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Erotica? Why not?

Need I say more?

Disclaimer: In respect with the terms of service this site asks me to uphold, the links posted here are very “work safe.” That is, they link to sites like Wikipedia and the Daily Beast – a news blog of some sort – and other sites in the same manner. The nature of the post isn’t to promote pornography – or even discuss it, for that matter – but to talk about why I like erotic literature. With that in mind, I don’t know why I’m calling this italicized paragraph a disclaimer. It should be called a major let down. Am I wrong?

It’s no secret. In fact, I’m proud of it. I used to write blog for a porn site a few years back. It paid and I was in need of money, so why not? The site has since gone defunct – which, I like to state the runners were just using the site as a front and were really dealing drugs (but I’m a fiction writer, so what do I know?).

The gig asked to write short, 100-word entries about the porn clip I embedded. Which meant, I had to watch the clip – the secret is to watch the first few seconds, a few seconds in the middle and see how it ends. That gig lasted a year – 12 months, actually – before I threw in the towel and didn’t ask to renew my contract – yes, there was a contract involved.

Image via Wikipedia

Around the same time I was writing for the site, I also applied to write porn reviews. I got the job, but realized I had to pay for the membership to view said pornographic films and I’m just not the sort of guy who wants to pay to watch porn. I mean, who does that anymore? Not to mention the gig was reviewing homo-erotic films, which didn’t bug me. I’m not like most men who feel weirded out when two guys get it on – I did like the flick Shortbus, mind you, and laughed my ass off during the three-way scene. Coupled with the fact that I can’t write a review worth a lick of spit led me to turn down the job. Besides, pornography doesn’t amuse me in the way it’s supposed to, you know what I mean? Even during the times I was writing my posts for the blog, I felt silly. Even silly.

Where pornography fails to amuse me, Erotica attracts me. It always has, truth be told. While Erotica is usually (in theory, or stereotype) aimed toward women and gay men – at least market wise, considering there are several straight or “non-labeled” men who like reading erotica – I prefer reading over watching. Rather than watching porn, I prefer to watch erotic movies or shows. Where sex is presence, but isn’t gratuitous. Erotic holds sex in its purest state, in other words, where pornography bastardizes it, turns it into a caricature. And while the new wave of pornography is attempting a more arty, romantic and/or less cheesy stance – just look at the “arty,” skin flicks of Eon McKai – or don’t, I don’t care either way – it’s still porn. It’s like what Scott McGowan said about Eon’s films, “If people jack off to your art, then you’re not the artist you think you are.” Whereas erotica has merit, has a purpose and isn’t pretentiously calling itself art because others are doing the labeling for it.

And it’s not that I’m a prude – I have a sex shelf containing books of erotica and sex studies and philosophies – something I’ve been labeled because the lack of sex in my stories – trust me, there’s plenty of sexual frustration in my tales, what else motivates my characters to do the things they do? I’ve surprised a couple of people when admitting my admiration toward the erotic. It’s always the same reaction, “You? Really? I wouldn’t have guessed.” To which I reply, “I just never write about sex because I suck at it.” And you, like everyone else I say that to, can take it to mean anything you want.


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Writing & Writers

Dear Friend,

How many times have I stepped up to this mic and spat words without giving you a single mention or thanks? How many times have I realized that without you, there would be no way I’d be standing here, reading these words that mean something to me. Before you, I was a nobody and now I’m some staple in this community. People know my name and my sense of vulgarity which you’ve made apologies for. If not for you pushing me on the stage that night, I would’ve lost my nerve – would never have the urge – and put away my note pad. Because of you I’ve met so many characters, each one more important than the last. But this is your dream we’re living. This is your actions put into motion and never have we once given you a single ounce of thanks.

So maybe someone else could’ve done the things you did. Someone would have put the mic on my hand and set a blaze to this powder keg. And maybe someone would have introduced me to all these people I think of as more than friends. These people are closer than the family I’ve always run away from. And maybe you think your importance in this whole charade is slightly exaggerated. But fuck the what ifs. I’m talking about the what nows. And you’re the one who pushed me. You’re the one who gave me that strength, the nerve and confidence to get on the stage to read words no one would have otherwise heard. And now it’s seems credit needs to given where it is due. How many people wouldn’t be here if not for you?

May some higher power grant me the power to read this letter to you one day. May some higher power grant me the strength and the courage to remember you the next time I’m on stage, pressing my words up against the mic. And it’s not like I can feel the pain you’ve been through. I’ve never had to sit back and watch my dreams orchestrated by another man. I’ve never had to sit back and watch a plagiarist take credit for the words and rhymes that spilled from my hand. And maybe it’s just the same. People take dreams and call them their own. How many more people will thank the wrong guy? But fuck them, my loyalty is with the man who deserves it most. So when you’re ready to come out of your shell, know that I’m willing to introduce you to the crowd. Know that I’m willing to cheer you on. Know that I’m willing to return all that you’ve given me.