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Dirty, Dirty Girl


This is from Flickr. I’ll be damned if I remember where.  I suck.

I am having a little bit of an existential crisis.

I blame “erotic fiction.”

Well. That, and the fact that I’m a perv.

From Annabel Joseph, in a Smutketeers interview.

To be honest, most of the BDSM romance out there dilutes or homogenizes what we do. I’ve been told by publishers to “tone stuff down” because readers don’t want real BDSM, just the vanilla fantasy of BDSM. Obviously there is a more sizable audience for soft-edged kink than for realistic kink. So…as much as we would like be authentic in writing BDSM, books like 50 Shades appeal to more readers. What’s an author to do? Write what sells or write what’s authentic?

I am not surprised.

So. To relay my journey thus far:

I wasn’t much of an erotica connoisseur.

Last April, I started a porn blog. Last May, I got a Kindle.

As we are all aware, smut is cheap on Kindle.

I’d read all the old Anne Rice stuff, and as I spent about five years harboring dreams of romance novelling (don’t ask) I had a decent grip on the romance genre, up to about 2005 (aka, When Twilight hit.)  I wasn’t expecting a shock.

So, I figure, hey! Cheap porn!

And, I started reading.


Mexican Porn Still, or so says Google

I found a lot of… really bad stuff.

Really bad. Just. Gosh. Bad.

I was burned so many times, I don’t trust anything under three bucks.  I don’t think I’m alone. Guy New York’s sales figures bear this concept out.

So, I think, “Fine. I’ll get something highly recommended.”

That worked out. I found  Laura Antoniou.

So, I try another one.

No such luck.

And another?

Yeah. Another dud.

I get it into my head that surely I can at least write the sort of thing I would like.

And, that’s about where things got very confusing for me.

I am used to being mystified by my fellow man.

I am not used to testing that mystery.

I constantly express this conundrum to my husband. He just shakes his head. He says I should be used to it. I think of it as The Nickelback Problem. Nickleback sucks. The songs are all the same. The music is firmly entrenched in 1995. It’s predictable, dependable, and it bores me.

It’s the best selling rock music of the last ten years.

Though, at this point and for this subject, it’s the Fifty Shades Problem.

Jasmine Sinclair. VAGINA. DEAL WITH IT.

I am not going to be writing any more negative reviews on Goodreads.

I deleted what was there in a fit of panic and embarrassment. Apparently, negative reviews are “causing drama.”

I don’t even know what to think.

I read many “erotic” novels, but they weren’t working. Not a single tingle in my holy of holies. Nothing passed the so-called wet test. Plenty of it was technically well-written. I just wasn’t turned on. I felt like some pitiful specimen in a Christian morality play about the dangers of excessive porn usage. I started to wonder if I was broken. Desensitized. Ruined for written porn.

This was all very disheartening.

It was especially disheartening when I thought about about all those “ladies” out there reading this stuff and fanning themselves. Gushy reviews about the red hot hotness, full of steam and omg and whooooo and… hotness. Sighs over the rich dudes in expensive clothes, and the beautiful bodies (SPARKLEVAMPIREs!) and the domly demeanors. These women were turned on.

Or, at least they said they were.

I wasn’t.

The Nickleback Problem killed my confidence in two ways–I felt like a shitty writer that couldn’t recognize anything (flaming cheesy Cheetos) hot, and I felt like my lady business wasn’t in on the whole stuff-that’s-hot thing. I felt awful. I feel awful.

I felt like I shouldn’t finish my book, because clearly, I don’t have my finger on what’s arousing. I write not-hot.

I’ve been dragging my feet. I’m… defeated.

Found on Ruby Riot last year. No clue where it came from.

Monday, I found a book that shook me up, turned me on, and got him seriously laid. Shameful, pervy, “oral rape harness,” Golly My Heart Sings for Princess Donna porn, yes-I-do-know-what-does-it-for-me, wet tested, turned-on, actual hot.

The sort of tingle-producing erotica I suspected I had… leveled up on. Transcended? Gotten bored with?

I am a dirty, dirty girl.

But, my lady parts are not broken.

But, y’all. I am not a “romantic vanilla fantasy of BDSM” girl. I’m just not. Maybe I can write it. I guess I’ll have to write it. But, it’s doesn’t work for me.

And, much as I enjoyed the “consensual non-con rape fantasy” book, I was disappointed with the lack of “impact play.”

Yeah. He didn’t smack her around enough.

I’m that chick.

I’m the woman that all the BDSM erotic romances warn you about. 

(Oh, and they do.  I could start a tumblr full of “I’M NOT THAT KIND OF KINKSTER” excerpts at this point, by authors that claim to be in the scene.  But I won’t.)

So, now I’m working with a whole deeper notion of, “There’s something wrong with me.”

