by Donna George Storey
WARNING: Contains sexually explicit language.
“I want to change the world one dirty story at a time.”
When I posted this mission statement on my website, I expected my cheeky ambition would make readers smile. I laugh every time I read it myself. And yet I’m also totally serious. I truly believe writers who speak their truth about the erotic experience do change the world for the better.
When I first began writing fiction about thirteen years ago—as a way to keep my brain sharp while my firstborn napped—I was surprised to discover that every story “climaxed” in a steamy sex scene. I knew I’d found my calling. Yet, I’d be revising history if I didn’t admit I sometimes blushed at my own dirty words. Literary fiction has allowed the exploration of erotic themes for some time, but only if the sex was bad, depressing, or somehow punished in the end. But in spite of Susie Bright’s BEST AMERICAN EROTICA series, stories that celebrated sexual enjoyment, and worse yet, aroused the reader below the waist, were—and sadly still are in some circles—written off as mindless porn.
I also noticed that in both literature and “smut,” sex felt disconnected from character and plot, in spite of the fact that sensual pleasure was very much a part of my real life. Even as a rank beginner, I yearned to reunite the mind with the body in my fiction. What if a writer treated the erotic with respect by creating complex characters, by keeping the bedroom action part of an evolving plot through discovery and surprise, and by paying the same breathless attention to language as she would to caressing her lover’s skin? Frankly, the idea turned me on in a big way.
While cooking up sexy tales and researching the delicious details with my husband has been the most electrifying and empowering job I’ve ever had, I also get off on taking the larger view. I am but one of many writers who are committed to exploring the mysteries of authentic sex and desire. (By the way, fantasy and sex-as-we’d-like-it-to-be qualifies as authentic in my book.) As recently as a few decades ago, women were told how to be sexual by medical experts and how to be sexy by male literary lions. Today we can tell the world what we really want by creating stories from our own fevered brains rather than trying to fit ourselves into someone else’s fantasy.
The old virgin/whore conditioning dies hard, however. Sometimes I blush when I reread a line of my own composition such as: “My clit and cunt still buzzed from the normal fucking, but now my asshole tingled and throbbed, as if his cock were already inside.” How could a sweet girl like me write such filth? Then again in the context of a story about a happily married couple exploring the wife’s desire for a “forbidden” act, these same words show her comfort with her sensual response and the confidence to make “dirty” words serve her own pleasure. How’s that for a revolution?
It’s not easy to challenge stereotypes and fight shame. Sometimes it’s even harder to figure out my own complex, often disturbing feelings about love and sex. But each story I write brings me to a deeper understanding of myself and Eros. So, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer rolling in the literary satin sheets for the first time, I urge you to share your true passion with the growing number of eager readers of erotic romance. Can there be a more pleasurable way to change the world?♥
Donna George Storey (www.DonnaGeorgeStorey.com) has published over 100 erotic stories and is the author of AMOROURS WOMAN (Orion/Neon), a steamy tale of an American’s love affair with Japan.