Originally posted: http://saphssteamybooks.blogspot.com/?zx=eb91c1036c326847
While having lunch with a friend, she asked, “Why do you think erotica has become so popular?”
My defense mechanisms kicked in, and I immediately defended my work. “I don’t write erotica!”
She gave me the sort of look that only someone who has known me since grade school can get away with. “Maybe not, but your books have some panty-melting parts. That scene with Gia, Nick, and Torben... ”
She had a point.
I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. My genres of choice are urban fantasy and paranormal romance, but recently I’ve ventured into some seriously steamy contemporary romance. The darker the main characters the better. I’ve become so addicted to these stories, that I wrote my own. With some luck, it’ll be published in late 2017.
So why did I overreact to her question? I’m ashamed to admit, I fell victim to an outdated stigma.
Erotica has been around since the invention of pen and paper. Face it, people like sex. Sure, there has been a stigma associated with erotica for both authors and readers, but that is falling by the wayside. Did you know it was a crime to publish erotic fiction in the Victorian era? Smut in those days cost a fortune, making it difficult for woman to own.
I remember reading my first sex scene in a Judy Blume book at eleven years old, and don't get me started on Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series. There were always Playgirls or Playboys tucked away in my parents’ room—Mom, I swear I only read the articles. I don’t believe erotica is more popular, but it is more accessible. The invention of the e-reader, and the abundance of erotica being published, have made it easier to read without going into the back room of a bookstore or doing book yoga to hide sexy covers and kinky titles from the kiddos.
Novels provide an escape from reality, but unlike passively watching movies and television programs, reading is an active pastime. It involves the senses, works the brain, and tickles the imagination. Reading a naughty book or scene amps up escapism by allowing the reader to experience a safe form of voyeurism. This is especially true if the reader cares about the characters. Research shows that as little as a half-hour of destressing can improve blood pressure. For people like me, who can’t meditate to save their lives, reading provides a great alternative.
An often unspoken benefit of reading erotica, erotic romance, erotic fantasy, etc., is its impact on your sex life. If you have a partner who complains when you stay up all night to read “just one more chapter,” start crawling into bed and surprising them with a new trick from the book; within a few weeks they’ll see a book in your hand and grin.
Don’t fall victim to the old stigma. Reclaim your sensuality. If you’re too shy to let your freak flag fly in public, wave it quietly as you lose yourself in a steamy read.