I found the actual-hot book though someone brave enough to give bad reviews on Goodreads. Lots of them. You know… I figured the good reviews she gives would mean something.

What I’ve written isn’t particularly kinky (IMO.) It’s kinkier than Fifty Shades, but not not kinkier than As She’s Told or The Marketplace Series or even Gor. It’s almost all “head fuck” stuff, with what I think of as pretty accessible BDSM play.

But, it’s not Rich Dude and Spunky Chick have a threesome with his Hunky Best Friend.  It’s not Wounded Bird craves submission with Hot Cowboy/Highlander/Werewolf/Lawyer. And, it’s not He Only Likes (Light, Non-Hurty, “Sensual”) Sadism until The Right One heals him.

So, I don’t know.

I don’t know what to do.

It’s all very confusing.


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  1. Jenny Lyn
    Twitter: jennylynwrites
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    WRITE your goddamn reviews on Goodreads. Fuck THEM if they don’t like what you have to say. Seriously. And you’re not the only one out there who’s THAT girl. I can’t write it but I can damn sure read it. Don’t know what that makes me, a chicken I suppose, but oh well. It is what it is. That’s why we have imaginations.

    Keep writing!

    • Joan
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      You’ve written about the review thing before, too, iirc.

      I wonder how much of the “no bad reviews” thing is due to it being a *female* pool of writers? Is it the same in all genres? Or is the enforced code of “niceness” something we are supposed to do because girls (and people writing as girls) are suppose to, above all, be nice?

      And, thinking that makes me paranoid that there’s some sort of passive aggressive coded and silent language going on, that I am just not picking up on.

    • Joan
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Also, I’ve actually seen book review bloggers *brag* about how they only give out five star reviews. What is that?!

  2. Lily
    Twitter: MsLilyLloyd
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Hey, Joan:

    I’m not totally sure exactly what is upsetting here. Is it:

    * Gawd, erotica books are so bad and yet so many people seem to love them and that must mean that I am REALLY REALLY weird?


    * If this is what’s popular, what reason do I have to write my own stuff which is nothing like this?


    * OMG tidal wave of crap. Why should I even bother writing bad reviews? It’s like shoveling against the tide.

  3. Lily
    Twitter: MsLilyLloyd
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    And, much as I enjoyed the “consensual non-con, rape fantasy” book, I was disappointed with the lack of “impact play.”

    Yeah. He didn’t smack her around enough.

    I’m that chick…

    …So, now I’m working with a whole deeper notion of, “There’s something wrong with me.”

    This I get, completely. I mean, I’m old enough that I was discovering my sexuality before the era of Teh Interwebz.

    Not only did the things that made my peers swoon — onscreen vanilla romance and stuff — leave me completely cold, the stuff that did turn me on could only be seen in brief glimpses in books and movies and then ALWAYS, always in the context of serial killers, abuse, or some other truly bad stuff.

    (I mean, that’s still true today. I see so many scenes in movies and on TV that would be SUPER UBER HOT — *if* they were consensual. But they’re not, so they’re completely horrifying, and I think they reinforce the Us (lightweight, sexist tripe BDSM erotica) and THEM (people who are turned on by such freaky things that they MUST be evil. I mean, shibari is Japanese for serial-killer macrame, right?)

    As a result, I grew up with the idea that there MUST be something very, very wrong with me.

    Now, I’m an adult, and I can connect with other adults who share my interests who have totally normal and pedestrian lives to go along with those interests.

    But the media sphere hasn’t changed much: BDSM is still presented either as M/f Harlequin Romance with BDSM fridge magnets or Horrible Evil People Being Hunted by the FBI, and not much in between.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you — I think there’s something very wrong with our cultural imagination when there are so, so many ordinary people into BDSM combined with an almost complete inability to characterize their lives in print or onscreen in any way that I recognize as part of my own experience.

  4. Conina
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Holy crap, woman.

    Much like Lily there, I found myself turned on by the evil people who were clearly mentally unbalanced in Fern Michael’s historical romances, and I thought that must mean I was a horrible horrible person myself. The journey from that to acceptance that the stuff the bad guys were doing/saying was turning me on and THAT WAS OKAY was a long-ass one.

    I like being smacked around a lot, but I also think we tend to paddle around in the shallow end of the kink pool… though perhaps that’s just me in my own bubble, too. Just found your blog thanks to Lily’s linkage of you and really enjoying your writing, so yes, continue your book!

    • Joan
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink


      I know I’ve read some of those Fern Michaels books. For some reason it’s pinging my “time travel romance” buttons.

      Man, I miss historicals. They’ve fallen out of favor, it seems.

  5. Clarisse Thorn
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I could start a tumblr full of “I’M NOT THAT KIND OF KINKSTER” excerpts at this point

    hahahahaha! Oh, PLEASE do.

    • Joan
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Oh sure. *That’ll* endear me to great wide world. Hee.

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