Saying Too Much

June 19, 2012

As erotica writers it is incumbent upon us to present ourselves and our work with the highest professional quality – as I relearned by crossing the line last weekend.

As a person who gains such gratification in writing it may (or may not) come as some surprise for you to know that I can be a man of few words. No, that effortless charm that may come from knowing precisely what to say and when to say it is not one that comes to me with any consistency. For most part I am more minded to keep schtum – observing, listening, trying to maintain good eye contact – until I have something I think is of genuine worth to say. In the absence of any gift of the gab this can take some time, but this is a facet of my personality with which I have grown more and more confident over time. Smiles and laughter of genuine warmth or careful flirtation, thoughtful eyes and paying attention are the skills I’ve learned to develop by way of compensation. Yet I am, as much as any one, fallible and on occasions prone to over exuberant bursts of verbal hubris.

Mime covers mouth

I was reminded of this just last weekend when, perhaps giddy with the rush of a heightened sexual experience with a delectable lady (it doesn’t happen every day to a guy like me you know), I tweeted a fairly graphic sub 140-character summary of events along with the hashtag “#dirtyweekend”. I had intended for this to be a bit of irreverent fun; cheekily asking my followers if they would care to divulge their own little confessions of a dirty weekend. But a good friend who saw this quickly chastised me in no uncertain terms. My tweet was, she told me, cheap and nasty.

There also came the assertion that something this graphic portrayed an image that could put people off and/or be seen as tacky. Now, on even a brief reflection, I had to agree that the tweet was a mistake. I deleted it and tweeted an apology. Although I would contest the notion that what I wrote was cheap and nasty. What I had written was not so much cheap as lacking in good taste (and dare I say class). I had crossed that line so easily crossed when depicting acts of potent sexual pleasure, that which passes into vulgarity. What I had also done was disrespectful to the woman with whom I had enjoyed those carnal pleasures as she had not been complicit in the telling of them. Of course I had done nothing to risk her being identified but that is besides the point. I chose to be honest and apologise to her directly as well. This, I believe, was well taken but I have been made to fully understand that I overstepped. But I also believe that there is strength in admitting one’s mistakes – eventually achieving far better things in light of them.

This brings me to what I feel is a crucial point about all erotica – whether it strives for provocative and great artistic merit or to peak our sexual arousal (surely the aim must be to achieve both?) – which is that the manner of depiction is crucial to its quality. I strongly believe that the open and honest discussion of sex, in all its glorious variety, from vanilla to all manner of fetishes and its integral place in adult human lives and relationships, is not only artistically valid but of huge value to society. It enables us to explore in depth both the emotional components and consequences of our sex lives and the complexities of physical pleasure, along with the breadth sexual experience and, indeed, love.

I strongly believe that the open and honest discussion of sex… is not only artistically valid but of huge value to society.

In writing about sex and love I do feel the need to present it with the best quality of language I can muster, to attempt to draw believable and engaging characters in immersive and believable scenarios (albeit sometimes in the realm of sexual fantasy). When we are attempting to create vivid and exciting erotic scenes that make the reader feel the energy and passion of the character’s experiences and sensations there is a delicate balance to maintain: portraying the potency inherent in those acts without crossing over into base vulgarity. It is all too easy to say too much. This applies to how we present ourselves on public forums such as Twitter as well. There are some fantastic erotic writers and sex bloggers who achieve this with admirable skill. In particular I would name check writer/blogger Mia Lee and blogger Molly, of Molly’s Daily Kiss who both write about their experiences in Dom/sub relationships – a subject difficult to write about because it is so unfamiliar to many people – in different ways but equally with great skill. To paraphrase the tag line the equally skilful writer Ruby Kiddell coined for the fantastic first UK conference for erotic writers and sex bloggers, Eroticon 2012 (which she herself organised and ran), we need to ‘Write Sex Right’. There are lots of others covering a wide range of erotic and romantic subjects, some of whom you can find in my blog ‘likes’ in the right hand sidebar.

And what of my friend who castigated me for my lapse? I am only glad of my luck to know a woman so forthright in her opinions to make me think so clearly about how I write about sex as both a blogger/writer and how I present myself as a tweeter. I can see that I need to present myself with the professional skill and quality which I think all erotic writers and artists should apply to their work.

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2 Responses to “Saying Too Much”

  1. kazigrrl Says:

    So, lesson learnt. I would not beat yourself up too badly about it; while I did not see the tweet in question, I know that your purpose was to pique and not to prick.

    A sex blogger I’m not (mine is much more about exploration and the journey), but I have always admired your way with words.

    ~Kazi xxx

  2. Curious Muse Says:

    Oomph! I’m a fledgling in this arena and have never intended to become any kind of pro (i.e. paid) writer. I have therefore had the fun of choosing and testing my own rules. Where I feel I haven’t met them I have deleted. I really don’t understand what happened with ‘the tweet’. You had an exuberant moment and were ticked off why? Because it wasn’t to the reader’s taste? Because it might compromise your writing prospects? Because an off the cuff tweet might be taken as indicative of your entire oeuvre?
    The only good reason I can see for the delete was if it referred disrespectfully or in a hurtful way to the person to whom it referred. I can’t help but think the exuberance might have been rather flattering given the circumstances!! 😉

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