Most of my friends know that I’m an erotica writer. I’m very proud of what I do and see no shame in telling people. However, what can get my goat is the various stigmas and myths which are still attached to the genre, despite living in the enlightened 21st century. Here are some of the myths I’ve had to compound.
Myth 1: All erotica are daddy porn and rape fantasies.
Yes, incest (or, at the very least, stepfather/stepmother) and rape (or again, at the very least, reluctance) fantasies play a huge role in erotica. Then again, so do BDSM, supernatural creatures and threesomes. From the very vanilla to the completely depraved, if you can imagine it, someone has written about it. And why not? There’s obviously a market for those themes. Let’s just not get into thinking that there are only two types of erotica. After all, there is no limit to our imaginations.
Myth 2: Erotica is just porn for women.
No, no, no, no, no. For starters, studies have apparently shown that women get just as turned on if not more, as men when it comes to visual stimuli. So to suggest that porn is for men and erotica is for women is just enforcing stereotypes. Men can derive just as much pleasure from reading erotica as women can. Of course watching porn is easier, but erotica provides much more scope for the imagination. And there’s also the added benefit of reading it with your partner to get ideas …
Myth 3: “Oh, you write erotica. That means you write fan fiction, yeah?”
I loathe this. Mainly because I hate any kind of fan fiction: in my opinion, it’s lazy writing. This view is not helped by the fact that one of erotica’s most well-known writers started out writing erotic Twilight fan fiction (E.L. James, in case you’ve been living in a cave) which led to the mega successful 50 Shades. Fan fiction makes up a very small percentage of all erotica. Of course, I can see the attraction of imagining your favourite actor, singer or whatever in various sexual situations (candlelit bath with Benedict Cumberbatch, anyone?). But most of us are happier creating our own characters.
So there, we have three common myths about erotica debunked. Remember, keep an open mind when reading erotica. It’s a lot more varied than you think and, you never know, you may discover some hidden desires.