Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paypal, Censorship
and Sexual Titillation

I have a question. Just what is wrong with sexual titillation?

From what I understand, the current ban goes against the erotica genre, and erotica by definition sexually arouses.

So, while it is okay to include rape, bestiality and incest in a slasher murder book, where the characters get slaughtered, apparently making people depressed and grossed out is fine – but getting a little turned on is bad?

I don’t get it. When I get turned on, I seduce my husband, which he seems to like and is good for our marriage.

But if I get depressed, I just might knock him over the head with the toaster if he pisses me off.

So depressed is good, turned on is bad?

And folks, it is possible to write steaming and not sick erotica using those topics.

Take rape. Okay, we will all admit that rape is bad thing. But we are talking fiction here. Women have rape fantasies. Typically those fantasies involve hunky looking men who force us to experience the forbidden pleasure that society tells us is bad.

But we flipping know it is FICTION, a fantasy. We aren’t asking to get raped in the parking lot by some smuck. Let us have our fiction!!!

As for bestiality – I imagine those shape shifters that are so popular now might get a little horny. And really folks, as I said, it is FICTION.

And for the incest, what harm is a book where consenting adults get it on? While I admit the father daughter, and even a step-father daughter thing grosses me out, but what is the big frick’n deal with non-blood relatives or even cousins? Many cousins marry. Heck, I had a great-uncle who married his aunt!

I don’t understand a society that defends the purchase of assault rifles, in spite of the tragic school shootings – yet feel it is okay to ban fiction that might turn someone on and spice up the sex life.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

PayPal Censorship,
is it really all about Genre?

When Smashword’s founder, Mark Coker sent out his censorship letter the other day, telling erotic writers certain topics must be pulled from his cyber bookshelf, or he’d risk PayPal’s wrath, he included bestiality, rape and incest to his already enforced taboo, underage sex.

The ongoing blog debate and discussion concerning the recent PayPal censorship hammer that came down on a number of online booksellers, raised several points.

On one side, are those that insist private companies have the right to censor who they do business with, while others feel this is overreaching and an abuse of corporate power. An angry online community cries for boycotting PayPal, while others say good ridden to bad rubbish.

Some insist the forbidden list is just icky, and who wants to read that stuff anyway? Others point out that those topics are included in accepted books, such as the Bible.

When Lot’s daughters decide to get him drunk and seduce him, so they can become pregnant and carry on his line, we have incest, nonconsensual sex, and possibly underage sex. I don’t recall the age of the daughters.

As for bestiality, just think of all the popular werewolf stories on the market.

Of course, the real taboo: purpose for sexual titillation. While you might argue Paypal can’t get into the head of the writer and prove the writer penned those words for the purpose of titillation, you might want to consider the genre.

The basic definition of erotica is art that arouses sexually. Generally, the difference between erotica and pornography is that erotica isn’t written primarily for sexual arousal – it has a plotline and character development. Of course, that is where the subjective judgment comes into play. What one critic sees as a literary masterpiece with in-depth character development, another sees as smut.

Perhaps the answer is to simply, switch genres.

I don’t see anyone pulling Pirate’s Love off the bookshelf. It was written by bestselling author, Johanna Lindsey and begins with the pirate raping a young innocent. Of course, you will find her books in the romance section.

In Tarzan, there is a scene where one of the apes takes off with Jane, to make her his mate. Can we say bestiality?

Did the authors include those parts to titillate? Since the books aren’t in the erotica section, only the writer knows for sure.

There are countless *acceptable* stories out there that include taboo content, they just aren’t in the erotica section.

Perhaps we simply need to rethink the genre.

Carter’s Niece is a western.

Legend of the Raperbeast – along with half a dozen of my books are science fiction.

A couple of my stories are romances.

If I kill off a couple of my characters in the other books, those can go in the murder mystery section.

See…I fixed the problem. Now, is everyone happy?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time for a Confession

With Smashwords caving to Paypal’s censorship, I have decided to come out of the closet – so to speak.

I take my first amendment rights very seriously, and I don’t feel comfortable discussing such a vital subject while draped in a fog of fiction.

First, Sam is my husband, not my boyfriend. Actually, he has been my husband for many, many, many years. Yet that doesn’t sound near as sexy as a boyfriend. Most of the other Sam stuff is pretty much the truth, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent – and not so innocent.

