It's sex, not smut

Whenever someone asks my beloved 'So, what does she write?', he invariably responds, 'Smut. Filth.' Then giggles like a stoopid school boy.

Sigh.

One of the things an out erotic fiction writer (and there are plenty of them still in the closet, believe me) must face are the inevitable 'Wink, wink, nudge, nudge's' and leery 'So THAT'S what you get up to in your bedroom?'s' and 'What are you researching this weekend?'s'. And while I smile and laugh and play along, to be honest I find the whole charade a teensy bit tiresome.

I love writing about sex, it's true, and I need a pretty vivid fantasy life in order to do so, because folks, for the most part it all happens in my head, not my bedroom (more's the pity). If what was going on in my bedroom was as exciting as what goes on in my books I doubt I'd be bothered writing about it - I'd be too busy doing it.

It surprises me that in 2013 I get constant references to what I write as 'dirty' or 'smutty' or 'filthy'.  To me, eroticism is none of these things. Granted, sex can get that way during a particularly hot session, but that's not all it is. When I write sex, I aim to write about the ecstasy of it, which is all wrapped up in the danger, the lure, the desire, its gritty reality. I'm interested in the passion that lifts us to an entirely other plane, where we feel connected and loved and completely surrendered to another person. And there is nothing filthy or dirty or smutty about that.

It's a shame there's so much shame (pun intended) tied up in our views of sex. However we chose to express it, our sexuality is an important part of us. We are, in essence, sexual beings. We're so fortunate to have the gift of pleasure contained in our bodies. And it costs us nothing to enjoy it, whether alone or with one partner or two (or more if that's your poison). When we get down to tin tacks, ALL of us have sexual feelings, however we chose to express them. ALL of us have had sexual experiences. Yet so many of us walk around pretending we're above it all and we are in some way immune to it.

Why? It's a question that plagues me constantly. I know my sexuality isn't 'dirty' or 'filthy' - (although I can get a bit smutty if I get enough wines under my belt) - and I would never refer to it that way. I'm not ashamed of feeling sexual. I don't think of what I write as 'dirty' or 'smutty' because it isn't. It's just sex. That's all. Plain and simple and exciting sex. It's not porn. My characters have rich emotional lives of which sex is one part. The only taboos I venture into are the moral ones, not the physical ones.

If anything, I want people to learn something from my writing, to have their curiosity and mind aroused, as well as their body. I want my readers to know there's so much more to the sexual experience than our limited, shameful views allow us. Sex can bring the most blissful, satisfying, rewarding experiences of our lives. And it's not like most of us haven't tried it. If you read erotica, I say dump the giggly, elbow-in-the-ribs fuss. Be proud, feel clean, and let the world know you damned well enjoy reading it because it's dead sexy!

Comments

Excellent post Kate! Even though I’m not out of the closet, so to speak – enough people know about my writing to have the odd snide remark and smutty euphemism thrown my way. Well said!
 

KateBellex's picture

Thanks Maggie. I reckon we should start a movement to make erotic fiction respectable!

I do agree with you, the stories that you write are NOT porn. Sex, because it is such an intimate part of our lives it’s something that we don’t like to share. Strange isn’t. Sex is a part of almost every adult person’s life. Yet we can’t talk about it or explore the different aspect of it for pleasure or knowledge. Keep writing your erotic stories. I do enjoy the pleasure they give me.

KateBellex's picture

Thank so much Mary for taking the time to put those important words down in print. Sex IS a part of every adult life, whatever form it takes. It’s OKAY to feel pleasure. It’s not dirty, it’s enlivening and wonderful. Your comment is very much appreciated. x

So with you here Kate. Its about time that people themselves together and realised that the reason they make their smutty comments is because they are the ones with a problem about dealing with their own sexuality. Although I am proud of what I write (action,romance,paranormal and SF with sensual/erotic action and sometimes with a bit of kink) I will be publishing under a ‘name not quite my own’ to protect the sensibilities of family…but…I refuse to hide away what I write from them and they will know it. When they see the name Tasha Alyn (family commonly calls me Tasha, plus my middle name – which is a rare one) on my books, they will know that I am still putting MY name on what I do!

KateBellex's picture

Go TASHA! I’m out and proud and slowly learning how to better deal with other people’s discomfort. Which is a good thing to take away from all of this – the awkwardness is other people’s discomfort. If you’re comfortable with what you do, others will be less likely to leer and ogle! Thanks for your comment Tasha.

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