Raising a Ruckus
K D Grace
A friend of mine tells me that my erotic romance, The Initiation of Ms Holly, has raised a bit of a ruckus in a ladies’ reading group in the town near where he lives. When he ordered his copy of The Initiation of Ms Holly, the goddess of sexy novels smiled down upon him, and miraculously he received two copies in the post. Wanting to spread the good news, he gave the extra copy to a friend of his, a friend who was a member of said reading group. The book got passed around among the other members of the reading group. The end result was that some very worthy literary tidbit got temporarily neglected for a steamy sweaty sexy read through Holly.
I would be withholding important information if I didn’t say I was near bursting with pride at Holly’s ruckus-raising abilities. The way I see it, if an erotic novel doesn’t raise a bit of a ruckus, then what’s the point?
Back when The Initiation of Ms Holly was first accepted for publication by Xcite Books, I remember Adam Nevill, who was the editor at the time, telling me that most people writing erotica wrote it to make a statement. Back then I didn’t care about that. I barely paid attention. What I cared about was that my baby had a chance to go out into the big wide world.
But Adam was right. I see that now. Erotica writers write to make a statement – well that and because it’s just a whole lot of fun. The more erotica I write, the clearer my statement becomes to me, and the more loudly I want to proclaim it -- particularly in light of the disturbing attitudes about sex we’re confronted with on a daily basis. My statement would have something about making love not war as its core message. But it would look more like this: MAKE LOVE!!!!! (not war).
Make love, oh yes! That’s the ticket. Make lots of love. And let the world know we’re making lots of love. Don’t even think about keeping it a secret. Secrets generate gossip, gossip generates lies, and lies, where sex is concerned, are very, very dangerous. Lies, where sex is concerned, are what got us into this disturbing mess in the first place. So let’s proclaim it loud and clear. Sex is being had, oh yes indeedy, and it’s a good thing, a very good thing, and I’m gonna write all about it. There. That about sums it up, I think.
So what does any of that have to do with raising a ruckus? Well, just try talking about sex openly and honestly with people who aren’t other erotica writers and the ruckus won’t be far behind.
Sex, by its very nature raises a ruckus. It won’t be controlled, no matter how hard we try. We’re not all that far removed from our animal cousins when we’re having sex. Logic goes out the window, instincts, drives and physical need take control. That disturbs us. Sex is about the loss of control, it’s about the giving in to parts of our unconscious that frighten us, make us uncomfortable, makes our bodies feel things we don’t know how to deal with in civilized, dressed-for-proper-company ways. Sex makes us vulnerable, open for the take-over, exposed in the rawest sense of the word. We can’t really remain in a state of denial for very long where sex is concerned. Because we need it. Oh my, my, how we do need it! If we deny it for too long, it can turn ugly in ways we don’t even dare think about. And with all of that conflict, all of that loss of control, all of that vulnerable, raw exposure, of course sex is a fiction writer’s dream come true.
For the most part, we do our best, as a society, to keep sex locked away in the basement, the exotic pet gone feral. But it has ways of sneaking out. And one of the best ways is in between the covers of a sexy novel. It’s our job as erotica writers to let sex out of the basement, let it run rampant, let it writhe and fondle and seduce. We give folks a safe, open way to encounter full-frontal, mind-sizzling, dancing-naked-on-the-table sex. And with all those nasty naughty, yummy encounters hidden away in the words between the covers of a book it’s sometimes a quiet ruckus we raise, but we raise it all the same.
And let’s face it, in the deepest, most secret, most intimate parts of ourselves, we all want to let sex out of the basement. We all want to counter it full-on and totally lose control to the archetypal power of it. If we could only do it in little doses. If we could just have maybe a little bit of control.
So, we write hoping that if enough of us write to raise a ruckus, maybe more people will pass around copies of those ruckus-raising novels. And if enough people pass those copies to enough other people, the message will get out, the message that a world where sex is talked about, celebrated, honored, and embraced is a better place. Then maybe sex will be let out of the basement for good, and we can all raise a ruckus together while we MAKE LOVE!!!! (not war.)
K D Grace was born with a writing obsession. It got worse once she actually learned HOW to write. There's no treatment for it. It's progressive and chronic and quite often interferes with normal, everyday functioning. She might actually be concerned if it wasn't so damned much fun most of the time.
K Ds erotic romance novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly, published by Xcite Books, is now available everywhere.
Her erotica has been published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, and Scarlet Magazine.
Her second novel, The Pet Shop, also published by Xcite Books, will be available in October 2011.
You can find out more about K D on her website, http://kdgrace.co.uk.
Great post, KD! I think you are absolutely spot on as to why we write erotic romance and why we read it. Sex, I think, will always remain a closeted conversation - no matter how we move on in technology, prejudices, spriritual growth...our sex lives is still a subject no one wants to discuss around a drink in the pub. But let me tell you, if you do, you'll be the most listened to person around the table...I know!