety, movies, people, etc. I know Nancy Friday and the contributing authors had to have a variety of muses to put together over 500 pages of pure sex. Maybe the next erotic writing in which I become enraptured is my own.
Bring on the muses.