Friday, February 4, 2011

The Importance of Being Erotic

Today I've been thinking about the importance! Authors of erotic fiction. Why do we do this? Is it important? Or is it fluff?

Here's a question for authors and readers: Do you think erotica plays an important role in society?

I vote yes. Erotica is an affirming force.

It isn't as common as it used to be for people who fall outside the accepted "norms" of cisgender vanilla heterosexual to think, "My god! I'm the only person on the planet like this!" What do we have to thank for queer empowerment? In part, porn! The internet! Erotica! Artists! Ourselves!

When we read about different sexual practices or pairings, our desires may well be affirmed in fiction. I might read a story about a lesbian in love with a trans woman and feel elated in knowing I'm not the only one. There are others like me. Because my girlfriend Sweet was raised in a different generation, she grew up thinking she was the only boy in the world who liked wearing girl clothes and playing with "girl toys" and who, all in all, wanted to be a girl. It was in fiction that she found her identity.

But literary fiction only gets us part way there. Reading literary fiction and watching characters get together and get close, I always used to wonder (and still do)...what next? Okay, they're getting it on, but how? What exactly are they doing?

When we see our own sexual practices or sexual practices we've always dreamed of in print, there is a moment of, "Yes!" We feel recognized, acknowledged, and affirmed. It's a confirmation that we are not alone in our world of desires. There are others like us. I think that's important.

Giselle Renarde
Canada just got hotter!

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