Another fiction – I don’t have a brother or stepbrother. My blog post on the subject was an extension of my fiction.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my erotica, and the Paypal lockdown. I’ve temporarily removed some of my stories from Smashwords, as they fall in a gray area.

Erotica by definition is art that arouses. I can’t imagine the courts ever deeming my stories pornography, as I pride myself on plot and character development. Yet, there will always be people out there that would call it pornography.

Since the Paypal decree, I’ve been surfing the blogs, reading what other erotica writers have to say on the subject. I was startled at how so many of them expressed feelings I didn’t even know I had.

I don’t just write erotica – yet of all my writing, I believe writing erotica has taught me the most about myself, and the world around me. It is a safe haven where I can explore my deepest fears and desires.

Those closest to me know I write erotica, yet I only share my pen name with my husband and a few other people, and he is the only one of my circle who is allowed to read my stories. One friend asked for my erotica pen name, and I told her I believed I am a more open, freer writer when I don’t have to worry about those around me judging my writing, yet that doesn’t mean they aren’t fully aware of what I am up to.

With each story I write, I discover something new about myself, through the thoughts and experiences of my characters.

Writing erotica has also punched up our sex life - seriously. My husband is a VERY happy man these days, and I am a very satisfied woman. For women, sex starts in the head, and writing erotic doesn't just get my creative juices flowing.

I totally disagree with Rick Santorum that sex is all about procreation. If that were true, God would fix it so women would loose their ability to have orgasms after they go through the change. Trust me Rick, that ain't so. A healthy and active sex life helps foster a more solid and closer relationship between spouses - of any gender.

I hope the other players, like Amazon, don’t follow Paypal’s lead. I’d be all for an adult section at Amazon, to keep explicit covers from young readers. Yet, other than a separate section, I am opposed to censorship.

Friday, February 24, 2012

PayPal - The Internet Censor

I just received the email from Smashwords, informing contributors we must remove erotica stories with specific story lines - such as rape and incest.

I couldn't help but think of several books I've read by mainstream romance writer, Johanna Lindsey, where the leading man rapes the leading lady. One I recall involved a pirate, another was a viking raider.

I went ahead and removed about 5 of my titles, as I'm not sure which ones cross the Paypal line, and I don't want to put Smashwords in jeopardy, as Paypal can do some nasty damage to the company.

For now, look for my books at Amazon, yet not sure what will happen to my books there and at Barnes and Noble.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised - not when GOP contenders for the presidency are talking about making birth control illegal and Rick Santorum insist sex is just for having babies.

Even if you don't read erotica, this censorship and political shift is chilling.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Legend of the Raperbeast,
Portal Home

The Legend of the Raperbeast is my best seller. It is a twisted erotic tale of a Alison, who falls into anther world and is forced to mate with the terrifying raperbeast - a man-like creature that needs a willing woman to reproduce.

The story is actually a metaphor for how civilization has treated women throughout the years.

I have decided to tell the rest of Alison's story and what happens to her when she is given the chance to escape the raperbeast. Of course, she can't escape the beasts completely, as they've accomplished what they've set out to do by impregnating her. They've also accomplished their second goal - they've turned her into a Myra, which is a woman who is sexually insatiable.

She finds she will do anything to get what she craves, even if it means returning to the raperbeast and being their beast-slut.

You can read about it in "The Legend of the Rapberbeast, Portal Home."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cost of Doing Business

I met a writer at a recent book fair I attended, and we started talking about Smashwords, one of the distributors I use for my eBooks. This particular writer refuses to use Smashwords, because she doesn't want them taking a percentage of her sales, plus she resents the fact you aren't allowed to sell the files they create on your own website.

While I would make more money publishing directly to Barnes and Noble, like I do for Amazon, I don't really resent the portion Smashwords keeps. After all, there is a cost of doing business. Plus, I don't blame Smashwords for being pissy about using their software to create an  eBook file, and then sell it elsewhere, without compensating Smashwords. That seems fair to me, plus it is not that difficult to create a file to submit to the other venues. 

If you want to sell files directly from your website or blog, there is always Tradebit. Of course, they also expect a percentage.

After all, there is a cost of doing business, and there are no free rides. 

Hmmm...free ride....sounds kinda erotic.