A few of my readers will openly admit that erotica is the only real story-based writing they read anymore. Some people email me to thank me, and no doubt other erotica writers, for “getting them back into reading.” I know that a good number of people don’t consider erotica real literature, and the combination of these factors can make someone who only reads erotica really hesitant to answer honestly if someone asks them, “What have you been reading lately?”
Of course, this is understandable in a lot of circumstances. If you’re meeting someone for the first time out of an erotic context, you’re unlikely to tell them the erotica you’ve been reading lately. If a family member asks about any books you could recommend, it doesn’t really matter how good the plot of Having Sex with All of My Coworkers Chapter 58 is, you probably won’t recommend it.
That said, I want to do more than say that erotica is real literature. If nothing else, saying just this and this alone makes it seem biased. An erotica author, one that writes plot-heavy stories, insists that erotica is real literature. Whether it’s true or not (which it is), the clear motivations and biases are there. So instead, let me be more vague in saying that reading is reading.
Trying to quantify reading is a little silly. A story might be better at 600 pages than just 60, but a story could be better at 6 pages than 600. It’s up to the story. More importantly, if you just read a 600 page story, you didn’t read more of a story than a 6 page one. This translates into erotica well – even if you read a stroke story with little plot, you still read a story. Not “kind of” a story. How non-sexual a story is doesn’t make it less of a story. How good it is isn’t truly a factor either beyond some kind of minimum standard (which I’m not here to debate).
If my work or another erotica writer’s work got you into reading erotica when you used to not read at all, you’re now reading literature. Congratulations. I hope you’re enjoying getting back into reading. I’m trying to read more these days, and it’s been fun. On top of reading fiction books, I’m also trying to read more online erotica as well as non-fiction, and it helps keep my horizons expanded and my perspective in check (at times). You’ll find joy in the most unexpected places of reading.
If reading isn’t for you, no problem. I don’t see reading as superior to movies or TV shows (except perhaps in the sense that when it comes to books, your imagination gets to be the director, and that’s kind of fun.)
Like a lot of adult entertainment creators (I think), I’d describe myself as something of a responsible hedonist. If what you’re doing brings you joy and doesn’t bring harm to others, I’m glad. If what you do brings joy and help to others, that’s responsible and good of you. The rest is up to the individual. I’ll talk to you all next week.