I’m a sucker for calls for submissions with themes. It’s like being in a writing class and getting a fun prompt. Here’s a theme…on your mark…get set….WRITE! As a matter of fact, I keep stickies all over my computer for various anthology prompts as a quick entry into writing. If I am ever stuck on something I am trying to do, I look at a writing call for submission as a way to get me to write about ‘something.’
Essemoh Teepee announced an anthology open only to authors attending the first Erotic Association Authors convention in Las Vegas last September at the closing party. The idea was really simple and fun:
Imagine you are a guest of the towering Skylane Hotel. It affords the best views of the Las Vegas Strip, including hotel rooms of all the most famous Las Vegas hotels. That’s right, you’re a voyeur with a very powerful telescope and can see into the hotel windows of any of the other famous hotels that surround the Skylane. Take your inspiration from such famous hotels as the ornate Bellagio, Paris, the hotel that started it all, The Flamingo, the new and naughty Cosmopolitan, the Wynn, etc.
The only restriction is that all the sexy action must be able to be seen through the telescope at the Skylane. Otherwise, the sky’s the limit: straight, gay, menage, who knows, there might even be a vampire or two.
I had a couple of ideas pop into my head right away. I am, by nature, more of a voyeur than an exhibitionist, so it was fun to turn the table and develop a character who gets off on displaying herself to an imagined audience.
I am still a baby in the erotica market. In fact, this collection contains my first published short story (I have self-published elsewhere, and have other work ‘accepted’ but not finalized yet.) I am honored and delighted to be found in such quality company my first shot out the gate. I’m including the table of contents with a links to most of the other authors in the collection so you can check them out.
The proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to help fund the Erotica Authors Association Conference. You can purchase the book at Amazon. The audiobook will be available on February 14th. A fun audio teaser can be found here.
UPDATE: The audio version is now available at Audible!
Age is a hot topic when discussing writing. At the Erotic Authors Association conference in Las Vegas last week, it was clear that there is a lot of care taken by the members of the association to keep things legal in their writing. This generally means that characters always end up being over eighteen before they have sex. Each state has varying consent laws, so by making every character over age eighteen, a book can be legal across the country and those pesky laws that involve the post office and pornography can be followed more easily.
I’m not personally into writing stories that involve young characters having sex. But, as a writer, I feel stifled by the rule all the same. What about flashbacks? Here I am, nearly forty-five years old, and I am thinking back to my first sexual encounters. I seem to recall masturbating regularly by the time I was nine, if not younger. When I was twelve, my girlfriend and I got naked with her older brother, tied him up and teased him. There was no touching of any kind and certainly no intercourse, so I never really considered this a sexual encounter until very recently. Not only was it a menage, it was baby-bondage, and totally consensual–at least for me and the boy. I have no way of knowing if there was some other relationship dynamic between him and his sister or what happened after I left that afternoon. My friend was eleven and her brother was fourteen. I was thirteen the first time my hand slid inside the pants of a guy to find a gooey mess within moments, and I was only seventeen when I started having intercourse. In between, there was lots of kissing, groping, bumping and grinding. BTW, some of this fondling and groping is considered to be as illegal as intercourse before the age of consent in some states. To my younger mind and body, this was all very hot and exciting. I remember having fun and feeling good. How does it make sense to not acknowledge and even write about the fact that young people have positive sexual experiences before they are eighteen?
What’s more frustrating, it’s fine to write about negative sexual experiences. For example, if you write a memoir about being raped when you are ten, it’s likely to be considered literary. Heck, you might even win a prize for being a survivor. You can describe it in gory detail as long as you do it without the intent of causing boners and wet panties.
But, what about a memoir where someone discovers the joy of their sexuality? What if that discovery was made at nine, twelve or fifteen? People cringe at the notion of “children having sex.” Even if there has been no relationships, I think nearly almost everyone has at least masturbated by the time they are eighteen.
The notion that any sex-positive images of people under eighteen is considered illegal or pornographic, while, at the same time, anything that is sex-negatvie is okay is baffling and disturbing at the same time. In the recent movie SuckerPunch there was a bit of controversy laid out well in this article. There was a scene where a young character (not sure of her age, but under 18?) who was getting hot and heavy with an older man. The original cut, apparently, showed her having a strong and seductive sensual power. She was saying yes and taking charge. Then, the ratings game kicked in and they edited the scene until it was practically a rape scene so they could tone it down to PG-13. What the fuck? You can’t show a girl enjoying getting it on, but you can show her being raped and consider it PG-13?
I’m not advocating for young people to have indiscriminate, unsafe sex–I don’t think that’s good for anyone. I’m just asking for people to look at the realities of life. Even if it’s not ideal, it’s happening all around us. And to be told you can’t write about it, even if you don’t really want to, is really, really annoying.