So the grown folks’ literary sensation sweeping the nation, E.L. James’ trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, started my wheels turning about a post in today’s challenge and reminded me of the expanse section of my current library that includes urban erotica and I can’t help but think what erotica’s purpose is in this day and time.
I personally have high regard for the genre, even if some of it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of relationship building before the hot and heavy. And with Fifty Shades doing record numbers, SOMEBODY’S reading naughty prose, so you would think erotica still has a place in society. So why do we hide from it?
The fact that Fifty Shades is really the first erotica novel to get this much national attention (at least in my lifetime, anyway) says a lot about the sexual repression of America and the Western world as a whole. But I’m here to tell you, erotica saves. Not in a religious sense for those ready to accuse me of blaspheme, but there’s something about reading a hot and heavy scene that gets you either fired up for the next time you have sex or calms you down when sex isn’t readily available.
People slam Zane now, but EVERYBODY was reading Sex Chronicles, Addicted, Nervous, etc. back in the day, hell, I even read some of Skyscraper as a lost bet on my podcast back in January. Zane’s brand of erotica was raunch, straight-ahead smashing with a bit of a back story leading up to it and people dug it.
Even still, I was a huge fan of Carol Taylor’s Brown Sugar series. These were compilations of various authors who had a sensual story to tell and gave me everything in terms of pretty much everything from how these people met, how they meshed (or didn’t) and how that factored into the heat of the moment. It even shaped how I told stories when I was a part of a handful of writing message boards, sharing erotica stories and getting critiques and such.
Back to the original point, erotica is like any other part of fictional literature – it’s meant to take you to a place where you enjoy yourself, get caught up in the adventures of the characters and maybe inspire you to dream your own dreams and have your own fun. It’s really no different than science fiction, historical fiction, etc. Sex is a part of us and it is definitely something that was meant to be enjoyed and not tucked away somewhere to be forgotten about.
Basically, Erotica Rocks.